Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Thank You in the Form of Cupcakes...Honey Green Tea Cupcakes

There are some days when I just feel like I need to go home and figuratively speaking, change into my happy pants.  Those days where I need a little me time at work; when the head phones go in to tune out the world around.  Crazy enough for me, for some strange reason, this involves rocking out to Chris Botti or Josh Groban louder then necessary.   Have I ever mentioned that they are who I listen to when I need to get serious work done?  I don't know what it is about them.  

So, with all of the distraction of the holidays, and with Christmas music blaring in every store, I am trying to get work done when its time to get work done, and enjoy the season the rest of the time.  

Its the time of year to add a little spice and peppermint to the mix.  To whip up a batch of cookies, muffins or cupcakes, and share them with those around.  Like these cupcake for instance that were inspired by a co-worker's love of honey and hot tea.  (I know, I know, I just mentioned spice and peppermint, neither of which reside in these cupcakes.  Trust though that there is a whole month ahead for these things.) These cupcakes are also a super belated thank you for her part in giving me the giant whisk that hangs on my office wall.  

These cupcakes turned out moist with just a hint of honey and green tea.  Next time, I will definitely pour just a bit more green tea on top before frosting them.  Then they are topped with frosting that has hints of honey and green tea that leave you wondering what the flavor is.  If you are a fan of honey and green tea, I would definitely give these a try.  Enjoy!

Perfect for this time of year.

Before you start measuring and mixing, make the super strong green tea.  We want this to get to room temperature before pouring over the cupcakes and mixing in with the frosting.

Fresh out of the oven, these cupcakes came out exactly the way I wanted them to.  Now time for the green tea.

Add little honey to the frosting and then some green tea.

Fluffy and light the way frosting should be.

Honey-Green Tea Cupcakes:  
*makes a dozen
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 sticks), softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup honey 
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup extra strong green tea at room temperature (keep remaining green tea for the frosting)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tin with liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. 

3.  Whisk eggs into creamed mixture, one at a time.  Then whisk in honey and vanilla until well combined.

4.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

5.  Add the flour and buttermilk to the sugar-butter mixture, alternating between flour and buttermilk, mixing between the addition of each.  Begin and end with flour.

6.  Using a cookie scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup, fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, approximately 3 scoops from a 1-inch cookie scoop.  Bake for 17-20 minutes or until golden and testers comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 2-3 minutes, then move to cooling rack.   Once you have removed the cupcakes from the pan, using a teaspoon, slowly spoon 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons of green tea over each cupcake.  Then allow cupcakes to finish cooling and prepare the frosting.

Honey-Green Tea Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
6 oz, 1/3-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons honey (I used Tupelo honey)
2 - 3 teaspoons strong green tea
2 -3 cups powdered sugar

1.  In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese.

2.  Mix in the honey and green tea until well combined.

3.  Starting on a lower speed, mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time until frosting had reached desired consistency.  It will be thick!  Frost cupcakes and Enjoy!

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