November 2, 2012

Bourbon Caramel Corn Cupcakes

One of the recipes I flagged on vacation was from My Baking Addiction. It called for bourbon, which isn't necessarily a staple in our household. (We're more of a tequila kind of family.) My friend gave me the bourbon for the recipe, so I repaid the favor by making these cupcakes for her 30th birthday. She said they made turning 30 worth it.

These aren't overly boozy, but there is a definite bourbon flavor to them. These are keepers!


Bourbon Caramel Corn Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk, warm
1/4 cup bourbon
2 sticks butter, room temperature1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. bourbon

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
3 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. vanilla
 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup bourbon
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 24 cupcake tins.

In medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

Add flour and milk/bourbon, alternating in three additions, ending with flour.

Evenly distribute into prepared cupcake tins. (The batch normally makes 24, but I ended up with 21. Weird.) Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, beat butter until creamy. Then beat in powdered sugar. Add in vanilla and bourbon, and beat until smooth. Add more bourbon if needed to reach desired consistency.

To make popcorn, pop corn and set aside in a very large bowl. Line a large jelly roll pan with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, heat sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, and bourbon  on medium heat, stirring often. Continue to stir until sugar melts and a deep caramel color is achieved. When you are ready to coat the popcorn, add the baking soda to the caramel and stir quickly. Remove from heat, and pour over popcorn. Stir the popcorn quickly and immediately after covering with the warm mixture so that every piece gets some coverage of the caramel. Spread the caramel-coated popcorn onto the lined jelly pan and allow to cool for approximately 10 to 20 minutes. Break apart into pieces.

Frost each cupcake, drizzle with chocolate and top with a piece of caramel corn. Eat the rest of the caramel corn while pretending you used it all on the cupcakes. Makes 21 to 24 cupcakes. 

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