Normally I get off work and I play video games, or watch TV, or read, or go to the bar, or go to yoga, or go wine tasting. I consider these all perfectly normal things.
Last night, I did none of these things. Rather, I caved to peer pressure, and I participated in an activity that I have been trying to avoid for years. My friends, even my own mother, have all told me of it, and the wonders it brings.
Last night… I baked… Cupcakes.
In order to bring myself to terms with the fact that I had appeared to completely fall off the bandwagon I did what any good Irish girl would do. I put whiskey in them. And then I covered them in whiskey sauce.
Well, it was bourbon, but that’s a type of whiskey so my statements stand.
This is a thing.
So, I followed the recipe I linked to above, at least to the best of my ability. I had about three bowls, one spatula, one big spoon, a couple butter knives, one whisk and no standing mixer to speak of. I did have the necessary items to make the frosting look decent, at least.
It took a little dish washing and a lot of arm strength but I got the job done. More or less. They taste really good and don’t look disgusting. I count this as a win.
Here’s bits and pieces of my adventure, mostly in pictures:
The first thing I had to was buy ingredients. I purchased most of them at Hyvee, which is incredibly boring. However, my bacon and my bourbon I bought at my favorite place in town: Look’s Meat Market. This wonderful paradise is full of all sorts of pig and cow and wonderful alcohol, and every bit of it is good. My favorite perk? Bourbon taste while you grocery shop.
Anyway, once I had purchased my candied bacon from Look’s, I had to chop some of it up. Look’s slices the bacon thin, but it wasn’t cut in conventional strips – it looked more like ham. So, rather than the three slices that recipe recommended I did what any girl would do in my situation: I used seven.
Then I put it in a pan and cooked it, and fought off the rest of the household.
The next part is boring, because I proceeded to make cupcake batter per the recipe instructions. I came across the problem where I didn’t have a mixer, and opted to use elbow grease instead, and it worked wonderfully and made me feel better about making something so fatty because I burned 10 whole calories trying to mix soft-but-not-melted butter with dried goods.
The result of this debacle was the sudden inclination to pour myself a drink. So I did. And then so did the rest of the house, it’s funny how that works.
For this project I opted for one of my favorite bourbons, Eagle Rare. Mostly because the recipe only called for a few table spoons, or, when it came to be my turn to add bourbon to my cupcakes, three tablespoons “plus just a little bit more.” That meant I got to
share drink the rest of the bottle!
Of course, just as the frosting was getting finished, one cupcake was pilfered from my batch, unceremoniously deflowered with a dip in the almost-finished frosting and eaten with no remorse. It was a sad day in the land of cupcakes.
Once the cupcakes had been iced I had to make the caramel, which was actually fairly unexciting, but I took pictures because I hadn’t made caramel since I was in elementary school and I was feeling kind of artsy and “wait for it to boil” means “get bored and meander around the kitchen finding ways to entertain yourself” in Shelley-speak. Which meant it was time for another drink!
So, I finished with the caramel, ignoring the “wait until it turns amber” and “don’t pour on the cupcakes until it’s cooled down” directions. My cupcakes were a little melty, particularly the icing.
They were tasty though!