Lately, on Facebook, I’ve seen several people post the status, “Everyone who knows me, knows I love_______.” I guess the purpose is to see how many people really “know” you, but there is no way I can post this as my status, because my entire page would fill up with “Beer,” “Wine,” “Bourbon,” “Vodka,”…and any other form of alcohol that my friends could name. It’s no secret that I love “spirits.” In fact, I love to cook with them just about as much as I love to drink them. (Ok…that’s a lie. I like drinking them waaaaay more, but that’s a weekend conversation.)
Recently, we helped some friends with the grand opening of their new bike shop, and since it was an adult-only event, I took adults-only treats. These mini cupcakes were rich with dark chocolate, espresso, and a hint of bourbon and topped with bourbon buttercream, a bourbon-dark chocolate drizzle, and candied bacon. To say they were a hit, is the understatement of the year!
2 sticks butter-softened
2 c. sugar
1 tsp espresso powder (or 1 single serve pkt instant coffee)
2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. dark cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP bourbon (I prefer Buffalo Trace)
1 c. milk
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips
2 sticks butter-softened
2 c. shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/4 c. bourbon (and again, Buffalo Trace is my fav)
5 oz. dark chocolate
3 oz (1 shot) bourbon (and 1 more shot of Buffalo Trace won’t hurt ya!)
1 lb. thick cut Applewood Smoked Bacon
1/4 c. brown sugar
In a mixer, cream butter, sugar, and espresso powder. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture alternately with the milk and bourbon, just until combined. After all has been incorporated, turn the mixer to high and allow to beat for 2 minutes. Stir in mini chips.
Scoop or pour batter into lined cupcake pan. Recipe will make approximately 30 standard cupcake or 90 mini cupcakes. For standard cupcakes, bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For mini cupcakes, bake 10 minutes or until done.
In a mixer, cream butter, shortening, and salt. Add vanilla extract and beat well. Add half of powdered sugar and on low, mix until completely incorporated. Add half of the bourbon and mix again. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix. Add the remaining bourbon and mix. When all ingredients are incorporated, turn the mixer to high and allow to whip for 5-7 minutes.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine bourbon and chocolate. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each heating, until chocolate is completely melted.
Pour chocolate into a piping bag or squeeze bottle for drizzling.
Brown Sugar Bacon Garnish
Cut bacon into bite size pieces. Arrange on a foil lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oil and allow to cool and drain on a paper towel
Pipe buttercream onto each cupcake. Drizzle with dark chocolate and a piece of candied bacon.