I love the show Two Broke Girls, love the relationship between the friends and the entire concept (at least through the second season, which is as far as I’ve binged so far). The idea of owning a bakery has been a dream of mine for a long, long time. The virtual bakery is a way to write my way into the dream, because I’m always going to be a writer first and neither bakery owner nor writer sounds like something that could be added part time.

When I first saw the first season’s two-part finale with Martha Stewart, I became enamored of Max’s Homemade Beer Batter Maple Bacon Spring Break Cupcakes. I went looking for a recipe and found one online that led me to the beer I’m using (a light, citrusy brew) and the idea for a white cake, not chocolate. Have to admit, I didn’t realize Max’s was chocolate and I’m not a fan of chocolate. I made the one I found online [https://londonfare.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/beer-batter-maple-bacon-spring-break-cupcakes/] and it’s good, but I wanted to try it with my own cupcake recipe, a 1-2-3-4 cake, and add in the high altitude parts.

This is the result. I made them on March 21, following intermittent desert rainstorms when our humidity is about as high as it ever gets – 90 percent. The temp was around 40 and while there wasn’t a lot of wind, what there was held icy raindrops even as the sun continued to shine. Because that’s what it does here.

The cakes

6 tablespoons shortening (I used stick Crisco, not the butter flavored)

1 cup sugar minus 1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons hot water

2 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups cake flour plus 2 tablespoons (I’ve never used cake flour in my life – this was unbleached)

7/8 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup beer plus 2 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons

Cream shortening and sugar thoroughly. Add hot water and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, unbeaten, one at a time, and beat mixture well after each addition. (Note: Breaking the eggs into a glass dish before adding to the batter gives you a chance to check for and pick out any shell fragments.)

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Sift dry ingredients together into a medium sized bowl or if, like me, you don’t have a sifter, put the flour, baking powder and salt into a sieve and shake it into the bowl. Add to the eggs, sugar and shortening alternately with the beer, making sure the batter is always soft enough to stir easily. When dry ingredients and beer are both added, add the vanilla.

Spoon or pour the batter into prepared cupcake tins; makes 12. Bake in a 365 degree oven for 22 to 25 minutes. Check by inserting a sharp knife or toothpick into the center of a cupcake or two to check for doneness; cupcakes are baked when no batter sticks to the tester.

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The frosting

1 ½ sticks butter, softened (I use salted butter for pretty much everything – YMMV)

2 cups powdered sugar

3-4 (or even 5) tablespoons maple syrup

Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth and well beaten. Add the first cup of powdered sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the syrup. Run the mixer until fairly well mixed, then add the remaining sugar and the other 1 to 2 (or even 3) tablespoons of syrup, one at a time. Frosting should be thick enough to easily frost the cupcakes, not runny.

While the cupcakes are cooling on a rack, cut up as many strips of bacon as desired into half-inch strips. Cook in a frying pan until crispy, drain thoroughly on paper towels.

When the cupcakes are cool, frost with the maple frosting. There’s no rule that requires you to use a decorator bag. A tablespoon, knife or spatula will probably work just about as well. When the cupcakes are frosted, either sprinkle on the bacon, place it artfully, or turn the cupcakes upside down in the bacon bits. There’s no way to do this wrong, and definitely no way to lose.

Devour. Everybody loves bacon.

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