Horchata Cupcakes & Horchata Cream Cheese Frosting

Full disclosure, I have not actually had a chance to try these fabulous sounding cupcakes and cream cheese frosting, but I am always a fan of made from scratch baking.  This recipe will certainly be taste tested this summer at some point when I have a dessert to bring for a picnic!

Horchata is a traditional Mexican drink made from rice, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.  One of the most popular brands of horchata liquor is RumChata. RumChata is produced in Wisconsin, so I’m not sure if it is popular in my area simply because it is made in a neighboring state and therefore is fairly local or if it is gaining popularity in other regions as well.  To me, it tastes an awful lot like the milk leftover after eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I have heard many others describe it in a similar fashion.  So chances are if you like that creamy, cinnamon milk, you will like horchata.

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Horchata Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter (1 stick, at room temperature)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup horchata

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 egg whites

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees

* Combine sugar & butter and beat until fluffy

* Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

* Mix the horchata and vanilla together.  Set aside.

* Alternating, add in the flour mixture and horchata mixture into the butter and sugar.  Start and end with the flour mixture.

* In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  This will be easiest in an electric mixer.

* Fold egg whites into the batter.  Do not do this with an electric mixer, use a spatula.

* Fill cupcake liners.

* Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Horchata Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces cream cheese (1 1/2 packages, at room temperature)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick, at room temperature)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

5 tablespoons of horchata

1 two pound package of confectioners sugar

* Combine butter and cream cheese until smooth

* Add vanilla

* Slowly add confectioners sugar

* Mix in the horchata

* Frost cool cupcakes

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Horchata French Toast

Who doesn’t love french toast on a lovely weekend morning?  I always enjoy a bit of cinnamon in my french toast so I was immediately on board with a recipe that involved horchata!

Horchata is a traditional Mexican drink made from rice, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.  One of the most popular brands of horchata liquor is RumChata. RumChata is produced in Wisconsin, so I’m not sure if it is popular in my area simply because it is made in a neighboring state and therefore is fairly local or if it is gaining popularity in other regions as well.  To me, it tastes an awful lot like the milk leftover after eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I have heard many others describe it in a similar fashion.  So chances are if you like that creamy, cinnamon milk, you will like horchata.

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Horchata French Toast

6 eggs

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup horchata

1 teaspoon cinnamon

10 slices of bread

butter

maple syrup

powdered sugar

* Heat frying pan on medium to medium-high head

* Beat together the eggs, milk, horchata and cinnamon

* Dip each slice of bread in the mixture and cook in the frying pan until golden

* Flip and cook on the other side

* Serve with butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar

Brewery Tours

When I first started this blog, I made a few goals for myself.  One of the goals I set was to travel to a new winery, brewery or distillery every month. I enlisted the help of my brother, asking him if he would be willing to spend his much coveted weekends with me on the pursuit of good, local beer. (And by local, I mean anything in Iowa or a connecting state!) Thankfully, he is willing to make the sacrifice and we have planned an outing this weekend to two breweries and a distillery in Wisconsin.

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My brother and I had plans to go to New Glarus Brewery on the last weekend in April, so when a group of guests that I was working with at the winery last weekend started talking about New Glarus, I asked if they had any advice.  They were a wealth of knowledge about other places to visit and quickly our trip to one brewery turned into a day including two breweries, a distillery and a tavern/cheese shop.  I could not be more excited!  (And I’m thinking I should win some sort of ‘Sister of the Year’ award for this deal.)

Maybe it is the teacher in me, so used to planning field trips and preparing for the unexpected, but I always feel the need to research where we are going ahead of time to have an idea of what to expect.  That night after work I went home and looked up Minhas Brewery, Minhas Distillery and Baumgartener’s Cheese Shop and Tavern.  I will give a full report on the beers and spirits after visiting, but I wanted to share a few of the things I am excited about before the visit to see if they live up to my expectations.

New Glarus Brewery

Spotted Cow at the New Glarus Brewery is by far their most popular brew in the area, but I look forward to trying the other types of beer they produce.  There are six beers available year round, seasonal beers to compliment the time of year and they always have a few surprises up their sleeves to keep things interesting.  I am most curious about their Thumbprint Series, in which they let their brewmaster loose to create whatever his adventurous heart desires.

Minhas Brewery

The tour at Minhas Brewery looks fantastic! After touring the facilities, you can hang out in their Lazy Mutt Lounge and enjoy bottomless beer samples of their brews.  Considering the crowd that may be joining my brother and I, Minhas may want to rethink this policy before the weekend.  They also send you off with a “Thank You” pack full of bottles of their beer, root beer and a souvenir glass. For the mere $10 you spend on the tour, I think that is quite the deal!

Minhas Distillery

Located conveniently across the street from the brewery, the Minhas Distillery also provides a tour of their facilities.  Their spirits selection includes gin, three types of rum, rye whisky, tequila, vodka and irish cream.  What I am most looking forward to, though, is their horchata rum.  I did not find any information about it online, but the couple I spoke with at the winery said it was fabulous and leaps and bounds above RumChata, which has become popular in this area.

Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern

You can not visit Wisconsin without stopping for cheese!  Thankfully I got the inside scoop about a fabulous little cheese store and tavern a block away from the distillery called Baumgartner’s.  Apparently they have the second best chili (only after your mother’s) and a cheese sandwich that is a must try item.  They feature locally brewed beers on tap to compliment their food.  What can be better than a quaint, local tavern after a day of tasting locally brewed beers and spirits?  I can’t think of anything, either.

Needless to say, I am counting down the days to the weekend!