The 4th of July this year falls on a Wednesday, and if you’re really lucky — your boss gave you Thursday and Friday off as well! That’s time for a lot of parties + patriotism So here are our staff picks for how to enjoy a loooong 4th of July weekend.
Michele Towne – Owner/Publisher
Peaches are fresh so its the perfect time for a frosty Peach Freeze on a hot day. Get your blender out and invite your girlfriends over. YUMMY!!!
Kim Meyer-Webb – Editor
Ferrell Bonner – Art Director
I wear Urban Decay Heavy Metal eyeliner in “Glamrock” to add a little festive sparkle to my outfit. Also, it matches the evening fireworks.
Christie Kratz – Creative Director
This holiday weekend I’ll be making margarita cupcakes. They are always a hit and I’m told that I don’t make them often enough!
For the Cupcakes
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1½ limes, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
To Brush the Cupcakes
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila
For the Tequila-Lime Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt
- Make the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
- Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together!)
- Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until the cupcakes are light golden brown on top and a skewer inserted in the center has moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
- Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
- Make the Frosting: Whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Increase speed to medium and mix for 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt, and beat on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.
- If you don’t want to use liquor in these cupcakes, you can just leave it out of both the cupcakes and the frosting mix with no problem. If you do omit it, I would add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to the frosting.
- You can use whatever tequila brand you keep on hand but you will want to use white or silver tequila, not gold.
- If you’re running short on tequila or lime juice, margarita mix can be supplemented in a pinch – just check the sugar content of your mix or the cupcakes can get a little too sweet.
Shelly Chapel – Sales Executive
If you need a little something extra in your lemonade, here’s a cool summer cocktail recipe. It’s great for a cookout or for sipping by the pool.
4 cups prepared lemonade, chilled
1/3 cup citrus vodka
1 cup raspberries, frozen
2 sprigs fresh mint
1 bottle prosecco, chilled
In a gallon pitcher, combine the lemonade and vodka together. Stir in the frozen raspberries, mint and prosecco. Serve over ice and refrigerate leftovers.