Eggnog Cupcakes

I'm comin' through for the holidays...with some eggnog cupcakes!

(I like this picture. It was taken approximately 2 seconds before this cupcake fell sideways and spread the pretty eggnog frosting all over a few Christmas tree branches. Oops.)

Our holiday party was last weekend and I decided some festive cupcakes were in order. Usually I'd alter an existing recipe or try to create a new one, but since I hadn't had time to practice recipes earlier, I figured I'd go with something tried-and-true: Eggnog Cupcakes!

I first heard about eggnog cupcakes when I was searching for a cupcake to make for last year's holiday party. I love eggnog, but I wasn't sure how it would translate into cupcakes. In the end, they lost the 2009 holiday cupcake battle to the Peppermint Patty Cupcakes. This year, as I was searching through my extensive list of bookmarked cupcakes, I found a reference to the eggnog cupcakes again. Since they took a backseat at the last holiday party, I figured they deserved to stand out this time around.

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Pumpkin Beer Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Every fall, I get really excited for fall flavors. Anything involving butternut squash, apples, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and/or warm spices will spark my interest. Currently I'm obsessed with Dunkin Donuts' Pumpkin Spice Coffee. However if we're going to talk alcoholic drinks, then we have to discuss pumpkin beer.

There are many pumpkin beers on the market nowadays and I have to say that my favorite is Jack's Pumpkin Ale. Of course it's also the most difficult pumpkin beer to find, in my opinion. I've been checking for weeks in the liquor stores but I haven't struck paydirt yet. So, on a whim I decided to purchase some Sam Adams Octoberfest beer. I had no idea what it tasted like, but I knew I liked Sam Adams so this couldn't be all bad. But I loved it.

I'm not very good at describing the flavor of beer because I only know whether I like it or not. However I will say this: It's very smooth. Kind of sweet. Not hoppy (I hate hoppy beers). The flavor isn't actually pumpkin, but it reminds me of pumpkin and pumpkin spices. If you want to know more, you're just going to have to get your own Sammy Octoberfest!

For the past two years, it's been my goal to make cupcakes using pumpkin beer. And this year I was finally able to make this dream a reality.

I adapted a Honey and Beer Spice Cake recipe to make the cupcakes more seasonal. (The adaptation could have gone a little better, but we'll get to that later.) I also decided to top the cupcake with a maple-flavored cream cheese frosting because I hear pumpkin and maple flavors work really well together.

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Chocolate Buttery Nipple Cupcakes (aka Steelers Cupcakes!)

For those of you who don't know, I'm a huge, HUGE Pittsburgh Steelers fan. And yes, that's a football team. I've been a fan for years now and as last year's football season rolled around I began thinking about making Steelers-inspired cupcakes. Unfortunately, this was around the time that the Steelers were on a 5-game losing streak so I lost motivation pretty quickly.

Well now it's 2010 and the Steelers are not sucking so I figured it was probably wise to make these cupcakes as early in the season as possible. Somewhere around the same time, I got a hankering for a drink that I haven't had since college. A Buttery Nipple. It's not the most PC name, but hey, you gotta be over 21 to have a drink, right? (18 if you're in the Bahamas...orrrr you at least need to be tall enough to reach the bar.) So hopefully you can handle the word "nipple". A Buttery Nipple is a drink which consists of a 1:1 ratio of Bailey's Irish Cream (which I believe could be one of the nectar of the gods) and Butterscotch Schnapps. Enjoy chilled over a few ice cubes. But let's get back to talking about cupcakes.

Since the Steelers' colors are black and gold, I decided to make a chocolate cupcake with a goldish-yellow frosting. Since my tried and true recipe for chocolate cupcakes comes from Hershey's I decided to stick with a sure thing. The frosting for the cupcakes is already relatively pale as-is, so I picked up some yellow food coloring and tossed that suckerin. Seriously, I stopped counting drops after I reached 30.

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Pina Colada Cupcakes

I've been away from my poor blog for too long! But I'm back just in time for Cinco de Mayo!

A few weeks ago I ventured into the new Hoboken 7-Eleven store. I headed straight to the back of the store for a Slurpee. As I was reaching for my favorite flavor (Cherry) I caught a glimpse of another flavor: Pina Colada. What was this? Is this new? Considering I haven't had a Slurpee in years, I had no idea if it was a new flavor or not. But I did know that I needed to try it. And it was delicious. Could I make this into a cupcake? Why not...

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Is it St. Patrick's Day yet!?!??!?!?! It's taken forever to get here. And to celebrate it, let's make some Irish Car Bomb cupcakes!

I wish wish wish that I was the person who came up with this recipe. But unfortunately I'm not that amazing yet. Thanks go out to Smitten Kitchen for this recipe. I stumbled it when I was on the prowl for beer cupcakes to make for Superbowl XLIV . (Honestly, at this point it would be more shocking if I wasn't baking alcohol into my cupcakes. ) I was really looking for some sort of Saints- or Colts-inspired cupcake, but as soon as I saw this Irish Car Bomb cupcake recipe in front of me, I knew what I had to do.

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Caramel Appletini Cupcakes

The cupcake bug bit me again this weekend. Initially, I was planning to make some sort of meal/dish that I could post here, but then I recalled that Iron Cupcake: Earth is back with a vengeance for Year 2. Since I've been seriously shirking my membership duties in the Iron Cupcake realm, I decided to check out this month's challenge.

"Apple". What? Apple? Seriously? If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably already know that I'm not really a fruit person. In fact, my biggest cupcake FAIL occurred while creating a cupcake for the Iron Cupcake "Summer Fruit" challenge. Need I say more?

The only way I could justify creating this destined-to-fail cupcake was to add alcohol. I know what you're thinking. I just made Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes last week. Isn't it too soon to make another alcohol-infused cupcake? Well...no. It's never too soon. If you're even questioning this, then obviously you don't know me. I began thinking about how I could make this apple cupcake thing work out in my favor. And it hit me...Caramel Apple Martinis. Or rather, Caramel Appletinis. Yes. Yes. Yes. And then, I discovered some leftover apple vodka in the alcohol cabinet. Obviously, this cupcake was a part of my destiny.

After the usual perusal of blogs, I determined that Cupcake Rehab's Caramel Cake was a good "base recipe" to build on. Of course I made alterations. Why else would I even bother to take on the Iron Cupcake challenge?

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Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes

The crazy cupcake lady is back! Betcha missed her! The other day, I realized that I hadn't created or blogged about anything new lately in the world of cupcakes.

Enter my friend's "Wine Tasting Party". Hmmm...somehow I still feel like we're still too young to really appreciate wine, but I was inspired by the concept. Why couldn't I make red wine cupcakes? So off I went to research this great new idea on the internet. And lo and behold...it's already been done. Yep. There are countless recipes on the internet dedicated to creating red wine cake/cupcakes. Why am I just hearing about this?!

Of all the web sites and blogs that I stumbled upon, my favorite was a blog called We are Not Martha. There's nothing scientific about how I chose their recipe. Their blog looked fun and of course, there was a giant "cupcake" cake in one of the red wine cupcake photos. Obviously, this was going to be a winner.

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Blue Moon Cupcakes

A few months ago, I entered a little competition called Iron Cupcake Earth. While checking out my cupcake entries as well as the other not-so-worthy competitors' cupcakes, my friend Maggie stumbled across a recipe for Blue Moon cupcakes. Thus began 3 months of Maggie badgering...i mean, persuading me to bake Blue Moon cupcakes.

When Labor Day finally rolled around, our friend Bobby graciously decided to host party at his snazzy new place. In honor of this (or really, just to appease Maggie) I decided to succumb to peer pressure and bring over the Blue Moon cupcakes. What's not to love about the combination of beer and food anyway? I also had these really pretty blue cupcake liners from BakeItPretty.com that I was DYING to use! This may have influenced my decision a little bit. Just a little.

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