Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Everything is better with BACON!

We caught a few episodes of "Cupcake Wars" where some of the bakers incorporated bacon into cupcakes. I did a few Google searches and found an amazing recipe for Maple Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Frosting and I knew I had to try them.
I just want to reinstate that everything is better with bacon.

Maple Bacon Cupcakes:
4 1/2 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1/2 tablespoon of bacon drippings (left in the fridge to become solid)
1 egg
5 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of minced bacon, cooked and drained

1. Fry up about 6 thick strips of bacon. Reserve the drippings and place in the fridge to solidify. Chop 1/4 a cup of the bacon. Anything you have leftover, you can save and use a decoration on top of the cupcakes.
2. In a mixer, beat the butter and solidified bacon fat until light and creamy. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and beat well until combined. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda and powder together.
4. Now you will alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk into the mixing bowl. Always start with dry and end with dry.
5. Gently fold the chopped bacon into the batter.
6. Scoop the batter into the cupcake tray and bake at 350 degrees (F) for 15 minutes.

Maple Syrup Frosting:
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 cup of powdered sugar
turbinado sugar (optional, but recommended)
coarse grain sea salt (optional, but recommended)
chopped leftover bacon from the cupcakes (optional, but recommended)

1. Beat the maple syrup and butter together until combined.
2. Gradually add the powdered sugar at a low speed (to ensure that it doesn't fly out of the bowl and into your face) and be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the sugar incorporated.
3. Do a taste test to make sure that you can taste the maple syrup, but that it is not too sweet.
4. Frost your cupcakes once they are cooled.
5. Sprinkle the frosting with a little sugar, salt, and bacon for decoration and extra flavor.
6. Enjoy! It's like breakfast in a cupcake!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My favorite chocolate cupcake recipe ever.

Earlier this year, I ran across this amazing (complete understatement) recipe for what the website called "Guinness Gasm" cupcakes. I made them for St. Patty's Day and my life has been a million times better ever since. The recipe, essentially, is a chocolate cake with a buttercream frosting, but the kick is that the cake has Guinness Stout in it and the frosting they use has Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor in it so it is like an Irish Car Bomb in cupcake form! To be honest, this is my "go-to" chocolate cake because it's delectable! I am going to put the recipe on here for you all, but I highly suggest going to the website itself and reading their recipe because whoever wrote it has an incredible sense of humor.
Cupcakes (makes 24):
1 cup Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake trays. You can make normal or mini-sized cupcakes.
2. Chop the butter into squares, doesn't have to be perfect it just helps it melt faster, and throw them into a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the Guinness and let it come to a simmer (this helps cook off the alcohol, but not the stout flavor).
3. As the butter and beer are simmering, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
4. After the butter and Guinness have simmered, remove from heat and add the cocoa powder. Let this cool for a minute.
5. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream together with an electric mixer until smooth. Combine this mixture with the cooled butter and Guinness concoction.
6. Combine the creamy chocolate Guinness goodness into the bowl of dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt) you have set aside. Gently stir until all is combined.
7. Fill your cupcake trays, each cup should be 3/4 of the way full.
8. Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes.
9. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting them!

3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup room-temperature, unsalted butter
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

1. Put the butter in a bowl (or your electric mixer) and beat it until it's some sort of fluffy.
2. Mix in the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time.
3. Finally, add in the Bailey's one tablespoon at a time until it has enough flavor for you.
4. Frost your delectable chocolate cupcakes once they are cooled.

You can also use a simple buttercreme frosting if you aren't a big drinker (which basically means, replace the Bailey's with 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract).

These cupcakes are always a big hit, so if you are making them for a party, make a lot. :)