Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

I love the first snow in New York. It helps me slow down, take a breath. I feel perfectly content holing up in my cozy apartment, venturing out maybe for some groceries here, a little spin class or 2 there and basically just recuperating for another busy week ahead. Why leave if you don't have to, right? And of course my to do list always includes cooking. Specifically a little Texas treat I've been craving since I first read this blog post by my favorite Texas via New York blogger, Ms. Homesick Texan.
While exchanging some emails with my friend Ms. Robin, aka Silk Purse and Sow's Ear, she brought up this delicious sounding recipe again and that sealed it. Although Dr. Pepper may be my least favorite soda, next to Big Red (what a terrible Texan I am), I could see exactly how well it would work in a spice cake. Even on a whim after I got the soda I tried to take a sip, but the sweet sweet and spiciness of it just didn't work on it's own. But in a cake/cupcake batter, oh absolutely. And with some homey, hearty oatmeal, the addition of wintery spices,  a splash or two of warm bourbon (because it's me) and you have a delicious mini cake. That was devoured by everyone who they came in contact with. So try them. Especially if you can get your hands on some Dublin Dr. Pepper for nostalgia (and cane sugar over high fructose corn syrup) sake.

Dr. Pepper Cupcakes
adapted from The Homesick Texan Dr. Pepper Oatmeal Cake
1 1/8 c. Dr Pepper 
1/8 c. Bourbon
1 c. rolled oats 
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened slightly
1/2 c. white sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. ap flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl combine the oatmeal, Dr. Pepper and bourbon. You could also replace bourbon with rum. Set aside.

2. Cream together the butter, brown and white sugar, then add in eggs and vanilla and mix on medium high until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom.

3. Working in batches fold both the Dr. Pepper/bourbon mixture and the dry ingredients and fold until just barely combined. Line a cupcake tray with paper liners and fill half way with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating after 10, or until a toothpick/knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let sit until room temperature on a cooling rack.

Coconut Pecan Praline Icing

  • 1 c. toasted pecans
  • 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 3/8 c. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. bourbon or vanillar extract- optional

1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan heat the butter, sugars and milk  and mix well. When it registers a temperature of 240 on a candy thermometer or forms a small ball when dropped into a glass of water (soft ball stage) remove from heat and stir in the bourbon/vanilla, pecans and coconut.

2. Dollop carefully over the cupcakes, preferably with a paper towel or parchment paper underneath to catch any dripps. Mixture will be very hot so be careful handling. Let cool and harden.

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