Friday, October 28, 2011

Maple Bacon Bourbon Cupcakes

One of my favorite things to make are boozy cupcakes on the theory that if cupcakes are good, booze makes them better! I often take baked goods in to work...needless to say my colleagues love when I do this. My latest experiment was Maple Bourbon Bacon Cupcakes (try to say that ten times fast). Since this was my very first experimental batch, my coworkers...and a band called the Devin Townsend Project, ended up being my guinea pigs! Some were a little apprehensive at first, because who would think bacon and cupcakes go together (come on, bacon is good with anything). In the end everyone loved them...including the Devin Townsend Project and their crew!

Maple Bourbon Bacon Cupcakes!

Cupcake Recipe:
2 ½ cups all-purpose floour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoons ground ginger
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
½ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups real maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ lbs crumbled cooked bacon (this is for the topping)

Cupcake directions:
Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Beat softened butter, bacon drippings, and brown sugar with mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Set aside.
In another bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Stir flour mixture and buttermilk gradually into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Fill lined muffin cups and bake 20-24 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely before icing.
*note – if you do not want to use bacon drippings in the cupcakes you can sub the 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings for 1 tablespoon of butter.
Maple- Bourbon icing ingredients :
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cups dark-brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup real maple syrup
¼ cup bourbon ( I use Jim Beam Black)
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups powdered sugar

Maple- Bourbon icing directions:
Using an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt until light and fluffy, this should take 3-5 minutes. Continue beating and add the maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until fluffy. Chill icing 1 hour before using. If the mixture is a little runny add more powdered sugar until consistency is right.
Frost the cupcakes when they are fully cooled and top with crumbled bacon.
If you want to make these cupcakes for kids or for your straight-edge friends omit the bourbon and use ¾ cup maple syrup instead of ½ cup

Cooking bacon in the oven:
I cook my bacon in the oven using a cookie sheet covered in foil. Put the bacon strips on the covered cookie sheet and put in the oven. Turn the oven on to 350 (do not preheat to cook the bacon) and cook for 15-20. Make sure to keep an eye on the bacon while cooking so it does not burn. When crisp take out the bacon and put bacon on a plate lined with paper towels, blot excess grease from cooked bacon. Reserve 1 Tablespoon of bacon drippings and set aside, this should be easy to do if you line the cookie sheet with foil. Crumble bacon when cool.
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