Looking for a fabulous dessert or coffee break treat that the whole family will love? This Easter, be the hostess with the mostess and serve these scrumptious Almond Cupcakes, courtesy of my friends at Almond Breeze.
With a peek-a-boo filling and gorgeous sugar-coated almonds as garnish, they’re almost too pretty to eat! (I did say almost…)
Making sugar-coated almonds is a breeze (no pun intended). In an ungreased baking pan, roast 2 cups sliced almonds at 375°F for 10 minutes, turning pan and stirring halfway through baking time. Then, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a large pan; add almonds and stir. Sugar will crystallize – don’t panic! – keep stirring and it will start to caramelize.
Remove from heat and spread almonds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When cool and dry, break up and sprinkle on top of cupcakes. Store any extra almonds in an airtight container. They are great for snacking, in popcorn or as a topping for ice cream.
As for the cupcakes? The recipe follows. And here’s a tip – they go great with a tall, cold glass of Almond Breeze.
3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Almond Breeze Vanilla
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar, divided
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup prepared almond paste, divided by teaspoonfuls and rolled into balls
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt on a sheet of parchment paper. In a small bowl or measuring glass, combine almond beverage, vanilla and almond extract. In a large bowl beat butter until creamy (can use a hand mixer if desired). Add 1 cup sugar and beat quickly until fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the Almond Breeze Vanilla mixture and mixing slowly after each addition.
In another large bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, mixing with a hand mixer at a high speed, until peaks are stiff but not dry. Use a rubber spatula to fold 1/4 of the egg whites into cake mixture in the large bowl. Then fold in the remaining egg white mixture until batter is well combined.
Fill each cupcake liner halfway with batter and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and lightly place prepared almond paste (teaspoonfuls rolled into balls) atop each cupcake, centered. Top with batter so the liner is 2/3-3/4 full. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and move to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost if desired and top with sugar-coated almonds. Yields: 24 Servings.