Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Luscious Lemon

I recently bought my first bottle of Limoncello Italian liqueur for use in a rather complicated recipe that required its lemon influence. Because I was anxious to try the liqueur immediately, I created a simpler recipe in time for my husband's birthday, several days later. It's loosely based on a recipe for Orange Twist Bread that I baked for a commercial client for nearly three years.

If you love lemon flavor, try Drunken Lemon Cupcakes - and sip some chilled Limoncello on the side. It's a fresh and refreshing treat on a hot summer day.

Cake batter

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream (may substitute plain yogurt)
1 jigger of Limoncello
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
grated rind of one lemon

cupcake papers


2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 jigger of Limoncello
1-2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake papers in 15-18 sections of cupcake pans, depending on how large you want your cupcakes. Squeeze juice from lemon and then place rind into a food processor, chopping into fine pieces. Set aside 1-2 tablespoons. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and stir until well combined. Add sour cream, Limoncello, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour and combine well. Stir in remaining lemon peel. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting: Cream together butter, cream cheese, and confectioner's sugar, add Limoncello and stir until thick and smooth. Stir in lemon peel and frost cupcakes.

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