Teacher Appreciation Cupcakes

Last year I made cupcakes (that cake in cupcake form…delicious) for teacher appreciation week at Hadley’s preschool.  It was a huge success!  This year I got a call from another parent saying that some teachers requested I make cupcakes again for teacher appreciation week.  Wow!  I am honored and excited.  I had no idea what cupcakes to make so I went to Facebook and Pinterest.  Now when I bake something for someone, something special, I don’t really like doing something normal.  Like I didn’t want to do vanilla cupcakes and vanilla icing, yellow cake and chocolate icing, ya know the everyday but still delicious kind of stuff.  I wanted to make something different.  Facebook friends gave me some good ideas, lots of berries and lemons suggested.  At first I thought I was going to make raspberry lemon cupcakes with possibly a Chambord frosting.  Cooking with alcohol always takes it to a new, fun level.  Then I came across Bakers Royale‘s website.  Ohmygoodness!  Now I have seen her site before but I GUESS I never paid much attention to it.  My huge mistake.  I would like to make everything from her website.  I decided to start with her blackberry cabernet cupcakes.  Ohmygoodness.  Again.  Fancy! Right?  Well, I was really nervous about making them because I didn’t have time to bake them before hand and try them out- trial run.  I just went for it.  Which isn’t abnormal for me but for something this big (a group of people requesting my cupcakes!  Hadley’s teachers now and hopefully her future teachers, teachers who have known her since she was 2 months old, teachers who have known Noah his whole life, important people).  Well anyways, let’s just get to the recipe.

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Blackberry Cabernet Cupcakes

recipe from Bakers Royale

Macerated Berry Mixture

3 cups blackberries

1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

1 tablespoon sugar

Cupcakes

1 cup flour

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup blackberry mixture

Blackberry Cabernet Frosting

5 large egg whites

1 1/2 cup sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened and diced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup blackberry mixture (strained)

Place the blackberries, Cabernet, 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl and stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  After refrigeration place mixture in a food processor/blender and puree.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the cupcakes add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix to combine.  In a stand mixer add the butter, eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute.  Add the flour mixture and beat until combined.  Next add the blackberry mixture.*  Divide evenly the batter into a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  Bake for 18-22 minutes or just until a toothpick is inserted into a few of the cupcakes and comes out clean.  Set the pan on a rack to cool.

To make the icing combine the egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmer water.  Bring the mixture to 150 degrees white stirring frequently.  Transfer mixture to a stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume (about 10 minutes).  Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition.  The mixture may appear clumpy but this is normal.  Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.  Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine.  I strained the blackberry mixture for the icing.  Put the blackberry mixture into a cheesecloth of fine meshed strainer.  Push out the mixture with a spatula.  Add half a cup of that mixture to the icing and mix until combined.  Frost cupcakes.  (This icing is possibly the BEST most AMAZING icing I have ever had!  I personally like the butter based buttercreams more than the powdered sugar kind).

Take the rest of the strained blackberry mixture to a small pan and simmer until reduced down and thickened a little bit.  Cool.  Once cooled drizzle onto cupcakes.  Top with a blackberry.

* I didn’t strain the blackberry mixture until after I baked the cupcakes.  I liked having the seeds in the cupcakes but it does make the cupcakes a little textured.  You could strain the blackberry mixture before you add it to the cupcake batter if you don’t want the seeds in the cupcakes.

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Ohmygoodness deliciousness! Go make these!  Eat the extra icing with a spoon!

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