Sunday, June 16, 2013

What do you do?

I bake. Not professionally or anything, but it's one of those things I found in life that helps my mind quiet down and I can just do. I never really had a "thing" or "talent". Most kids when I was growing up had something, and I just didn't. It didn't bother me then, but as I got older and couldn't find my outlet for thoughts, emotions and energy it became an issue. So I searched and searched. I cannot draw or paint, but I have an appreciation for art. I cannot sing well (which does not stop me in the shower or car!) but I have a passion for music. I am NOT athletic, at all. I enjoy writing, but I am way to critical of my self. Right now as I type I am trying to figure out where this post is going and why anyone would want to read it. How am I going to change to world and make a difference when I ramble on about not being good at anything?
So I bake. It's not life changing. It's never going to save the planet or anyone. It's never going to make me famous, but it is going to calm my mind, and help me be me. That's going to have to be enough for today.

So here are the Margarita Cupcakes I made yesterday for my uncle's 60th birthday party (recipe below picture) Should have got a better picture but I'm new to this blogging thing so deal :) I have 2 different recipes I used. One has tequila in it, and uses box cake mix. The other is non alcoholic and made from scratch. I made both and they were equally delicious! You decide...

Margarita Cupcakes w/alcohol
Makes 18 regular-size cupcakes.
1 box white cake mix
7-1/2 ounces original margarita mix
2 ounces tequila (or triple sec if you prefer)
1/2 ounce orange juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and beat on medium-high until fluffy. If you prefer, use triple sec in place of the tequila. The important thing is to use a total of 10 ounces of liquid. Line a regular cupcake pan with papers or grease with non-stick spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack.
Margarita Cupcakes w/o alcohol
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of two limes
1/4 cup fresh lime juice/ or margarita mix
Beat the butter until pale, and then add the sugar. Add one egg at a time, blend until all incorporated. Then add in flour baking powder and salt, followed by the lime juice or margarita mix. Then add the zest.
Fill lined cupcake pan with batter 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for 18 minutes.
Makes 12 cupcakes. This recipe easily doubles if needed.
Simple Lime Syrup (optional)
To help keep the cupcakes moist I made this simple syrup and brushed it on top of the cooled cupcakes, before frosting them.
1/4 fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
Combine the lime juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Bring it to a boil and continue to boil for 3-5 minutes until it becomes a golden color. Cool. Poke holes in the cupcakes with a toothpick. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the syrup over the tops of the cupcakes. Let soak in for 10 minutes and then frost the cupcakes.

Lime Frosting
2 sticks butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 lime juice/ or margarita mix (add more if needed for spreading consistency)
couple dashes of green food coloring if desired
In a medium bowl, cream the butter. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lime juice or margarita mix, beating until desired spreading consistency. Add small amount of green food coloring if desired.

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