Margarita cupcakes!!

Brief chicken update before we get started:  Guess who found her way into the coop all by herself tonight?!  That’s right, Little Miss Ancona!  When I checked on the girls, I didn’t see her outside all by herself, so I thought (hoped) this was a good sign.  But when I stuck my head through their pop door, I could see nothing.  No chickens and no soft cooing noises or chirping.  So I had to open the main doors, which I hoped wouldn’t totally freak them out.  I at least warned them that I was there, hoping they recognized my voice.  When I opened the door, the 4 babies were crammed at the very back of a nest box and Little Blue was sitting ON TOP of the other babies.  The others did not seem bothered in the least by this.  I didn’t think they literally slept on top of one another, but now I know.  They do.  I wish I’d had my camera!

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Alrightyyyyyy.  On to the real story.  Cupcakes.  I JUST realized tonight that, in all the chaos that was the month of May, I completely forgot to post this recipe for the margarita cupcakes I made for my supervisor’s birthday, which falls just after Cinco de Mayo.  Shame on me.  I thought about waiting until next May to post these (after all, no one would be the wiser), but these cupcakes are too good to not share.  Immediately.  It would be selfish of me to keep this to myself for another year.  Make. These. Cupcakes.  I insist.

I’m not sure these are the favorites at work, as that honor might go to the red velvet cupcakes made with beets.  Might.  But if they are not the favorite (and who doesn’t like a little boozy tequila kick of a cupcake mid-morning at work?), they are definitely a close 2nd place.  I should make a note to myself to make these more often.

Margarita Cupcakes (adapted from The Brown-Eyed Baker)    Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

zest and juice of 1 1/2 limes

2 tablespoons tequila

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 additional tablespoons tequila, for brushing on the cupcakes

For the frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1/2 lime)

2 tablespoons tequila

pinch of coarse salt

zest of 1/2 lime

Mix the first 3 dry ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.  If you are using an electric mixer, this will take 4-5 minutes on medium speed.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.  Add the lime zest and juice, vanilla extract, and tequila and mix well.  Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled, it’s fine!  Slowly mix in dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk.  Mix until dry ingredients are just incorporated into the wet ingredients.  Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups and bake at 325 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until just beginning to golden.

Remove cupcakes from oven and cool.  Brush the tops with the 2 tablespoons of tequila and let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them.

To make the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese, then slowly add the powdered sugar.  Add the lime juice and tequila and mix well.  Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and sprinkle with salt and lime zest.

Note: This frosting recipe makes a lot, and you will probably have a little bit left over unless you really like to pile it high on the cupcakes.  But if you do have leftovers, this frosting makes an excellent dip for pretzels.  Just sayin’.

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