So, I’ve got a birthday coming up this week. Apparently it’s a big one, as Tuesday is my last day of youth. At the stroke of midnight early Wednesday morn, I will enter my 30th year. Am I worried about it or stressed out about becoming old? No. Not really. Whether it’s 30, 40, 50, etc. I don’t really care as long as I’m with those I love. This year was no exception as my little sister flew in from New York to surprise me for my birthday (thanks for making me cry in public, Annalise!). And to further prove to me that I could not have ended up with a better wife, one whose amazingness I do not deserve, Megan made me two kind of cupcakes, coconut cupcakes made with fresh coconut and Chocolate Guinness Bacon cupcakes. Yeah, you read that right. Keep reading for more pictures and the recipe.
For the coconut cupcakes, Megan followed Alton Brown’s recipe from Good Eats. They were freaking delicious, bursting with coconut flavour in every bite. She even hand whisked the egg whites for what was described to me as an eternity to form stiff peaks. Man, do we need a KitchenAid Stand Mixer!
The recipe for the Chocolate Guinness Bacon Cupcakes came from the most delightfully unlikely of places: an online forum called Jews for Bacon. They were awesome. Sweet and smokey, hearty and smooth, they make the perfect desert and the perfect breakfast! These were a great addition to a great night with friends. I had an entire german restaurant sing me happy birthday lead by a drunken polka band leader! Thanks to all who came and left extra cupcakes for me!
My friends loudly sang Happy Birthday to me. It was beautiful.
1 cup Guinness beer
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tbsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
5 strips cooked bacon, chopped, 2 strips worth reserved for topping
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease muffin pans (makes roughly 30 standard cupcakes). Bring beer and butter to a simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add beer-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Add bacon bits. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Fill cups of muffin pans and bake until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 25 – 30 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack and cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in remaining ingredients. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Spread Frosting over top of each cupcake and sprinkle with bacon bits.