My own experience with the country club beverage set is limited to the Shirley Temple (my brother always got the Roy Rogers which actually had cola in it! No caffeine for my delicate female system, I guess. And if you don't think I'm actively plotting Shirley Temple and Roy Rogers cupcakes, then you've never met me. How cool would that be for a debutante party? Wait - I don't think there are any debutantes in Northern California. Curses! Well, cheerfully moving on...).
So why, you might ask, when I haven't a nodding acquaintance with golf and I've never even tasted an Arnold Palmer (beverage or otherwise - shudder -) - I don't even put sugar in my iced tea, much less lemonade - why would I make this into a cupcake? That's easy enough. I saw a recipe for a cake online. And it looked weird. So I kept looking. And every recipe I found just seemed a little...off. Because I am incapable of letting well enough alone, I decided to try my own hand at it - making an Arnold Palmer cupcake in my own way.
My own way starts off with a Ritz cracker crust (in my head I has always believed that those crackers were as southern as RC Cola, but nope - they were invented by a German man in Ohio. Good enough!), and then the cake has a subtle lemon-tea flavoring (by steeping the tea bags in the milk for the cake and then letting it cool before adding to the batter). The filling is a very mild black tea mousse which gives you a, "Hey! This tastes like tea!" moment. The frosting is a breath of fresh air - just a simple lemon cream cheese frosting. By the time you get there you're singing, "Hallelujah!" But in a restrained, country club way, of course. No pearl-clutching here..just absolute restraint decorum. And two cups of cream, several sticks of butter, and lots and lots of sugar. It's the good life!
Arnold Palmer Cupcakes~ Ritz Cracker Crust ~
1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
Grind the crackers to a fine consistency in the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar and blend. Add in the butter and combine until the mixture comes together.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 twelve-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Place about a tablespoons' worth of the cracker mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Using your (clean) fingers, press the mixture down to make an even layer on the bottom of each cupcake liner.
Bake a 350 for 10 minutes or until the crust is starting to brown (and watch this, because it can happen in a hurry!).
~ Lemon - Tea Cupcakes ~
1 cup milk
6 black tea bags (Lipton or similar is just fine)
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of two lemons
Juice of two lemons (about 1/3 cup)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Heat milk to just below boiling point (I just used my microwave but you can use your stovetop too). Add in teabags and let steep ten minutes. Remove tea bags and squeeze them over the milk to get every bit of tea out (yes, I know this all goes against every rule of tea-making but we are making cupcakes, people!). Let the milk cool before proceeding with the batter.
If you are a good person who follows directions, here is where you sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set this mixture aside.
Once the milk is cool, cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until the mixture is nice and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and mix well.
Okay, so here is where I poured my lemon juice and lemon zest into my tea-milk, knowing full well that it would curdle. And it curdled. So I beat the heck out of it with a whisk and then poured it into the batter. Once I mixed in the dry ingredients, it looked fine. OR, you can pour in the tea milk, mix that in well, add in the lemon juice and zest, and then mix in your dry ingredients until just combined. Whichever way you like. I seem to prefer heart attacks.
Spoon the batter into your crust-filled muffin tins, filling about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.
~ Black Tea Mousse ~
1 cup heavy cream
4 tea bags (Lipton is fine)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/3 cup boiling water
Heat heavy cream to just below boiling point. Add in the teabags; steep for about 10 minutes. Remove the teabags, squeezing over the cream to get every bit of tea, and then discard them. Chill the tea-cream mixture for at least an hour or until it is good and cold.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and allow it to soften. Add in the boiling water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved and the mixture is clear. Let cool slightly.
Beat the plan whipped cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks are starting to form. Add in the sugar and the tea-cream mixture and whip until combined and the mixture is stiff. Add in the gelatin and beat until blended.
To fill the cupcakes, cut out a cone-shaped portion out of the top of each cake. Slice off the excess cake from the cone (leaving the flat cap) and reserve the top. Fill the resulting hole with about a tablespoon of the tea mousse mixture (or however much you need). Replace the cap. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes, and then put in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill and set the filling.
|This is not very impressive because the filling is just about the same color as the cake! This guy isn't going to win any beauty contests. Still, have you seen your average golfer???|
~ Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting ~
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
Juice and zest of two lemons
1 teaspoon salt
4 - 6 cups powdered sugar
Mix cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and zest, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium until well-combined. Add in the powdered sugar gradually, and beat it in until it reaches the proper consistency (you will want it to be a stiffer consistency if you are planning to pipe it on rather than spread it on, for example).
Once you have in all the powdered sugar you need, frost the cupcakes by piping on the frosting or just spread it on with a knife. I further decorated mine by sprinkling on yellow and green edible glitter, because I could.
Makes 24 cupcakes. Fore!