Monday, August 29, 2011

Feeling Nostalgic

Has anyone else seen that Wendy’s commercial for their new lemonade? The one where the girl goes “this reminds me of my first lemonade stand as a kid” (or something along those lines, I’m too lazy to YouTube the commercial right now). 

Well, I remember my first *attempt* at a lemonade stand as a kid. My sister and I stood outside our house with a watered down pitcher of Kool-Aid for two hours. We watched as cars zipped past just hoping they would stop after seeing our hand-made sign.

Sadly, no one stopped, and our only customer at the end of the day was our dad. And I don’t even know if he drank our lemonade.

Anyways, that entrepreneurial fail did not sully my taste or feelings for lemonade. I still love the drink and anything lemonade flavored. And every year when the weather warms up and Culver’s re-releases their lemon ice I go bananas for it. I normally go for just a small dish of the tart, creamy treat but, on occasion, I get the raspberry lemon ice cooler. Pure magic. 

Needless to say, when I saw Jessica’s recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes I was intrigued. And when a family friend with a strawberry allergy came to me looking for a dessert, I was more than happy to adapt the recipe to create Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes! 

These cupcakes are the epitome of summer to me. Filled with lemon butter cream and topped with a raspberry lemonade buttercream, they are soft, sweet, and refreshing. They totally beat a glass of watered down Kool-Aid any day.

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes (adapted from How Sweet It Is, makes 12ish cupcakes)

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup milk

Juice from one lemon

Grated zest of two lemons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until fully incorporated. Add vanilla, lemon juice and zest.

Add half dry ingredients and mix until the flour *just* disappears. Add the milk, mixing until combined. Add the remainder of the flour mixture mixing again until it *just* disappears. (We don’t want stiff cakes people!).

Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, or a large ice cream scoop, pour batter into lined cupcake/muffin tins and bake at 350 for 18-25 minutes. The cakes are done when the tops spring back after being lightly pressed.

Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool. While the cakes are cooling, make your frosting.
Raspberry and Lemon Buttercream

2 sticks of room temperature butter

3-4 cups of powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Juice from ½ a lemon

½ pint fresh raspberries – pureed

Zest from two lemons

1-2 tablespoons of milk (depending on how thick you want your frosting)

Using an electric mixer cream the butter until smooth. Mix in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, going slowly so you don’t get it all over the place. Add the zest and lemon juice and continue stirring until your desired consistency is reached, adding more powdered sugar or milk if you need to. Reserve about 1/3 of the frosting (this will be for the filling of the cupcakes). Add the raspberry puree to the remaining 2/3 of the frosting and stir to combine.

Using a small paring knife cut a small funnel shaped hole into the top of each cupcake. Remove the little cupcake filler and cut off the point so you just have a little cap that will fit back over the frosting. (This is all very confusing and I was too busy piping and frosting to take adequate pictures but Baking Bites has a great tutorial on filling cupcakes.) 

Fill a piping bag fitted with a small tip (or disposable zip top bag with the end snipped off) with lemon frosting. Fill each cupcake with frosting before replacing cupcake caps. 

Fill another piping bag (or another disposable bag) with the raspberry lemonade frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. 

Garnish with a fresh raspberry or lemon slice if you so desire. 

Can someone get me a straw?

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