Tag Archives: limoncello cupcakes

Easter Peeps Cupcakes with Marshmallow Vodka Buttercream Frosting

5 Apr

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In the candy kingdom, nothing says Easter like the classic yellow Peeps chick. Love them or hate them, it wouldn’t be an Easter basket without them.

Although Peeps originally were hatched as the iconic yellow chicks, there are now all kinds of colors and shapes and holidays to choose from: hot pink bunnies, purple chicks, green christmas trees, even an odd shade of brown gingerbread boy. There are debates about the best way to eat a Peep – I subscribe to the stale-er, the better method myself – and now you can even get chocolate dipped Peeps (which are amazing). Peeps-eating contests have arisen, with the internationally acclaimed “Peep Off” competition held the first Saturday after Easter in Maryland.

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Apparently, Peeps aren’t just for eating anymore. The Peeps diorama has become an art form unto itself, with several contests being held annually to celebrate that form of artistic expression. Actually, some of the dioramas are pretty amazing, with Star Wars evidently one of the more popular themes.

So popular has this candy become, there are now entire stores, Peeps & Co., dedicated to everything Peeps: the classic Peeps candy, of course, as well as Peeps water bottles, giant stuffed Peeps toys, Peeps t-shirts, keychains and refrigerator magnets. You name it, there’s a Peeps for that.

I’ve decided it was time to engage in a little Peeps artistic expression myself. And so, for your Easter holiday dessert table I bring to you –  the Peeps cupcake! An easy limoncello cupcake with lemon curd filling, covered in an amazing marshmallow vodka buttercream and topped with the classic yellow Peep. From my Easter basket to yours, Happy Easter!

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LIMONCELLO CUPCAKES

Makes approx. 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes

1 Betty Crocker white cake mix

1 cup water

1/4 cup limoncello

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 egg whites

zest of one lemon

1 jar lemon curd (Trader Joe’s is amazing)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, water, limoncello, oil, egg whites and lemon zest at low speed for 30 seconds, then 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl a few times.

Fill cupcake tins about half full. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

When cool, use a melon-baller to remove a small portion of each cupcake. Fill each hole with a small amount of lemon curd and then frost as desired.

MARSHMALLOW VODKA BUTTERCREAM

1 cup butter

1 cup marshmallow Fluff

3 cups confectioners sugar

pinch salt

2 tablespoons marshmallow vodka, or to taste

Marshmallow Peeps

Cream butter and marshmallow Fluff together in large bowl of electric mixer until well combined and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons of vodka, mixing on low speed until combined, then on high speed until light and fluffy, approx. 5 minutes. Frost cupcakes as desired and top with a Peep.

Enjoy!

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Limoncello Cupcakes

23 May

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A couple of Christmases ago, my friend Nancy was kind enough to bring a bottle of limoncello to the office holiday party. This was no ordinary bottle of limoncello, however. This was homemade limoncello, loving crafted by her very talented father, who was well-known for his home recipe.

Nancy had been telling us for some time just how good her dad’s limoncello was, so we were all quite excited to finally have a chance to sample this wonderful liqueur. I for one had never had limoncello before, homemade or otherwise, so I was really looking forward to my first taste. A day or two before the party, Nancy popped by her dad’s house to pick up the limoncello. He wasn’t home at the time, but was kind enough to leave the bottle of pale yellow liqueur waiting on the porch for her.

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Fast forward to the evening of the party. Nancy proudly presented the bottle of yellow liqueur and very graciously offered it to anyone who wanted a sample. I read somewhere that limoncello and champagne made a nice cocktail, and so I had her pour a generous amount of the limoncello into my glass of champagne. So confident was I that this was going to be THE cocktail of the evening, I encouraged several of my other friends to do the same. As Nancy  strolled off to share the golden elixir with others, I took a nice big sip, my taste buds eagerly anticipating the delightful mix of syrupy, sweet lemon and effervescent champagne. Imagine then, the look of horror on my face as the liquid ravaged its way down my throat, annihilating anything in its path, burning a hole in my esophagus and quickly bringing tears to my eyes. A quick glance at my co-victims’ faces told me they were experiencing the same torture. I hurriedly composed myself, politely hid the unfinished “cocktail of the evening”, and attempted to cool my throat and soothe my soul with a new glass of pure, unadulterated champagne. Nancy, who is nobody’s fool, could tell something wasn’t right,  tried a bit of the liqueur herself and had a similar reaction.

It turns out that limoncello isn’t the only craft beverage Nancy’s dad likes to make. The bottle he left out on the porch that unfortunate day? Not  limoncello at all but rather a bottle of raw, homemade, un-aged gin. Yes, I had coerced my friends into drinking raw gin and champagne….not quite the cocktail I had in mind.

I still haven’t tried Nancy’s dad’s limoncello, but I do look forward to it. In the meantime, I’ve had to satisfy myself with the commercial stuff, which is mighty fine too.

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Life has thrown Nancy a couple of curve balls lately, both good and bad, including a move to a different part of the office. So, to celebrate the move and wish her all the best, I dedicate these delightful limoncello cupcakes to my friend Nancy….and her dad.

Limoncello Cupcakes

This recipe is the quick, easy, but no less delicious version. These cupcakes received some high praise.  But for a total from-scratch experience, check out Brown Eyed Baker  (my favorite blog) for her Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes – even the curd is homemade and looks fabulous.

Makes approximately 24 cupcakes

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1 box white cake mix (I used 18.25 ounce size)

1 cup water

1/4 cup limoncello

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 egg whites

Juice and zest of one lemon

1 jar lemon curd

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put liners in cupcake tins and set aside.

Combine the cake mix, water, limoncello, oil, egg whites, lemon juice and zest in large mixing bowl. Combine ingredients on low until just mixed, then at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Fill cupcake tins about half full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then move to racks to cool completely.

When cool, use small melon baller, corer or frosting tip to cut a small hole in each cupcake. Fill each hole with a small amount of lemon curd and then frost as desired.

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Limoncello Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 stick butter, softened

2 tablespoons limoncello

4-5 cups confectioners sugar

zest of one lemon

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add limoncello, lemon zest and 3 cups powdered sugar. Mix together at low until blended, then at high speed for several minutes, adding additional powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Frost as desired and sprinkle lightly with additional zest.

Enjoy!

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