Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

As the summer closes on us once again, it is time for that age old tradition: Company Picnics. Ours is tomorrow, and I was asked to bring some dessert. Since another woman was already bringing brownies and cookies, I decided to bring mini cupcakes.

I wanted one alcoholic cupcake and one summery, non-alcoholic cupcake. That’s where the key lime pie cupcake comes in.
As I previously have mentioned, I just got back from a cruise. One of the stops was Key West, where I had the best frozen, chocolate covered, key lime pie. TO. DIE. FOR. If you are ever in Key West, you have to go to Kermits and get the chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick. Yum.

Anyway, since then I have been craving more! More key lime please! Since I had a bottle of the juice in my fridge, this picnic was as good a time as any to break it out and make it into a baked good, but a cupcake instead of a pie. I used Vanilla and Garlic’s recipe for the graham cracker base, but since the cupcakes will be out at the picnic, I couldn’t use whipped cream. For the filling/topping I turned to a Betty Crocker recipe. I didn’t like how they sweetened the pudding topping though. Isn’t powdered sugar in pudding really just overkill? The reviewers of the recipe seemed to agree that this was the weak point. So, as I always do, I changed the recipe, yet again. I switched the cream to milk and added a little extra key lime juice and left out the sugar all together. Perfect. Tangy and sweet without the overkill. Once refrigerated it was solid enough to be the topping (note, on full size cupcakes it would make a great filling, but then put the food coloring in the frosting). I added an extra tablespoon or so of juice to the frosting and was ready to assemble.
As you can see in the pictures, it took me a while to get a handle on the decorating. Eventually I got it and they looked good. And boy did they taste good too! Like a key lime pie (but with more of a focus on the crust). They aren’t nearly as messy to eat as you would think. The pudding really is solid enough to stay still (just don’t put a large glob on; use a bag to create a thin layer over the entire top). They get the Amy seal of approval and will be making their appearance at the picnic tomorrow.
Notes for next time: If not trying to make for 40 people, make full sized cupcakes and use the pudding as filling, putting the food coloring in the frosting instead. Make very very tiny holes on the Ziplocs for piping. The pudding kind of just blobs out if you can’t control the pressure, so keep the hole tiny. I learned this lesson for the frosting which made it really easy. The pudding and the frosting made plenty extra, and will likely be enough for a second batch of cupcakes.
Mini Key Lime Pie Cupcakes
Topping
1 box (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup Key lime juice
4 drops green food color
In large bowl, beat pudding mix and milk with wire whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 3 minutes. Beat in Key lime juice and the food color. Pour into a Ziploc and refrigerate.

Graham Cupcakes
350 F oven
What You’ll Need...
1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
What You’ll Do...
1) Beat the butter for about 30 seconds until well creamed. Add the sugar and mix for 3 minutes using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
2) Add the eggs, one at a time, being sure to beat for 30 seconds for each egg.
3) Place graham crackers in a food processor or in a plastic bag and beat the crud out of them until it's been ground into small crumbs and powder.
4) Sift together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and powder, and salt. Add about 1/4 of the mixture to the butter mixture, then add some of the milk. Continue to add the ingredients in a dry-wet-dry method, ending with the dry. Continue to mix until just combined.
5) Scoop into mini cupcake papers and bake for 10-12 minutes in a 350 F oven or until a cake tester comes out clean

Frosting
1 container Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
2 tablespoons Key lime or regular lime juice
½-1 teaspoon grated Key lime or regular lime peel
Stir frosting in container 20 times. Gently stir in Key lime juice and the lime peel. Spoon frosting into Ziploc bag.

Assembly:
Cut tiny wholes in both ziploc bags. Swirl a thin layer of topping on top of each cupcake. Squeeze a little frosting from bag onto topping. Garnish with fresh lime wedge, if desired. Store in refrigerator.

1 comment:

marye said...

OMG! Those are great!