Monday, February 25, 2008

Cookin' with Jack

I agonized over this month's Cupcake Hero Contest. The theme ingredient is liquor, which we generally avoid in our house. But I really wanted to do an Apple-tini Cupcake with Caramel drizzle on top. I visited a couple of liquor stores to find an apple flavored liquor, but they all had scary artificial colors added to them and required buying a huge $16 bottle of booze that I'd never drink. Then I had to go out of town on Thursday, so I just gave up on this month's contest.
I was ecstatic to learn when I returned that the deadline was extended until today. I searched the liquor stores for some other ideas, but returned empty handed and uninspired. With only hours remaining I remembered the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie from "How it all Vegan" by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. I bought a small bottle of Jack Daniels to make this pie about 3 years ago...and still had the leftover whiskey in the cabinet. Surely this heavenly combination of whiskey, pecans, and chocolate could make a winning cupcake...

Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Whiskey Buttercream and Chocolate Drizzle

1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1.5 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Jack Daniels
1/4 tsp molasses
3/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground flax seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, potato starch, xanthan, bkg powder, bkg soda, salt, pecans). In a separate bowl, mix together melted Earth Balance, vanilla, JD, molasses, sugar, and flax seeds. Then whisk together dry and wet ingredients and distribute in cupcake liners. I filled them pretty full and got 9 cupcakes, but I like a puffy rounded top to my cupcakes. It would make 12 smaller cupcakes.
Cool completely before frosting.

Whiskey Buttercream
This doesn't make a ton of frosting because it's super rich and pretty potent-tasting. If you want a thick frosting, just double the recipe.

1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
1 tsp whiskey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Cream together Earth Balance, whiskey and vanilla. Add 1/2 the powdered sugar and mix until no lumps remain. Add remaining sugar and mix until smooth.

Chocolate Drizzle
3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Over a VERY low heat, heat milk until steaming. Then remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until completely melted and smooth. Refrigerate until thickened slightly, but still drizzle-able.

***I know that making my entry gluten free will greatly reduce my chances of winning and of many people making these cupcakes. But I figure that if I keep posting these recipes, eventually folks will realize that although gluten-free baking seems incredibly intimidating, it can be done (especially with a good recipe)! Plus, this is a Cupcake Hero contest and anyone who is gluten free will tell you you're a hero if you bake these.


Coppe said...

I don't really drink myself, but I love whiskey frosting.

Also, this cupcake looks awesome. I think you're a definitely a Cupcake Hero!

Tempered Woman said...

Hey now~ don't cut yourself short. There is lots of gluten free love out there. I think it's so great that we get such a diversity in entries. It makes all of this way cooler.
I am a big fan of butter pecan (well and whiskey too, ahem) so these sound damn tasty good to me~ Thanks for the great entry!

Jennifer said...

Nice save! I would have had trouble too, we don't drink at our house, so I avoid recipes that call for alcohol as I wouldn't know what to do with the rest. We actually had to throw away alcohol because it went bad, granted they were a few year wine coolers, but still.

Those cupcakes look fantastic. And the picture is lovely as well!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Sounds like a great entry to me!! Who cares if it's gluten-free... I would make them in a heartbeat!

Keesha aka PrissyCook said...

Whiskey frosting...! Yum. These look so delicious and I think that the core components of the recipe would fit into a number of other sweet treats! Thanks for posting this.

Happy Herbivore! said...

GREAT photo! (and I don't drink) and that cupcake looks gooood

Anonymous said...

So to make these non-gluten free I would just use regular flour correct? And what purpose to the ground flax seeds and xanthan gum serve? (Sorry I really want these and I'm trying to avoid having to go to the store haha)


Liz said...

Yep- you can probably sub white wheat flour for the rice flour, starch, and xanthan gum. You might need a little more or less flour, though, so just play around with it until the consistency is right for cupcake batter. The ground flaxseeds work as a binder like eggs. You could also use a 1/2 a mashed banana (it would make dense cupcakes, though) or some egg replacer. Honestly, though, you could probably leave it out. It is more necessary to have the extra binding with gluten free stuff. Let me know how they turn out!