Mardi Gras, Bacon & Cupcakes

Maple Bacon CupcakeA lovely combination of indulgence.  I especially appreciate the bacon part of this.  I have learned that those who love bacon are instantly attracted to the Maple-bacon cupcake. 

I saw the recipe on a website about a year ago and have been thinking about it ever since.  I wanted to try it but wasn’t sure how to go about it.  “Should I make them just to have at home just for my honey and me?”  That sounded like a gastric disaster.  They would either be so good we would eat all of them very quickly, or they would be horrible and we would probably still eat them…only more slowly. 

But how can something with bacon in it go wrong?  So I finally decided that I would look up the recipe again.   It’s everywhere!  This recipe has been passed on through so many blogs and websites that it’s difficult to find where it originated.  But this news gave me new hope for the success of this pursuit.  It couldn’t be horrible and be this popular!  So I went to a blog that I like and took it from there.  She also took it from someone…who took it from someone else, and none of these were where I saw it originally.  (So I don’t feel bad about sharing it).   

This recipe is easy to make, and the best part is that you get to make bacon.  Just go ahead and make alot.  The blog I got the recipe from says you need to eat the leftover bacon to make sure it’s tasty.  What a lovely idea.   We ate it as we made it and then put some on the mac & cheese we made for dinner.

The next part of this pursuit was to share these salty, sweet and bacony delights.  The specific area I work in is a perfect place to try something like this, because the people I work with are perfectly up for this sort of thing.  So what better day to try this celebratory indulgence than Mardi Gras!  I think by now it’s obvious that they were well recieved. 

I am just going to post the recipe as I got it.  This recipe should really be doubled (to make about 17 regular sized cupcakes), and I tripled the frosting recipe.  The only other thing I would do differently is….maybe add more bacon.

Maple-Bacon Cupcakes

* 4 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 1/2 tablespoon bacon drippings (left in the fridge to become solid)
* 1 egg
* 5 tablespoons brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1 1/4 cups self rising flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* tiny tiny pinch kosher salt
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup of minced bacon, cooked and drained

What you’ll do–
* 1) 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.
* 2) Beat the crud out of the butter and solidified bacon fat ’till light and creamy. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and beat well until combined.
* 3) Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
* 4) Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and powder together.
* 5) Add some of the flour and mix, then some of the milk, then continue to alternate the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the bacon. Taste and add more maple syrup, flour, or milk if needed for desired taste. Keep in mind the maple frosting is very sweet, and to add in very small increments for alterations as maple syrup in large amounts can break a cake batter.
* 6) Scoop into cupcake papers and bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Be sure to rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes for even baking.

Maple Syrup Frosting

* 4 tablespoons of butter.
* 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
* 1 cup of powdered sugar.
* turbinado sugar (optional, but recommended).
* coarse grain sea salt (optional, but recommended).

What You’ll Do –
* 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.


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