This week, I have one coworker who is leaving us for a new job, and another who is celebrating a birthday. DOUBLE the excuses to bake!
I found a recipe quite some time ago for Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey cupcakes (the pictures on that page are way nicer than mine – I just took shots with my phone again). I knew immediately that my booze-lovin’ coworkers would appreciate a batch of those, but at the time I had holidays to bake for. My baking to-do list was pretty long; I bookmarked the recipe and forgot about it.
One of my coworkers gave notice, and Friday is his last day. Thursday is another coworker’s birthday. The obvious choice for this non-holiday celebration:
booze this recipe.
I made the batter and started happily filling cups, only to realize I never actually looked at the yield – only a dozen cupcakes. Oops. That just won’t do. So I made a second batch. This was also my first time using the convection feature in my new oven, so I was peering in the little window on the oven door constantly, fearing I would either under- and overcook the poor things.
I didn’t use the buttercream portion of that recipe. I decided to stick with my own tried-and-true buttercream, and just reduce the cream and vanilla, and add the whiskey. I do actually sift a full 4 cups of the powdered sugar these days when I make the frosting, so pretty soon here I’m going to have the strongest forearms in the world. *flex*
Then I figured, well, I doubled the batter recipe and I used my standard buttercream (which will usually frost a little more than 2 dozen cupcakes), so it stands to reason I should double the “bourbon drizzle” part of this recipe, too. Right?
Okay, so… one whole cup of the whiskey? Allll riiiiight…
While making the drizzle, I admit I stopped paying attention and let it boil over a bit. Oops. It turned out much thinner than I expected, but I figured it tasted like… you know… brown sugar and whiskey. While I waited for it to cool, I got the cupcakes frosted with pretty swirlies. For the first time possibly ever, I had exactly the right amount of frosting for the number of cupcakes. There was a weird sense of satisfaction in that, so I had to brag.
The drizzle got poured into a decorating squeeze bottle, and I started doing the obvious: drizzling it. It turns out the buttercream was perfectly stiff enough and the drizzle perfectly viscous enough that the syrup oozed down through the swirls in a slow, tidy way. It was SO cool to watch.
And there you have it! Boozey celebratory cupcakes! They were declared: “YUMMY!” “Your best cupcakes yet!” “Awesome!” “Life-giving!” and various other complimentary things, so you should probably go ahead and make these (or pay me to make them for you *ahem*).
Here is how a clever birthday guy carefully transports a cupcake home to his whiskey-lovin’ wife: