I popped out to the Brookings Municipal Liquor Store (yes, it’s owned by the City of Brookings…Pretty much every entity in this town is owned by the City, which, even after living here for 11 years, I still don’t understand), because I wanted to get some alcohol for baking. My collegiate escapades aside, I’m really not much of a drinker any more. I’ll have a drink or two when I go out, but I’ll be honest, I do not enjoy the effects of a hangover any more (not that anyone really does), and hard liquor or mixed drinks (which are really all I can have) are frakking expensive! So if I buy something like Amaretto or Baileys, it’s going into baked goods (though occasionally I do like a nip of the Baileys in my coffee). I know virtually nothing about Bourbon, but what little I do know is that it pairs well with both chocolate and caramel, though I wanted to incorporate it into cupcakes, rather than something like Bourbon Balls, which are my dad’s favorite Christmas treat. So I made these Bourbon-Soaked Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting.
My initial thought was that the frosting was “off.” I don’t know what it is about chocolate powdered sugar frostings, but no matter how much liquid I add to them, they almost ALWAYS turn out dry. At least in my opinion.
I took the vast majority of these into work, and those who tried them seemed to really like them, frosting included. So maybe it’s just me.
And it’s not like Jay or the bambino are complaining. All the bambino cares about is whether or not there’s enough sugar in it! And Jay’s just happy there are homemade baked goods available for him to snack.
Bourbon-Soaked Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
6-7 C powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2-4 oz. half & half
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with liners and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined, being careful not to overmix.
Using a large (3-Tbsp.) scoop, place the batter in the prepared baking pans. Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of several cupcakes comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. While still in the pans, poke several holes in the tops of the cakes with a fork.
Brush the bourbon over each cake, allowing it to soak into the cake before adding more. One 50ml bottle should liberally cover 24 cupcakes.
After the 10 minutes have elapsed, carefully remove the cupcakes and finish cooling completely on the wire racks.
To make the frosting, melt the chocolate over low heat. Allow it to cool slightly.
Cream the butter on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Add in the melted chocolate, and mix until well-combined. On low speed, gradually add 3 cups of the powdered sugar, and the vanilla. Add 2 ounces of the half and half, then add 3 more cups of powdered sugar. If the frosting is too stiff and dry, add another ounce of milk. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar, 1/4 C at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Whip the powdered sugar on high speed for 1-2 minutes before decorating the cupcakes. Sprinkle the frosted cakes with the coarse salt.