Today, I thought I'd share a recipe I created for Valentine's Day - Kahlua Kiss Cupcakes. Chocolate and Kahlua are my absolute favorite dessert pairing, and the darker the chocolate, the better. I use my favorite dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses, but you can use whatever flavor you want; the mint ones work well, too. This would qualify as semi-homemade, since all of my cupcake recipes start with a cake mix.
Kahlua Kiss Cupcakes
1 box Devil's Food cake mix
24 unwrapped dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses
1/4 cup Kahlua
Kahlua Buttercream Icing
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick Crisco, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 T. milk
2 T. Kahlua
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Prepare cake batter according to package directions, replacing 1/4 cup of water with 1/4 cup Kahlua. Fill muffin tins about one-third full and set unused batter aside. Bake for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and place a kiss in the center of each cup - batter should be just firm enough to support it without the kiss sinking to the bottom. Use remaining batter to fill muffin cups to about two-thirds full. Bake another 10-15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Makes about 24 cupcakes.
For the Kahlua Buttercream Icing, use an electric mixer to beat butter and Crisco together until blended. Gradually add in powdered sugar, milk, Kahlua and vanilla, beating until smooth. Adjust powdered sugar and milk amounts until icing has the proper consistency - you want it thick enough to hold its shape without running down the sides of the cupcake. For a fancy presentation, drizzle with a little chocolate syrup and sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings.