Sunday, October 17, 2010

Maple French Toast Bacon Cupcakes

These. Are. Amazing. If you aren't vegetarian/vegan, and you don't try these at least once, there is SOMETHING wrong with you. They are the perfect balance of savory and sweet. Plus, who doesn't love bacon?

I adapted this recipe from one I found on FoodNetwork.com. I ended up having to double it on the fly, and it seemed like the batter would have been way too thick if I had included all of the dry ingredients it called for.

Note: if you use the original recipe, do not expect the frosting to turn out like the photo. It will be much thinner.



Maple French Toast Bacon Cupcakes


Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
1 3.9 oz. box instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. corn starch
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup half&half, room temperature
1 cup chopped cooked bacon (about 10-12 strips)


For Frosting:
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon


Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit
Prepare muffin tin with paper liners or grease and flour.
Combine the flours, pudding mix, baking powder, starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars.
Gradually mix in the eggs and vanilla, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with syrup and half&half. Mix until ingredients are just combined.
Fold in the chopped bacon.

Pour the batter into each tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (the original recipe says 40 minutes, but I seem to remember it being more along the lines of 25 or 30. Start checking around 25 minutes until you think they're done.)

For the icing, blend the cream cheese, butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. Gradually mix in confectioner's sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Mine came out a bit thinner than I had hoped. Less syrup will yield a stiffer icing, and more will give you something like a thick glaze. Alternately, you can use maple flavoring, but it will discolor your icing more than the syrup.

I topped my cupcakes with ~1/2 inch triangles cute from strips of cooked bacon, and they looked pretty cute. I'll make sure to take photos and add them in here the next time I make these!


Next post: Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese-maple-cinnamon frosting. Yum!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Recipes!

Shamefully, I have been absent from this blog for too long, and I really have no excuse aside from laziness. That said, I happen to be celebrating my first wedding anniversary today. :) That's right! I have been married to a wonderful fellow for a whole year now. Since it IS our anniversary, and I have been talking about getting a stand mixer for a while, my husband told me I HAVE to get one and I'm not allowed to be frugal this weekend. As much as it pains me to spend money on unnecessary items, he's right. As much as I've been baking these past few months, it would really make things easier for me. So I ordered a Hamilton Beach stand mixer. More on that later. Stand mixer = thinking of baking= favorite recipes. So here are a couple of my favorites:


Snickerdoodles 
I highly recommend Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodle recipe from Allrecipes.com. I made some of these last month when I did "Cookies for the Cure" at work to garner donations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. I had never made snickerdoodles before, so I followed this recipe to the letter. I have to say, I don't really think there is any way you could possibly improve it. It gives excellent directions, and the cookies came out beautifully. They were crispy around the edges, chewy in the center, and they had all of the sweet-tart-bite that you come to expect from great snickerdoodles. If you ever make snickerdoodles, you MUST try this recipe.

Biscuits
Another recipe sourced from allrecipes.com (one of my favorite websites, by the way), was this easy biscuit recipe. For those of you outside the U.S., what we call a biscuit here is not a dessert, but a breakfast quick bread most commonly found in the American South. I love biscuits. I love homemade biscuits. I really love my Mom's homemade biscuits, but (sorry Mom!) these are the best biscuits I have ever had in my life. I am totally serious when I say this. I will admit that I adjusted this recipe just a weee bit. I used about 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of shortening instead of 3/4 cup of shortening, because I love butter and it imparts much more flavor than shortening. Other than that, to the letter. These biscuits came out flaky and tender on the inside, flaky and crispy on the outside. Just what a biscuit should be.

Stay tuned! Up next: Bacon Cupcakes.