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Maple bacon cupcakes

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Maple bacon cupcakes

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Bandanagirl - Vampire Red
So, in a fairly impromptu and last-minute road trip, I brought endlessautumn to visit cluegirl and aquila_dominus this weekend.

Somewhere in between listening to music, discussing endlessautumn's planned half-sleeve of Gustav Dore's illustrations for Paradise Lost, and reviewing our survival strategies for the inevitable zombie uprising, cluegirl mentioned that she wanted my help developing a recipe for maple bacon cupcakes. And, no, she didn't want to go to the internet, she wanted to do it herself.

I scolded her for not warning me before I left the house, because if she wanted to do it from the ground up, I'd have liked to have brought my textbooks.

We agreed that they should be made from a typical yellow butter cake base, with bacon inclusions. Since she had both grade B dark maple syrup and granulated maple sugar, we wanted to put maple in the cake as well as the frosting. I strongly recommended candying the bacon -- easy, just sprinkling it with sugar before cooking it. We theorized about replacing some of the butter with bacon grease, but in the end, the bacon didn't render enough fat to be useful.

Since I didn't have my textbooks, I grabbed her Betty Crocker cookbook off the shelf, and used the yellow cake recipe. I halved it because it said it made 36 cupcakes. It lied. We were not using the huge muffin tins either -- I could have sworn they were the 2 1/2" cups the recipe said. But the half recipe made 9. Anyway. Besides halving it, the only change I made was to substitute granulated maple sugar for 1/3 of the total white sugar, and then to stir in chopped bacon at the end. Well, okay, the recipe just said to beat all the ingredients together, and I decided that using a proper creaming method (first beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs & vanilla, then alternate the flour and the milk) was a better idea. But pretty much a straight-up yellow butter cake.

The buttercream was even simpler, because Betty Crocker had a maple variation in there already. 1/3 cup butter, 3 cups confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup maple syrup.

So, bake the cupcakes, cool them, frost them, and sprinkle their tops with chopped candied bacon.

You know you want some.

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