Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Margarita Lime Cupcakes...

The sunshine has recently sparks my appetite for a refreshing and tangy dessert. With this in mind, I was inspired to make something sweet for a Neighborhood Fiesta Block Party and came up with this very special mini cupcake that was quite a hit! This dessert  is the perfect union of a summery Margarita and a sweet cupcake. Go ahead, bake this masterpiece.

Brenna's Mini Margarita Lime Cupcakes!

One bite of perfection!

The Cupcake batter, notice the specks of lime zest.

Fill the pan 3/4 full with batter, bake until toothpick comes out clean.

Pull from the oven before they brown, you do not want to dry them out.

Place on a cookie sheet with foil to cool before the next special step...

Secret ingredient: a brushing of Tequila and Coconut Rum (for added moistness)

Perfect crumb, very moist and flavorful!

Key Limes. Packed full of flavor and tang.

Cream cheese Butter cream Frosting with Tequila and Coconut Rum

Margarita Lime Cupcake
Author: Brenna Bowers
Makes: 48 mini cupcakes
1 box White Cake Mix
½ cup flour
3 egg whites
1 can Frozen Bacardi Margarita Mix, thawed to room temperature (found in the frozen section at grocery stores near the other juice concentrates)
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoons lime juice (I used Key limes but any lime will work)
1 Tablespoon Coconut Rum
2 Tablespoons Tequila

Simple Syrup:
1 Tablespoon Coconut Rum
1 Tablespoon Tequila

4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 box powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon Coconut Rum
1 Tablespoon Tequila

2 Key Limes*

Key Limes, sliced in small wedges

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine all the cake ingredients and stir on medium speed for 30 seconds. Spray a mini cupcake tin with oil spray (OR grease it lightly with butter and dust with flour). Fill each cupcake holder only three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 8 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).

Allow the cupcakes to cool fully.
In a very small bowl combine the 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Rum and 1 Tablespoon Tequila. Using a pastry brush, brush a little of the mixture onto each cooled cupcake (this will add another element of flavor and also moisten the cupcake more).

To prepare the frosting, place the cream cheese and butter in the mixer and whip on high for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and beat for another minute until light and fluffy. Add in the lime juice, Coconut Rum and Tequila and mix just until combined.

Place the frosting in a piping bag and pipe in a circular potion onto each mini cupcake. Garnish the cupcakes with sliced wedges of the Key Limes.

*Key Limes are a smaller breed of limes that have a thin rind and have a more tart and bitter flavor then other limes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Artichoke Wonton Lasagna Cups...

Thanks to Leah Gowin's cupboard, I was inspired to create a new recipe today. When I opened up her pantry to see what could be created for dinner I was faced with ingredients such as jarred artichokes, wonton wrappers and Alfredo sauce. This was just what I needed in addition to the mozzarella and ricotta in the fridge to create Artichoke Wonton Lasagna Cups. This recipe even turned out to be a healthy alternative to regular lasagna. By using the wonton wrappers instead of lasagna noodles, I reduced the amount of carbs and also cut out some of prep work. No go to your cupboard and see what YOU can make!

Artichoke Wonton Lasagna Cups
Mini Artichoke Wonton Lasagna Cups
Author: Brenna Bowers
Makes: 4 servings

1 jar seasoned artichoke hearts, drained, chopped roughly
1 cup Ragu Light Parmesan Alfredo
1/2 cup light ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp Italian seasoning
12 wonton wrappers
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin pan with oil spray.

In a small bowl, combine and stir the Alfredo sauce, artichoke, ricotta, egg, and Italian seasoning.

In each muffin cup, place 1 (or overlap 2 if needed so that the whole cup is lined with a wonton wrapper) wonton wrapper and press it lightly against the edges of the muffin tin. Spoon 1 large Tablespoon of the artichoke mixture into the cup and add a pinch of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Starting again with a wonton wrapper, repeat this process resulting in 2 layers for each muffin cup (always ending with the mozzarella).

Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starts to brown.