Tag Archives: Amaretto cupcakes

Almond Joy Cupcakes with Malibu Rum Buttercream Frosting

3 Apr

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Easter candy comes in all shapes, sizes and flavors, and everyone has his or her own favorite. I’m a huge Peeps fan myself, especially after they’re nice and stale. But the flavors I most associate with Easter are chocolate and coconut; chocolate bunnies (gotta eat the ears first) and chicks and eggs…coconut cake and cream eggs and macaroons. In fact, Easter seems to be the unofficial start of coconut season. Let’s face it, it’s not long after the last jelly bean is gone that we’re whipping up that first piña colada of the summer.

Chocolate and coconut are a classic combination, immortalized forever in the PeterPaul Mounds and Almond Joy candy bars. Although I’ve outgrown most popular candy bars as too sweet, I still love these two. Always chock full of scrumptious moist coconut and covered with just the right amount of milk or dark chocolate, one with the crunchy almonds, the other without, they never fail to satisfy the sweet tooth.

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I’ve been pondering for a while now how to transfer this yummy candy combo into a cupcake. Pinterest has a ton of Almond Joy cupcakes, but none that are b.u.i. worthy. So I simply deconstructed the candy bar and created my own cupcake interpretation of the Almond Joy: a rich amaretto chocolate cupcake topped with a coconut rum buttercream, garnished with toasted almonds and coconut. The result is simply amazing. Why not whip up a batch this Easter? They’ll be gone faster than you can say Easter Bunny.

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CHOCOLATE AMARETTO CUPCAKES

Makes one dozen cupcakes

1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons amaretto

1 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together almond milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Add the sugar, oil and Amaretto to the almond milk mixture and beat until foamy.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches and beat until no,large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake tins about 3/4 full. Bake 18 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

MALIBU RUM BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

This frosting has a secret ingredient – marshmallow Fluff! – that makes it just a tad more like the candy bars.

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup marshmallow Fluff

3 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons Malibu coconut rum

pinch salt

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Cream together butter and Fluff until light and creamy. Add in powdered sugar, rum and salt and mix at low speed until combined, and then at high speed until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, heat almonds and coconut in a small, non-stick frying pan over medium low heat until just lightly toasted. Remove from heat and combine together in a small bowl.

Frost cupcakes as desired, dipping the tops into the coconut almond mixture to garnish.

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Enjoy!

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Dirty Shirley Cupcakes

2 Mar

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When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to the few weeks every summer I was able to spend with my Grammie and Grandpa in Massachusetts. Mostly because I, the oldest of 4 siblings, got to go all by myself. Just me, no sisters, no brother, just me alone, to soak up all that undivided love and attention on just me. For those few short weeks every summer, I got to be the star.

The three of us did all kinds of wonderful things together, enjoyed all kinds of fabulous experiences that I rarely did at home, including and especially, going out to a dress-up restaurant for dinner. And although the dessert was usually the best part of the meal, the most magical moment was when the waiter approached the table to take the cocktail order. My grandfather would order a drink for my Gram, one for himself and a Shirley Temple for me…sometimes with an extra cherry! Imagine the headiness when that waiter came back, tray in hand heavy with an array of multi-colored beverages. He’d place a cocktail napkin on the table in front of me, followed by a small glass, ice tinkling in the grenadine-infused soda, minute bubbles swimming to the surface, a bright red cherry bobbing through it all. In that exact moment, I was a princess…a grown-up, have my own cocktail, princess.

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Legend has it that the Shirley Temple was created for and named after the 1930’s child star by an establishment she frequented often. Some say it was a restaurant in Hollywood, others say it was a hotel in Hawaii. Ironically, Shirley Temple herself never really cared for her namesake mocktail. But here’s a secret I’ve never shared with anyone. Shirley Temple – the child actress – has always kind of creeped me out a little. I don’t know what it is – maybe it’s the too many perfect curls, maybe it’s the constant cherubic smile, or maybe it’s the way she was always tap-dancing her way into America’s heart – but something about her just doesn’t sit right with me. So it’s no surprise that my darker side was secretly delighted to discover there is a cocktail out there called The Dirty Shirley. Basically a classic Shirley Temple with a little something extra added. A cocktail that celebrates that child star while simultaneously tarnishing, just ever so slightly, that perfect image.

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Of course, I ran with the idea. While most Dirty Shirley’s add a little vodka, I thought amaretto would make a better addition for the cupcakes – and I was right. These little pink-bottomed cupcakes are as delightful as their namesake, with just a hint of amaretto coming through. Enjoy one or two of these and you just might end up doing a little tap-dancing yourself!

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DIRTY SHIRLEY CUPCAKES

Adapted from a recipe by The Curvy Carrot

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour, plus 1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup cherry 7-Up

1/4 cup amaretto

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approx. 2 – 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

In a measuring cup, combine 7Up, amaretto, and extracts.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the amaretto mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Remove 3/4 cup of the batter and place in a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of flour and cherry juice and stir to combine. Drop a scant tablespoon of the mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Top with remaining cupcake batter, but try not to mix the two together.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

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AMARETTO FROSTING

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

pinch salt

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

1 tablespoon amaretto, or to taste

12 maraschino cherries

In a stand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy, 2 – 3 minutes. Add sugar and flavorings and mix at low speed until combined, then increase speed, adding additional sugar and/or amaretto until desired consistency is reached. Frost each cupcake and top with a maraschino cherry.

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