May 02, 2008

Mint Julep Cupcakes


Ingredients:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, at room temperature
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint


derby frosting



Directions:
Allow the mint to seep in the milk for at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Line or grease and flour 6 wells in a cupcake pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, mix thoroughly. Add flour, baking powder and salt to the butter mixture. Strain the milk into the bowl and add the bourbon to the rest of the batter and beat until well combined. Fill each well 2/3 of the way full. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with just one or two dry crumbs. Cool briefly in the pan, then remove cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely before icing with derby frosting.

My thoughts:
While Baltimore is the host of one of the races in the Triple Crown, the race at Pimlico isn't linked in any way to interesting foods, drinks or genteel behavior. So I had to co-opt the Kentucky Derby where the signature drink is the mint julep and the ladies wear white dresses and giant hats in direct contrast to Baltimore's Preakness, which is more of a frat house-esque beer fest. I digress, the mint julep is a simple cocktail consisting of just mint, sugar and bourbon which lends itself perfectly to cupcake making. I decided on a cream cheese based frosting so it wasn't a total sugar fest but it is a sweet, minty and certainly very boozy cupcake.