Thursday, April 11, 2013

Margarita Cupcakes

Quite simply...

I love baking cupcakes.

photo credit:

There is something very zen about mixing the ingredients and baking them into these sweet little cakes.  And then frosting then all pretty.  It sounds silly, but I find a lot of peace in it.

I also really enjoy following a recipe.  Going step by step, measuring and somehow creating a delicious treat...I just love it.

It may be the math nerd in me....or maybe I'm just a nerd...

Anyways....I thought it was time that I attempted to create my own recipe.  This has always intimidated me, because although I am great at following directions, I wasn't sure how well I would do figuring out all the measurements to equal a successful cake.  I needed a push.

That push was margareaster...a holiday my family created a few years back that has become a favorite tradition.  It involves, you guessed, margaritas and Easter.  Well Easter crept up on all of us this year, so margareaster is falling a little later than normal, but it gave me time to experiment.

I searched all over pinterest for some margarita flavored cupcake ideas.  I thought they would be a fun addition to the event.  I found TONS of stuff...I mean TONS.  Most of them however used boxed cake mix.  I have nothing against mixes but I personally don't like them because it makes a real soft cake that is hard to frost.

So I decided to give my own recipe a try.  I took a look at recipes I liked in the past and did some substituting with parts that would make them more adding tequila.

Tonight I put my recipe to the test.  The outcome....

I thought they tasted pretty good!  The true test will be tomorrow when everyone gets to enjoy them!

Here is the recipe I came up with.  I'm sure I'm going to tweak it as I go, but not too bad for a first try.  If you try them, let me know how they went and what you think may make them better!  Enjoy!

Margarita Cupcakes
Test #1 (4/11/13)  ~ makes about 2 dozen regular size cupcakes

photo credit:
Preheat Oven to 350°

-       1 ½ cups AP Flour
-       1 ¼ cups Cake Flour
-       ¾ tsp Salt
-       2 tsp Baking Powder
-       1 cup Butter
-       2 cups Sugar
-       1 tsp Vanilla
-       4 eggs
-       ¼ cup Tequila
-       ¾ cup Buttermilk

  1. Combine dry ingredients and whisk together
  2. Cream butter until smooth, add sugar and vanilla
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating in between
  4. Add tequila
  5. Add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk
  6. Mix until well blended
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes (rotate pans halfway through for a more even bake)
  8. Let cool
  9. Once cool, remove centers and fill with Lemon Curd Whipped Cream

Lemon Curd Whipped Cream:
-       1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
-       1/3 cup Sugar
-       ¼ cup (or more to taste) Lemon Curd

  1. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form, add sugar and beat again
  2. Add lemon curd and beat till mixed, but still fluffy
  3. Put into a pastry bag and pipe into the center of each cupcake
  4. Frost with Lime Butter cream

Lime Butter Cream:
-       1 cup Butter
-       1 tsp Vanilla
-       4 cups Powdered Sugar
-       2-3 tbsp Lime Juice
-       1 tsp (or more to taste) Lime Zest

  1. Beat butter until light and fluffy
  2. Add vanilla
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar, alternating with lime juice
  4. Add lime zest and whip butter cream until light and fluffy
  5. Put in piping bag and frost (or use offset spatula)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Final Exams

We've hit the mid point of the school year so that means it is time for final exams!

I have never been a fan of exams.  Taking them or giving them.  I'm more of a final project kind of person, especially in my subject area.  As an art teacher I feel that the best way to determine whether my students have learned anything or retained any knowledge is to see how they apply what they've learned to a creative project.  However, during this time in education, the written word and the measurable test is the preferred method of verifying that our students have learned anything.

Although this is not something I believe really myself, I do give a written final since it is required.  I do try to incorporate some more hands on components in an attempt to keep the creativity in there which is what I really am 'grading.'

So twice a year, I sit in a silent classroom - no music or chitchat - and watch my students finish a written final.  It is a long week...

...and so is next week.  Why? The start of a whole new semester with all new students.  It's like the beginning of the year all over again!  Syllabi, scheduling conflicts, and learning another 100 or so new names is what is in store for me next week.  It is exciting to get new students and start fresh, but its also hard to say good-bye to the really great classes I had that were just gaining momentum!

The Spring semester always seems like the hardest of the two.  It is not the beginning of the year, so the students tend to be slow to getting started and are not as 'enthusiastic' as they tend to be in September.  The Spring also brings additional challenges - disruptions from testing, more vacation time and seniors leaving early.  I feel like I never accomplish as much in the Spring.

But the warmer weather will be coming, which means potential for more outdoor assignments.  There are things to look forward to.  I need to work on keeping my motivation up to get ready for the beginning again.  The school year is already half way over and it will be summer before we know it.

After all this freezing whether lately, summer can't come soon enough.