Lemon Drop Cupcakes
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3 eggs
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur) or milk
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
- 1 recipe Lemon Frosting
- 1/2 cup lemon drop candies, finely crushed, or Glazed Lemon Slices
1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine milk and limoncello; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and lemon peel; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
4. Bake about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
5. Up to 1 hour before serving, generously spread or pipe Lemon Frosting on each cupcake. Place crushed candies on a plate. Roll the edges of the cupcakes in crushed candies to coat. Or top cupcakes with a Glazed Lemon Slice. Makes 20 (2-1/2 inch) cupcakes.
Lemon Frosting: Allow 1/3 cup butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, 1/3 cup shortening, and 1 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Gradually beat in 2 cups additional powdered sugar. Beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting reaches a spreading consistency. Makes about 2-1/3 cups frosting.
Glazed Lemon Slices: Slice 2 small lemons into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Remove seeds. Roll slices in sugar to coat well. Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer in skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until sugar dissolves and lemon slices appear glazed (do not let brown). Transfer to a piece of foil; cool completely. Roll cooled slices in sugar again before using.
Make-Ahead Directions: Store unfrosted cupcakes in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or store unfrosted cupcakes in a single layer in an airtight freezer container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw cupcakes at room temperature before frosting.