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Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing

A super sweet collaboration with Vera from Voice of Vera inspired a whole new world of connections and custom cupcake creations. This Peach Spice Cupcake with Kiwi Sparkler Icing was created just for her.

The Inspiration

One of my favorite things to do is to go gift shopping for someone special. I like the feeling of thinking about them and thinking about what they would enjoy while searching the aisles. Many times, a type of candy , a specific animal or a figurine will remind me of a memory we shared together.

Baking isn’t much different. I was making Little Cakeasaurus Rex his Chunky Monkey Cupcakes and I was thinking about him the entire time. Thoughts of his monkey toes curling around my finger when he was a baby and how he would even hold his bottle with his feet spun around my mind like the batter around the beater.

I decided it might be fun to start connecting my recipes to people. How neat would it be to connect with other inspiring and adventurous people and create a custom cupcake flavor representative of who they are and what they do?

Who is Vera?

I was discussing this idea with Vera from Voice of Vera and she was excited to start swapping recipes and have me make a custom cupcake recipe for her.

Vera is a creative mom of four and blogs about her adventures including fashion and DIY.  One of my favorite things about her blog is that it is full of inspiration and her uplifting motto says it all:  “The best is yet to come!”

When she described her favorite flavors as being sweet, tart and fruity, the recipe practically wrote itself. I knew I needed something fun and flavorful for this awesome woman.

Custom Cupcake Creation

When the warm weather comes around, I can’t help but get a taste for fresh tropical fruit. Pineapples, kiwis, raspberries,you name it, I love them!

Growing up in North Carolina, our summer vacation was always a four hour trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Along the way, the family tradition was always to stop at a fruit stand and grab a basket full of big juicy South Carolina peaches. One bite of that peach and you would have sweet syrupy juice dripping down your chin. That sweet nostalgic flavor equates to summer for me. Now that we are knee deep into summer vacation, I am having an intense hankering for that sweet peach deliciousness.

This Peach Spice Cupcake recipe satisfies all of those tropical fruit cravings and has the added bonus of reminding me of a cocktail.

Peaches check off the sweet and fruity requirements for Vera’s custom cupcake. Now, I needed that tart flavor to bring it all together.

 

Peach and Kiwi

Peaches and kiwis? I know, right?! Who knew? The fact is, peaches have such a sugary taste to them that I felt a peach cupcake in the middle of summer desperately needed a complementary tart icing.

Kiwis provided the tartness to balance this recipe and make it the perfect sweet, tart and fruity flavor we were looking for.

 

A Kiwi Sparkler is a summer cocktail that includes kiwi and peach scnapps. How perfect?! The peach schnapps is what I would use to tie the kiwi icing to its peachy cupcake counterpart.

Now, I used Florida peaches for the Peach Spice Cupcake. Florida peaches are much smaller and less juicy than their Georgia and South Carolina relatives. They still provided that popping peach flavor though which is all I needed.

However, the difference is important. Pay attention!

Important!

If you are using a juicier peach for your baking endeavors, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe. If your ingredients are too wet, your cupcakes will shrink or sink in the middle. To offset this, you can either bump up your dry ingredients accordingly or you can just reduce the amount of peaches you use.
Personally, I would just do the latter. Adding in less peaches is way easier than adjusting the rest of the recipe and if they are that juicy, you won’t be losing any of the flavor.

Let’s get started!

Go ahead and set your oven to our favorite temperature of 350 degrees. Now is a good time to go ahead and put cute cupcake liners in your tin. You can get colorful and thematic ones here.

In a large mixing bowl, beat your butter and sugar on medium speed until nice and smooth. Then, add in your egg, vanilla and rum. The rum is going to make your batter look pretty wet and runny. It may also make it look like it is separating. It is okay and it won’t be ugly for long.

In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. This is your flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. It doesn’t matter how many cupcakes I make, every time I add in the baking soda, salt and baking powder, I always feel like I am about to create a science experiment. I mean, I am a culinary chemist to some extent.

 

Usually a recipe like this will use buttermilk to mix alternately with the dry ingredients. I decided to try something a little different by using Greek yogurt instead. The step works out about the same.

Pour about a third of your dry ingredients into your wet batter mix. Mix on low speed until well blended. Then add in half of the Greek yogurt and blend again. Keep alternating until you finish with the last third of the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended but do not over mix.

Fold in the peaches with a spatula and spoon batter into cupcake liners. You want to fill the cups three-fourths of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty-four to twenty-eight minutes. Mine were done at about twenty-six minutes. Just keep an eye out on them and check with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out clean when the cupcakes are ready.

Now for the Icing!

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth. This is easily accomplished with a whisk attachment for a stand mixer, but I’ve been successful using my old hand-me-down GE hand mixer too.  To make sure the icing stays smooth and silky, sift the powdered sugar in to the bowl one cup at a time, beating between each cup.

In a blender, blend about three kiwis into a puree. Peel the kiwis first with a potato peeler, leaving just the fleshy green fruit. I used the Ninja Blender to make the puree. Two presses of the pulse button and the kiwis are liquefied into a tart puree.

The kiwi puree definitely resembles baby food at this point. I thought it might make the icing a strange pea green color but the  white powdered sugar lightens the color tremendously. Add the kiwi puree, salt, peach schnapps and vanilla extract to the powdered sugar mixture. You will want to mix that on medium speed until well blended.

Sift the last cup of powdered sugar into the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed. Your icing will be smooth and almost silky feeling. There will be some specks from the kiwi seeds mixed throughout the icing.

 

Now it is time to enjoy.

Top those juicy sweet Peach Spice cupcakes with the Kiwi Sparkler icing and you have the perfect summer treat. I hope you love the sweet, tart and fruity flavors of this unique cupcake.

Make sure to head over to Voice of Vera and let her know how much you love her custom cupcake flavor.

If you are interested in developing your own custom flavor or having me develop one for you, please leave a comment below. I’d love to connect to with you!

This is how we make life taste sweeter together!

 

Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing
Print Recipe
Juicy sweet peach spice cupcake with chunks of real peaches topped with a tart Kiwi Sparkler icing.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing
Print Recipe
Juicy sweet peach spice cupcake with chunks of real peaches topped with a tart Kiwi Sparkler icing.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Peach Spice Cupcakes
Kiwi Sparkler Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Peach Spice Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add egg, vanilla extract and rum to butter mixture. Mix on medium until blended. The rum will make the batter separate. It will not look pretty but it will be okay in the end.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients, alternating with the Greek yogurt. Start and end with the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in chopped peaches and spoon into a lined cupcake tin 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 24-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from tins and cool on rack.
Kiwi Sparkler Icing
  1. Beat butter and shortening with a whisk attachment on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add two cups of powdered sugar sifted, one cup at a time. Mix well between additions.
  3. In a blender, puree three kiwis to make 1/2 a cup of puree.
  4. Add kiwi puree, salt, peach schnapps and vanilla extract to the powdered sugar mixture. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
  5. Add last cup of powdered sugar to the mixture and beat on medium to high speed until icing is smooth and silky.
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Festive Favorite: Rum Soaked Chocolate Covered Cherries

Hey guys!

I am so excited to be finally sharing this recipe with you guys! As Halloween approaches, it means it is officially the holiday season. Soooo much is going to be coming through my kitchen the next couple of months it isn’t even funny. As much as we hate the Christmas merchandise going up in stores before Halloween, I still feel it necessary to share this recipe as far in advance as possible.

       Several years ago there was a little segment in a magazine (I don’t remember which) about easy gifts for people. The gift that caught my attention was a can of Coke, a travel bottle of rum and a little bag of Chocolate Rum Soaked Cherries.

       Let me say that again to let it really marinate…. Chocolate Rum Soaked Cherries.

      If your mouth didn’t just salivate then you have not yet been gifted with this miraculous holiday pleaser. But make no mistake, they do not just have to be for the holidays. You’ve probably realized by now that I rarely make anything straight by the recipe. So the original recipe had everything you can easily glean from the name. I added a few extras to make them truly remarkable. I know, I’m humble too. 🙂

       Last year I brought them to the family gathering for Christmas. This ordeal is usually dramatic and has someone yelling and someone crying and someone storming out.  I don’t know about your family but I suspect this is a pretty universal phenomenon. Not this year. I handed these miracle cherries out and everyone was content to keep their mouths shut and relax. The added chili powder and just pinch of cayenne bring out the flavors in the chocolate. The Kosher salt adds a bit of savoriness to counter the sweetness of the chocolate cherries. The rum, well, I think the rum does all the work. If you let these buggers really marinate (a few months in the frig), five cherries in you may want to pick out a designated driver.

      So without further ado, you are going to need cherries with stems. I know you’ll find the ones at the dollar store without stems but that makes everything else a pain in the butt. I promise, you want the stems. You will also need melting chocolate. You can get the baker’s melting chocolate from craft stores but the baking aisle at the grocery store or Wal-Mart even has the quick melting chocolate that comes in a tray. The tray is handy because it saves you from having to scrub hardened chocolate off your good bowls. You will also need rum. I like using dark spiced rum but I suppose your preference on rum will work just fine. You just want those cherries really drunk.

      The extras that you will need that are not included in the name of the recipe (I wish all recipes had a section like this). You will need a bit of shortening to add to your chocolate so that it is wet enough for dipping. You will also want to grab that chili powder, cayenne pepper and Kosher salt. For ease of drying, I also recommend pulling off a few sheets of wax paper so everything can harden nicely before creating your treat bags. And I suppose you will also want to get treat bags. If I’m trying to be fancy (pinkies out ladies), I’ll get mini muffin liners in festive colors and small treat boxes from either the dollar store or the craft store. Presentation really comes down to who you will be giving them to and for what purpose. Alas, you’ll want something to put them in regardless and I suggest a container that doesn’t require them to be stacked on top of each other.

Rum_Soaked_Chocolate_Covered_Cherries

First things first, take the cherries and dump out all the juice. You can save it if you want to and use it like Grenadines. Add a little to your Coke and now you have Cherry Coke. I just leave my cherries in their container. I don’t take them out to drain them or move them to another bowl or anything. Then pour in your rum to completely fill the container. I buy my stemmed cherries from Sam’s club because I make a ton of these cherries and they always disappear so freaking fast. The Sam’s club cherries come in a large plastic jug and I end up using a ton of rum to fill it. It will make you feel like you are wasting alcohol but I promise it is not wasted once you’ve enjoyed these cherries. Also, afterward you then have remaining cherry flavored rum. Add a little (or a lot) to your Coke and now you have a Cherry Rum and Coke. Yum, recycled rum!

Rum_Soaked_Chocolate_Covered_Cherries

Let those sit and marinate in the refrigerator for days. I mean it, the longer you let them marinate the better. I’m sharing this recipe with you in October so you can have well marinated cherries for Christmas (or whichever preferred holiday you wish to celebrate). These don’t need a holiday but you will want that chocolate-y rum warmth once the chill of winter sets in. These are also fantastic for Valentine’s day. I do make a few additions to make them more uniquely festive for the holiday.

Rum_Soaked_Chocolate_Covered_Cherries

When you are ready for the chocolating, which should be days, weeks, months from when you first touched the cherries, go ahead and drain your cherries. Again, you can keep the cherry flavored rum if you want but this time I go ahead and pour the cherries out on to a plate with a couple of paper towels to absorb the extra liquid.

Remember when I mentioned the melting chocolate that comes in a tray? If you have the tray, follow the melting directions on package and add a teaspoon or so of shortening to make the consistency wetter. If you do not have a tray, grab a microwave safe bowl, break the chocolate up into ice-cube size pieces and add the teaspoon of shortening to melt the chocolate. Be careful not to over cook your chocolate. I melt mine in 15-30 second increments, stirring in between.

When the chocolate is melted thoroughly, add a half teaspoon of chili powder and a pinch of cayenne to the chocolate and stir. Then add a half teaspoon of kosher salt and stir. Taste test the chocolate and add additional salt if needed.

Rum_Soaked_Chocolate_Covered_Cherries

Now for the fun part: the dipping! This can be time-consuming depending on how many cherries you are making. Take a cherry by the stem (see you do need those stems) and dip into the melted chocolate making sure to cover the entire cherry. Place coated cherry on wax paper to dry. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. If your chocolate starts to become thick and hard to dip, return to microwave for 5-10 seconds. You may also need to add a bit more shortening too in order to return it to the best consistency.

The cherries are ready to eat as soon as the chocolate dries. I would suggest resisting temptation until after all of the cherries are chocolated so as not to have to keep warming your chocolate. Once dry, place them in your desired treat box and they are ready for gifting. Enjoy!