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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why do people pick their noses right where you can see them doing it? Like.....right in front of you. I don't understand.

And, some people are just loud. They walk loud (you can hear them clomping a mile away), talk loud, slam and bang things...just loud over all. Do they not care or do they just not know? I don't understand how they cannot know they are loud. Maybe I am loud and don't know it...? Except, I know I don't clomp because I can walk up to people and they don't know I'm behind them. And when I order food, they never can hear me...

And smelly people. Come on....you can't smell that you....smell?

Anyway.

Now I give you....Maple Bacon Cupcakes! I know, I know.....who, what and why the heck. But if you try them, let me know how they are.

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

10 thick strips of uncooked bacon (drippings will be used; you want a
half cup minced)
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 TB plus 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 TB bacon drippings (from the above)
1/2 cup plus 1 TB (a little over one stick) butter
1/2 cup plus 2 TB brown sugar (this is just under 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Fry up the bacon. Put 1 TB of the drippings (try to get the little
brown bits) in the fridge (if you plan ahead) or the freezer for ~7
minutes (if you don't). If you want a nice garnish, make about 18
1/4"-1/3" slices from the ends of the fried up bacon and save for
later. Chop the remaining bacon into ~1/4 inch square pieces until
you have half a cup. You can chop some more finely for a garnish if
you are making mini cupcakes. Also I reserve an 1/2 or 3/4 tsp of
bacon for sprinkling in when I scrape down the mixing bowl at the end
so the last cupcake has a good amount of bacon. Munch any additional
bacon, or set aside to dip in leftover frosting later. Mmm, maple
bacon candy.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set
aside. (if you substitute regular flour, sift it into the bowl)

Beat the solidified bacon fat with the butter on high, scraping the
sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture is fluffy and almost
white in color.

Add the eggs and beat at medium-high speed until combined.

Add the maple syrup and the brown sugar and beat well (when this
sits, it may look slightly separated due to the acidity of the maple
syrup). Be very careful if you decide to increase the maple syrup, as
it may break the batter.

With the mixer on its lowest speed, add 1/3 of the flour, half of the
milk, 1/3 of the flour, the other half of the milk, and the last
third of the flour, mixing just to combine.

Fill cupcakes ~3/4 full. If you set aside a little extra chopped
bacon, add that back when you do the final scrape of the bowl so that
the last cupcake is not lacking in tasty bacon goodness. Bake at 350
for 9 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for an additional 9-12
minutes (18-21 minutes), until a toothpick comes out pretty clean.

*** Let cool for at least an hour before frosting. ***


For Frosting:
-------------
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups powdered sugar
demerara sugar (optional but strongly recommended; you could use
turbinado
if you don't think it tastes like the northbound end of a southbound
yak)
coarse sea salt (optional but strongly recommended)
small slice of bacon or a few sprinkles chopped bacon per cupcake
(optional)

Beat the sugar and maple syrup on high until well combined. With the
mixer on a lowish setting, add the powdered sugar. Once it is all in
the bowl, turn the mixer to high and beat for 4-5 minutes, until
light and fluffy.

Apply frosting to cupcakes (a little goes a long way as it is quite
sweet), sprinkle on demerara sugar (optional) , sprinkle on coarse
sea salt (optional), and top with a bacon slice or a sprinkling of
finely chopped bacon (optional).

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