Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mocha Almond Cuppycakes

So the other night, the boyfriend and I had a small dinner party. Being that I have been on a sort of cupcake roll lately, I decided to continue down that path and experiment with flavors a bit. Well experiment, I did, and the results were tremendous! The rich blend of chocolate and coffee was amazing, but the icing on the cake (pun intended) was the sweet frosting that just pulled it all together.

I am absolutely in love with almond flavoring, and have been ever since my cousin and I made nearly half a ton of these Italian cookies which feature it as the main ingredient. It is uh-may-zing. I kid you not. So anyway, because I'm obsessed with it, I try to use it whenever I can. This recipe seemed perfect.

Mocha almond cupcakes. How can I describe them? They taste SLIGHTLY coffee-ish, but mainly like very dark chocolate. Unless you know there's coffee in there to begin with, you probably won't be able to taste it, but what you WILL be able to taste is decadence.

1 cup + 2 tbsp white flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cold coffee (I used regular, but I may try hazelnut next time, and believe me- there WILL be a next time!

2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350'.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.

3. In a smaller bowl, combine baking soda, cocoa powder, flour, and salt.

4. Slowly begin to add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Alternately add coffee. Continue alternating dry ingredients and coffee until all ingredients are incorporated.

5. Pour batter into 18 prepared baking tins (sprayed and floured or lined).

6. Bake for about 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

7. While the cupcakes are baking, make your frosting.

8. With a hand mixer, combine the butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract.

9. Slowly add cocoa powder alternately with milk.

10. If the frosting is too thick, add more milk. If you accidentally thin it out too much, add a little more powdered sugar. It's not too difficult to whip up a batch of frosting, now is it?

11. Decorate with a piping bag or with a spoon. Garnish with almonds, if desired.

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