By Kelli Bamforth
My lasagna cupcakes were such a hit with my dining companions that I just had to try another cupcake meal.
Despite the several tantalizing options for main course muffins or cupcakes on EmilyBites.com, I knew my next venture would be her taco cupcakes.
First of all, who doesn’t love tacos? And secondly, taco cupcakes provide a natural solution to the messiness that always accompanies taco night. Who hasn’t experienced the annoyance of having the inside of your taco slide off onto the plate – making that last bite nothing but dry taco shell?
Having already made a similar dish, I knew what to expect when handling the delicate wonton wrappers and making sure the ingredients were divided evenly among each cupcake. As a result, I significantly cut down on my prep time, which is always an added bonus for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too many of their precious after-work hours toiling away in the kitchen.
I really love the flavors in these cupcakes, especially the nice heat added by the chili oil and the “gooeyness” of the queso dip. I served them with Spanish rice for an easy side dish. (And, I ate them as you would regular cupcakes – with my hands!)
Taco Cupcakes (makes eight cupcakes)
1 ½ tsp chili oil (found near the Asian ingredients)
½ lb 95 percent lean ground beef (I used extra-lean ground turkey breast)
1 tbsp taco seasoning
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
16 wonton wrappers (usually found in the produce department)
6 tbsp queso dip or salsa con queso
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese (I used Weight Watchers brand)
Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly mist eight cups in a standard 12-muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Heat chili oil in a sauté pan or large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef and taco seasoning and brown the beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Add black beans and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until warm.
Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the eight sprayed cups in the muffin tin. Spoon a teaspoon of queso dip into each wonton wrapper and spread across the bottom. Follow by spooning some of the meat/beans mixture into each cup (using about half the total mixture) and then splitting 1/2 cup of the salsa evenly into each cup. Sprinkle about half the shredded Mexican cheese evenly over the top. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool five minutes before removing from muffin tin.