Tuesday, December 18, 2012

French Toast Cupcakes


French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate-Dipped Bacon to be exact.  These are the cupcakes that I made for Fabienne's second birthday party.  {The chocolate-dipped bacon didn't make an appearance at the party though...not enough time}.
I was having a hard time narrowing down my choices of which cupcake flavor I wanted to make for the party and was on the phone with baby sister and her husband going over options with them.  They told me I should go with the french toast cupcakes.  Then, Andy suggested that I add bacon to the top.  Lyndsay, who was relaying his suggestion to me, somehow ended up throwing chocolate into the suggestion.  And so we ended up with french toast cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting topped with chocolate-dipped bacon.
These cupcakes are soo good. They've been quoted as being, "make you wanna slap your momma" good!  Personally, I can do without the bacon...I'm a bacon purist though, just a plain old slice of super crispy bacon is my fav.  But those that prefer bacon on & in everything will love the added bacon.  These cupcakes are the perfect breakfast dessert - if you're the type that has dessert for breakfast.


French Toast Cupcakes
Makes about 30 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the streusel:
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

For the cupcakes:
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To make the streusel:
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix the cold butter into the mixture by hand, squeezing the pieces in to mix it.
Cover and freeze while you prepare the cupcakes.  If you’re not using the streusel right away, refrigerate it until ready to use.

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
Place three tablespoons of batter in each prepared baking cup. Divide the streusel evenly among the cupcakes, and sprinkle it on each one {about a tablespoon or so}. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Maple Buttercream

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4-6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Drop or two of maple extract

Beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 4 cups of the sugar until combined. Mix in the vanilla and syrup. Add the milk and heavy cream and mix until light and fluffy.  If necessary, add remaining sugar to reach desired consistency.  Add a drop or two of maple extract to your liking.  {Yup, taste-testing is a must!}

Frost cooled cupcakes.  I also sprinkled some cinnamon-sugar on the top of mine.

Chocolate-dipped Bacon

Ingredients

Bacon
Good quality chocolate {milk or semi-sweet}

Cook bacon until crispy {in a pan on the stove or in the oven}.  Cool on paper towels.  Melt chocolate until smooth.  Break bacon into desired size.  Dip bacon pieces in chocolate, lay on wax paper until chocolate is hardened.  Add bacon to top of cupcakes.

Source: adapted from Bakingdom and Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

O Christmas Tree

December 1st showed up with a dusting of snow this year, so we decided to hurry to the Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree.  Seems as though our new normal around these parts is no snow Decembers - so very different than what it was growing up.
I love the little tree farm that we've been going to the last few years.  It's very basic and simple.  Just some trees and some saws.  This year, we had the farm cat join us on our adventure.  {The cat walked around with us the entire time we were there - how cute is that?!} I'm not sure what the boys were more excited about, getting a tree or getting to walk around with the cat!  














I realized I haven't taken any photos of the tree up & decorated in the house - eeps, need to get on that!  I love this tradition that we have of going to cut down our tree together.  It's a bit of a challenge with the boys still being on the younger side, we get complaints about it being too cold, or someone's too tired after about 5 minutes of walking around.  I always want the perfect tree, but there's only so much whining I can handle, so after walking around and thinking no tree is good enough, I finally just give up and make Mike pick any tree so we can make a fast exit!  All part of the fun & games of parenting.

We're enjoying our advent season and all the activities that come along with it.  Maybe I'll find time to blog about our advent calendar and activities.  But don't hold your breath on that!  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Little Fashion ::Thanksgiving Style

Finalllly getting around to posting these fantastic pictures from Thanksgiving.  Oh these boys. Such little goofs.  So blessed to be the mama of these three silly boys.  I love them so.



















On the boys: all thrifted goods {'cept for Lincoln's belt which was a gift from Lyndsay}.  Bolo tie borrowed from Cait.  Pictures by Cait - thanks Caitie!  


Linking up with Small Style....it's been awhile!

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