Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Maker's Mark Frosting

 These are good. Like, eat-half-a-dozen-by-yourself-straight-out-of-the-oven-good.

The recipe is based on a Barefoot Contessa classic, tweaked to suit my not-so-sweet tooth. I wanted just a suggestion of sweetness in the cupcakes, because I really like the dark, slightly smoky unsweetened cocoa, and tangy creme fraiche and buttermilk.

In all honesty, my sole reason for making these cupcakes was to have a vehicle worthy of the Maker's Mark frosting I knew I wanted to attempt for Mike's birthday, whiskey being his spirit of choice. It was delicious (though next time I would add more a little more, because, let's face it... more booze is always better).

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Cupcakes

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients: 12
Dishes you'll have to wash: Too many.

1 1/2 sticks room temp butter
2/3 cup white sugar (I used a little less)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp good vanilla extract
1 cup room temperature buttermilk
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tbsps strong, brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup good, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven 350. In a large bowl, cream the butter and two sugars about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs on at a time, then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, creme fraiche and coffee. In yet another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, alternately add the buttermilk mixture and flour mixture to the sugars. Fill cupcake papers 2/3 full and bake about 25 minutes.

Maker's Mark Frosting for Mike

1 stick room temperature butter
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup room temperature cream cheese
3-6 tbsp (I used 6, but will use more next time) Maker's Mark
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract

With mixer on medium, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 4 mintues. Add cream cheese.  Switch speed to low and add vanilla. Add whiskey to taste, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Serve with Maker's on the rocks, if you're awesome.

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