Ingredients (Makes 12 cupcakes):
NOTE: if you're an impulsive baker like I am, then you'll appreciate being told up front that the strawberries are supposed to soak up the tequila for about 2 hours BEFORE you're 2 shots deep and covered in flour. So go do that first!
**3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries (Ms. Farrow calls for 1/2 cup dried strawberries, which are then soaked in tequila...sounds like a great idea but I had JUST bought some gorgeous strawberries at the farmer's market, so I wanted to use those).
**6 Tablespoons tequila
**1/2 cup butter, softened
**heaping 1/2 cup sugar
**zest and juice of 1 lime
**1 and 1/4 cups flour (the recipe calls for self-rising, but who has that sitting in their pantry?? Not I. This very handy substitution chart says that's ok, just add (extra, as directed) baking powder and salt!
**1 and 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
**1/4 teaspoon salt (I actually think 1/2 teaspoon might have been even better, to have a little more salty/sweet yin and yang, and be more true to the drink...)
And to top them off:
**1/3 cup sugar
**2/3 cup heavy cream
**1/2 teaspoon vanilla
**12 fresh strawberries
**and I used hot pink sanding/sparkling sugar for the "rims"
(1) You soaked your strawberries in the tequila already, right?? I put them in some tupperware and stuck them in the fridge, then took my dog for a walk because, remember, I already started on the tequila so I wasn't driving anywhere! And I probably only soaked them for about an hour, rather than the recommended two hours, because I was impatient to see how these cupcakes would turn out.
(2) Preheat your oven to 350.
(3) Drain the strawberries, reserving the berry-infused tequila.
(4) In a med-large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the lime zest, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat for about a minute, then stir in the strawberries.
(5) Divide evenly among 12 paper-lined cups in a cupcake/muffin pan. I use Ellen's ice cream scoop trick. They will look a little full - don't worry about it.
(6) Bake for about 20 minutes, or until risen and firm to the touch. They won't dome up like some cupcakes will, but they will rise a little. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. NOTE: At this point you're going to notice drops of melted butter left behind in the bottom of your cupcake pan, and the cupcake papers will look greasy on the bottom. Just go with it. I wasn't thrilled at first, but as they cool, the cupcakes do resorb much of that butter and they are delicious. Just very "wet" - you want to eat these the same day you make them, possibly the next day if you store them un-frosted.
(7) Remember that leftover strawberry-infused tequila and lime juice? Pierce the cooling cupcakes several times with a skewer and using a marinade brush (be careful not to make the cupcakes soggy!) drizzle with the tequila-lime mixture. Drink the leftovers.
Once you're ready to frost the completely cooled cupcakes: Mix up your whipped cream frosting (the sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream) on progressively higher speed until it starts to hold its shape ("soft peaks"). Put that in the fridge so it stays cold while you sugar the rims.
Ms. Farrow suggests brushing the outside rims with lime juice, but I found it wasn't sticky enough, and hard to control. I used honey and was able to "draw" a thin line around the rims. I poured the hot pink sparkling sugar into a saucer, then rolled the rims in it.
After that's done, you can either pipe or use a spatula to swirl the whipped cream frosting onto the cupcakes, being careful not to disturb the sugared rims.
Top each cupcake with a beautiful fresh strawberry, and enjoy.
By the way, I have to seize this opportunity to brag about my new cupcake carrier. It's made by Martha Stewart, very sturdy, has multiple snap together functions for carrying 12 or 24 cupcakes, or one or two sheet cakes, brownies, etc. I was able to tote these cupcakes to a friends' BBQ -- WITH strawberries on top. I just love Martha!