Sunday, July 15, 2007

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Tired of vegetarians stealing all your cupcakes? Finally, a solution. Credit to Jon Hsieh, who sent me this recipe most likely after hearing of my illustrious history of bacon baked goods (bacon cookies anyone?). I made these recently for a cookout, where they were definitely a hit with some and feared by others. I felt the flavor was good, but the texture was a little coarse for my tastes. I've modified the original recipe for maybe a bit of improvement?

4 1/2 Tbsp. of butter, room temperature

1/2 Tbsp. of bacon drippings (left in the fridge to become solid)

5 Tbsp. of brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

1 tsp. of baking soda

1/2 tsp. of baking powder

tiny tiny pinch of kosher salt

4 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/4 cup of milk

1/4 cup of minced bacon, cooked and drained

Cook some bacon in a fry pan (about 6 thick strips). Reserve the drippings and place in the fridge to solidify. Mince 1/4 a cup of the bacon. The chef should eat whatever is left to assure that the bacon is tasty.

Beat the crud out of the butter and solidified bacon fat 'till light and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat well until combined. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.

Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and powder together. Combine the milk and maple syrup. Alternate additions of half of the flour, half of the liquid, the remaining flour, and finally the remaining liquid, mixing each addition just until combined. Fold in the bacon bits. Scoop into cupcake papers and bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Maple Syrup Frosting

4 Tbsp. of butter

2 Tbsp. of maple syrup

1 cup of powdered sugar

turbinado sugar (optional, but recommended)

coarse grain sea salt (optional, but recommended)

Combine the syrup and butter until combined. Add the sugar, a bit at a time, and whip at high speeds until combined. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Sprinkle on sea salt and turbinado sugar for decoration and a lot of added flavor.