Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes

It’s no secret that bacon is popping up in just about every recipe lately.  Just take a look at Pinterest and you’ll see everything from bacon cookies, bacon corn bread, and bacon pancakes.  So it only seemed natural to follow the trend and put bacon in a cupcake.  Because everyone likes bacon, right?  And everyone likes chocolate!  They’re a prefect salty/sweet combination.Bacon

For Cupcakes

Makes about 18 cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I’ve done them with plain skim milk and have been fine)
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 6-8 strips of bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven o 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, bacon grease, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  4. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed (it will be very liquidy but trust me, this is how it’s supposed to be).
  5. Fold in crumbled bacon, reserving about 2-3 tbsp. of bacon for sprinkling on top if desired.
  6. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

For Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  1. Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time scraping the sides of the bowl down as you go.
  3. Mix in milk 1 Tbsp. at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy.  If it is too hard you can add in a bit more milk.
  4. Add in cocoa and mix to combine.

Bacon

I know they sound like a weird combination, especially with the bacon grease in the batter, but trust me, the bacon and the chocolate works!  It’s salty and sweet like a chocolate covered pretzel.  In fact, I feel like I could have added in a little more bacon to the batter to give it more of a salty taste.  They were definitely more of a novelty kind of cupcake that some people were a little nervous to try but if you can get people to try them it’s definitely worth it!  They’ll be impressed!

Advertisements

Biggest Baking Adventure Yet

Back at it after some WordPress problems that have kept me quite delayed.  And first up now that I’m back up online is the long over due post of my biggest baking adventure to date.  IMG_1396

When I was asked to make birthday cupcakes for a 40th birthday celebration, I’m not sure I realized what an adventure it would be.  I was thinking maybe two dozen each of two different flavors like chocolate and vanilla.  When I got to talking to the hostess she said there would be about 75 people at the party…wow, I knew this would be the biggest haul of cupcakes yet.  And then once we ironed down flavors, I realized that it was going to be a little more complicated than I thought.

The hostess decided on a few flavors, some of which I had made before and some of which I hadn’t.  Cookie dough, Hostess, and red velvet I had made before and peanut butter and white chocolate were completely new for me.  And even thought these weren’t particularly tough recipes, I didn’t realize what making nine…that’s right nine dozen cupcakes was going to entail.

Cupcakes 4It look three days and possibly some tears and meltdowns.  Because I’m never overly dramatic or anything (sense my completely sarcastic tone), I definitely didn’t flop down in my bed and cry to Boy Cupcake that I wasn’t going to finish them.  Our conversation may have looked something like this:

Me: “I can’t do it.  Whaaaaa”

Boy Cupcake: “What are you going to do, give them a hundred unfrosted cupcakes?”

Me: “Yes.  Whaaaaa”

Boy Cupcake: “You have to finish them so get up and I’ll get you more ingredients for the frosting you messed up.”

Me: “Fine.  Humph.”

See?  Not overly dramatic at all.  But in the end it was totally worth it all and our hostess was so extremely grateful and I was happy to make her happy.  Besides, then I got to listen to her praise my cupcakes to other people at the party which I definitely don’t hate.

 

Facebook is Cray!

Today has some craziness of some random Facebook page taking photos from my blog and posting them as their own.  She was posting the pictures as if she had made them but apparently hadn’t cooked/baked any of the recipes she had tried.  Why would someone want to take random recipes if the person posting doesn’t know if they’re good or not.  She was also claiming that she could say that I stole the pictures on my blog from her.  I’m pretty sure the dates on my computer from when I saved them and the fact that I have tons of other pictures of the same cupcakes not posted would say otherwise.  People are ridiculous.

Anyway, I’ve decided to create my own Facebook page.  Like me here!

Lucky Charms Cupcakes: They’re Magically Delicious

Seriously, it’s been over three months since I’ve posted?  That’s horrid.

And I have so much to update, especially my giant baking project in January but that’s for another time.  I have to start with the most recent.

IMG_1481[1]

As we all know, this past weekend was St. Patrick’s Day and I like to believe that no one celebrates it better than we do in Boston.  My wonderful friend Nip lives on the parade route so the whole weekend is a party at her place.  I’ve done a few St. Patrick’s cupcakes like car bomb and green velvet but I wanted something new this year.  What better than Lucky Charms cupcakes?  They’re Irish, right?  I forgot how much I liked Lucky Charms when I started making these.  I’m not usually into sugary cereal but there’s something about this one.

For Cupcakes

[Inspired by The Cupcake Project]

Makes 36 mini cupcakes

For the crust:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups crushed Lucky Charms
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 FIMG_1484[1]
  2. In a small bowl, mix together crushed Lucky Charms and melted butter
  3. Divide mixture evenly between the mini cupcake liners.  Pack it firmly into the bottoms of the liners
  4. Bake for 10 minutes

For the cupcakes:

  • 1/4 cup corn syrp
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. cake flour
  • 3/4 Tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Lucky Charms
  1. Mix together all flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder
  2. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, corn syrup, and oil
  3. When these are well mixed, beat in egg and vanilla
  4. Mix dry ingredients into the wet alternating with the whole milk in two batches
  5. Fold in the Lucky Charms
  6. Divide among the mini cupcake liners that have the pre baked crust and bake for 11-13 minutes

IMG_1483[1]For Frosting

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. milk
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  1. Beat butter in a mixer until soft
  2. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time
  3. Mix in 2 Tbsp. milk.  If the frosting is too thick, add in more milk one Tbsp. at a time
  4. Mix in green food coloring if using and frost cupcakes.  Decorate with Lucky Charms marshmallows

You know how Lucky Charms has those crunch little marshmallows?  Of course you do! They melt into the batter for a nice swirl of color and taste.  And the dry cereal pieces give the cake some texture.  I thought these tasted a lot like the cereal.  They should be breakfast cupcakes, right?

I’ve got to leave you with my favorite St. Paddy’s Day flare I got to wear.  How can you not love an Irish cupcake tattoo??!!?

IMG_1514[1]The necklaces, stickers, and glow bracelets were all good and fun but this has to be the best!  Thanks to Nip’s sister Kathy, this might be my annual face decoration!

 

Boston Cream Cupcakes

It’s pretty much known that Boston cream anything is going to be amazing.  I mean even Boston cream donuts from Dunkin Donuts are pretty awesome and their donuts completely…well…suck for lack of a better word.  So when I offered to make cupcakes for a going away and was told my cupcakes were legendary, I knew that I had to pick a pretty great flavor that people would go crazy over.  Of course I turned to my trustee source for all cupcake ideas, Pinterest.  But this time Pinterest let me down.  I just couldn’t seem to find anything that I thought would be perfect.  Randomly Boston cream pie was in my head so I just went for it since it’s usually a crowd pleaser!

[Inspired by Martha Stewart]

Makes 18 Cupcakes

For Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 Tbsp. butter at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour cupcake tins.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Warm milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  4. Beat eggs and sugar with a mixer on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Beat in dry ingredients.
  5. Bring milk and butter to a boil. With mixer on low speed, add milk mixture to batter, and beat until smooth. Add vanilla.
  6. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each halfway. Bake cupcakes for 15-18 minutes or until light gold.

For Vanilla Cream Filling

*Note…This recipe didn’t quite fill the 18 cupcakes.  I suggest doubling the filling recipe so that each cupcake has a little extra filling.*

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  1. Whisk yolks until smooth. Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add milk in a slow, steady stream. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour 1/3 of milk mixture into yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thick, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Pass vanilla cream through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
  4. Core cupcakes and fill with pastry cream and replace with top of the cut out core.

For Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
  1. Place butter and chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave on 30 second intervals until melted, stirring between each interval
  2. Cool for at least 30 minutes before topping cupcakes

Yum, these were tasty little guys!  The only thing I’d do differently is double the filling recipe because I didn’t have enough to fill 18 cupcakes…mine only filled 16.  If I had a double batch, then each cupcake would have more of the delicious filling.  I actually had a nightmare before I brought them into work that people bit into them and there was just a hole in the middle with no filling.  Thank goodness they had filling in them!  I think these are a make again recipe!

Xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake

Nanaimo Bar Cupcakes: A Canadian Treat

Before trying to find the perfect cupcake for a birthday, I had never heard of nanaimo bars.  Apparently they are a Canadian treat and since our birthday girl is Canadian, it was suggested I try to make them into a cupcake.  According to Wikipedia, nanaimo bars  were voted “Canada’s favourite confection”.

After doing a little research on these, I found out they are a triple layered bar…kind of like seven layer bars…with a layer of chocolate, coconut, almonds, and graham cracker, a custard layer, and a top layer of chocolate ganache.  Sounded good enough to me.  The only problem is that the filling calls for custard powder.  What?!  I’ve never heard of such a thing.  Well apparently they don’t sell it in the U.S. so I had to improvise with vanilla pudding mix.  I have a feeling it’s not exactly the same but hopefully it was close enough.

[Inspired by C&C Cakery]

Makes 18 cupcakes

For Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers crushed (this was about 1 sleeve of graham crackers)
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cupcake tin with 18 liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham, cocoa powder, coconut, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until they’re completely incorporated. Add and mix in the vanilla. Slowly incorporate the melted chocolate chips (make sure it is cooled to at least room temperature first).
  4. Add the flour mixture and the milk/yogurt mixture into your batter, alternating between the two. When your batter is just about mixed.
  5. Divide batter among cupcake liners and bake 20-25 minutes, or when your cake tester comes out clean.

For Filling

  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp. vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 cups powered sugar
  1. Mix butter, pudding mix, and sugar together with an electric mixer
  2. Add in milk 1 Tbsp. at a time until it is fully incorporated
  3. Core holes into your cooled cupcakes, about an inch and a half around and at least half way in. Carefully spoon the custard filling into the holes and cover with the top of the cupcake that’s been cut out

For Ganache

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
  1. Place butter and chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave on 30 second intervals until melted, stirring between each interval
  2. Cool for at least 30 minutes before topping cupcakes and garnish with chopped almonds and coconut

These cupcakes definitely have a lot going on between all the stuff in the cake and the filling and chocolate on top but it’s a great combination.  The cake part was almost like an Almond Joy.

The birthday girl was really excited about it and had to tell everyone what nanaimo bars actually are…she even said the cupcakes were pretty close to the actual bars.  Yup, I’m brushing my shoulders off.  I can’t wait to actually try the real thing to see how they compare, especially since custard powder is nowhere to be found in the U.S.  I’m wondering if the pudding was a close substitute.  I guess we’ll see.

Until next time.

Xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake