Well friends, it certainly has been awhile. Please accept my dearest apology for being mad crazy absent from my food blogging life. The fall is most definitely a busy time in Nebraska when you work for a University where football reigns king. Although my mighty Huskers did not have the storybook ending to the Big 12 we were all hoping for, we will now gallantly ride off into the distance and arrive in the good company of the Big Ten!
I was planning on "kickstarting" the blog up again with a New Year's post, well you can guess how that went, since it is now the 14th of January. Whoopsies. But in another attempt to have a great homecoming back to my little online home away from home, I am getting back to the blog after being named an Aries! The first sign, the color of red, the sign of fire, the representative of....birth? Excuse me? My symbol is now a ram and a uterus? I'm not sure my old Taurus stubborn ways are ok with this change, but since apparently Taurus was lazy and I am now an active Aries, I better get back on blogging regularly! I have a new personality, new traits, I hope I'm still in the correct career field. Good thing I'm not married yet, because I could have married the completely wrong person if I would have matched him up with my sign, phew.
So in an attempt to start living my life as an Aries, with no further adieu, I give you Kahlua Kupkakes in celebration of Jeff's birthday, new signs, and our belated-but-sure-to-be-a-great-time staff holiday party!!
(As adapted and changed from Annie's Eats)
Yield: approx. 20-24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. instant espresso powder
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup warm water
¾ cup buttermilk
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. Kahlua
For the Kahlua: Of course, you could just go out and buy some Kahlua, but why not make it yourself? Here is an easy recipe for homemade Kahlua!
12 cups Toffee flavored coffee (brew your favorite kind or flavor for a fun twist!)
2 pounds sugar (white, brown, you pick)
1 bottle Everclear
Boil coffee and add sugar, stir until dissolved. Let cool. Add Everclear and mix it up! Bottle and share with your friends, or have a party and tell everyone to bring a different coffee flavor so you can trade :)
For the frosting:
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powder sugar
7-8 tbsp. Kahlua
2 tbsp. heavy cream (I used 1% milk, because that's what I had in the fridge)
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F
2. Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine the cocoa powder, espresso powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk well to blend.
4. Mix the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and Kahlua in a separate bowl.
5. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake until the tops look set, about 18-20 minutes. When cupcakes look finished, stick a toothpick in the middle of a cake and if it comes out clean, they are ready to come out!
7. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Poke a few holes in the top of each cupcake with a fork and brush with Kahlua while still warm. Allow to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
1. Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2. Mix in the powder sugar slowly until incorporated.
3. Add in the Kahlua and beat on medium speed until well blended.
4. Pour in the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.