A Little Midwinter Reprieve–Recipe: Taco Cupcakes

As Winter barrels on, sometimes it can feel unrelenting, and…well, cold! Every now and then, it becomes necessary to bring a little summer fun to the depths of your snow-filled wilderness. This idea came to us, and it was immediately put into motion; Taco Cupcakes! Not only do the fresh veggies and sour cream bring to mind the warmer days of summer, but the new and unique delivery system was simple, and fun. While our home-grown reserves have been severely depleted by the winter, we were still able to find everything we needed from the local co-op (most of it was organic, too!).

Here’s the recipe that we used:

Taco Cupcakes

Taco Cupcakes

Makes 24 ‘cupcakes’

1 lb ground beef
1 can refried beans
12 small corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

For garnishing:
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 medium tomato, diced
lettuce shreds
sour cream

Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a medium skillet, thoroughly cook the ground beef. Set aside.
Grease 2 (12 muffin capacity) muffin tins.

Cut the corn tortillas into fourths (like a clock: 12 to 6, and 9 to 3). Push one triangle into the bottom of each muffin cup. This will take some scrunching; let the corners fold up the side of the cup, this will help keep some of the ingredients in after baking.

  1. Fill each cup with about a tablespoon or two of ground beef.
  2. Place another tortilla triangle over the ground beef. Then, place a tablespoon or two of refried beans.
  3. Bake these layers for 15-20 minutes. You want the edges of the tortilla to be slightly browned, and fairly crispy. This will help hold the ‘cupcake’ together.
  4. When you have achieved a pretty crispy cupcake, evenly sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top of each cupcake, and place back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. You want the cheese just melted.
  5. After removing from the oven, top with your favorite garnishes! We found that sour cream was necessary, not only to keep the garnishes on top of the cupcake, but also for the overall texture.Other garnishes could include avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro, guacamole, or salsa.

These will be a little messy. So let your mind travel back to the barbecues of summer, where napkins were necessary, and smiles were plentiful. Travel to the tastes of summer. Enjoy with a cool glass of lemonade (or maybe a margarita?) and stave off cabin fever for a few glorious moments!