Saturday, January 4, 2014

Post-Hike Eggnog Cupcakes

Craving a little treat after our brutal hike today, I decided to whip up some eggnog cupcakes...and wash it down with Italian bubbles. I earned it! These are a few photos from our hike up Doud Peak. It was less than 5 miles, but it had about a 2000-feet elevation climb and descent. Brutal.

Here we are, relaxing in the last shade on the trail before climbing to the sun-drenched summit...and stopping to a quick snack of mini frittate, clementines, carrots, cucumbers, and celery.

Back to the cupcakes...Jake said that these were the best cupcakes I've ever made. They have a delicate crumb and a delicious spiciness. This recipe makes a dozen cupcakes but the frosting only covered about 8 of them. They are fine without the frosting, too. Does that make them a muffin?!?

1 1/2 C white whole wheat flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 C organic eggnog
¼ olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 C organic granulated sugar
¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
dash of ground cinnamon
dash of ground cardamom
¼ tsp. fleur de sel
¼ C dark rum 

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake hollows with parchment liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg and whisk to combine.  In another bowl, combine the rum, eggnog, olive oil, vinegar, and sugar.  Beat on medium-low speed until well blended.  Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in until just combined.

Spoon 1/2 C of batter into cupcake liners, filling the hollows about 2/3 full.  Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. While they cool, prepare your frosting.

8 T butter, at room temperature
1 C organic powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 T eggnog
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 T dark rum (I frosted the boys' cupcakes before adding the rum)
ground nutmeg for garnish

Place the butter in a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth, 20-30 seconds.  Add in the powdered sugar, salt and nutmeg; beat on until incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add in the eggnog and vanilla; whip until light and fluffy, maybe 3 minutes. Once you have frosted any non-alcoholic cupcakes, add in the rum and beat again. Frost cooled cupcakes and dust with nutmeg as garnish.

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