Maple Maker’s Mark Cupcakes and Cocktails for Santa
Why leave milk and cookies out for “Santa” when you can leave cupcakes and cocktails made with Maker’s Mark and Crown Maple? These recipes would be a fun surprise for whoever is playing Santa in your household this year. And if no one is playing Santa, you can still kick back on Christmas Eve in front of the fire and savor these bacon-infused cupcakes and cocktails. The “All American” Cocktail would also make a patriotic toast to the New Year. The recipe is by Niccole Trzaska of The Liberty, NYC, NY. The Crown Maple Bourbon Cupcake recipe is by Sara Lehman of Somm in the City. Feel free to sub regular bacon for the pancetta if pancetta’s not your thing.
In a rocks glass, stir bitters and Crown Maple, top with bacon infused bourbon. Add ice and garnish with a strip of cooked bacon.
*How to make bacon Infused Maker’s Mark® Bourbon:
Cook 3-4 strips of thick bacon, enough to yield 1 ounce of fat (eat the bacon after!). Once bacon fat has cooled to room temperature, pour in to a storage container. Add 750mL Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, cover and freeze overnight. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain bourbon in to a new container removing large bits of bacon. Lastly, double strain your bourbon back in to the bottle.
Crown Maple Bourbon Pancetta Cupcake
Yields: 12 Medium + Sized Cupcakes
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup Crown Maple Sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1. Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. 3. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
4. Pam the Muffin Tins well, so no paper is needed.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
Maple Bourbon Buttercream
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
2 TSP Crown Maple Medium Amber
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups Crown Maple Sugar
1 tablespoon milk
TT Knob Creek Bourbon (Or another bourbon type if chosen)
1. Cream butter and shortening until smooth and lumps are pretty much gone.
2. Beat at medium speed, stop, and scrape well, and beat again.
3. Slowly add in sifted sugars alternating between confectioners and maple sugars.
4. Gradually add milk and syrup alternating until mixture is creamy, smooth, and coming together like buttercream.
5. Taste a small amount of mixture to make sure it does not need more maple in it before adding the bourbon.
6. If it tastes like it has enough maple, you can either fold in the Knob Creek with a rubber spatula (I suggest) or you can mix it on slow speed, adding bourbon very little at a time.
** Adding bourbon too fast will look like it will curdle the mixture and will not make it very smooth.
7. Let chill in fridge for 5 minutes.
8. Once cakes are cool, you can pipe on icing. I chose to use a piping bag, but using a plastic bag and cutting the corner will work too.
9. Pipe on buttercream in a circle swirling it to a point on the cupcake top.
**If buttercream gets soft in your hands, simply put it in the fridge for a few minutes.
8-10 slices of Pancetta rounds (Uncooked)
TT Crown Maple Sugar
1. Lay pancetta out on parchment paper on a baking sheet
2. Put oven on Broil (high)
3. Sprinkle pancetta with maple sugar until a nice layer covers it. Note: The sugar may not look very visible, but do not overload the pancetta.
4. Place under broiler and keep a close eye.
5. Pancetta will look slightly curled at edges and very juicy
6. Cook about 5-7 minutes under broiler and check outside of oven.
7. Pancetta should be crunchy and sticky because of the sugar. If not yet, you can sprinkle with more sugar and place back under broiler for about 2-3 minutes.
8. Check pancetta again, out of broiler.
9. Let cool before crushing up for cupcakes. Once cool, break apart with hands into little pieces and place on cupcake with buttercream. Enjoy cooler or at room temperature!