Happy National Bagel Day!
I don't know how many celebrations you can cram into one day, but I'm sure someone out there is trying to score a meal for each ocassion. Which won't be hard, I'm sure. 'Specially if you live in New Orleans. Those people know how to party. Not that I would know or anything... *insert innocent whistle here*
Actually, in all honesty, I'm not really a party person. I'm more of the stay home and make fun of reality t.v. shows while kneading dough kind of person. But I do enjoy the ocassional outting with friends and having a couple of drinks. Though, I can definitely skip on the "freeing your boobies" part of partying. Especially when said boobies have some weird deformed overlarge nipples that have some kind of satanic piercing going on.
Sorry. You probably didn't want to hear that. Trust me. I didn't want to see it. Scarred for life much? You bet.
But let's not talk about that. Let's talk about cupcakes. King Cake Cupcakes!
Besides the whole letting your milk jugs express themselves openly, Mardi Gras celebrates the love of all things pastries. From fried foods, to pancakes, to King Cakes... It's not just in New Orleans, but in places like Latin America and the Carribean. Mardi Gras is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, and the festivities range from carnival activities to simply gorging out on all things sugary and fatty before the ritual of fasting for Lent. Although I'm pretty sure that most people who celebrate Mardi Gras are just looking for an excuse to eat a crap load of carbs. Hey, i'm not judging. Any day where it's socially acceptable to gorge out is cool with me. Then again, I like any excuse to bake horrible sugar-laden foods. Which is why these cupcakes definitely made my list of things to make.
I've never had a traditional King Cake, but I do know the basic ingredients on how to make one. Since I was thinking of actually making my own King Cake, I tried my hardest to learn all the techniques -- only to realize that I was quite a few ingredients short, and the whole process seemed very daunting. Instead, I took the easy way out and made an adapted, non-yeast version that can be made at your convenience. I'd say the most difficult part of making these was probably the wait time between cooling and decorating. After that, however, you better have a friend or two to invite over... Because these cupcakes are guaranteed to consume at least three different meals of your day. Seriously. They are GOOD. And by finely chopping the pecans, you get a nice little toasted nutty crunch in each bite. Which is awesome. Unless you have a nut allergy. Then, not so awesome... But I bet these cakes would taste great with, or without the pecans. They are that good, people.
Hope you all enjoy your sugar comas today. And don't forget to eat a bagel. It's just the right thing to do.
King Cake Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
3 tablespoons warm water
+ Colored yellow, green and purple sugar for decorating
1. Preheat oven to 375F and spray 16 cupcake liners with nonstick spray.
2. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, etc)
3. Whisk together butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in egg, milk, and vanilla.
4. Stir in dry ingredients and pecans just until there is no trace of flour left (do not overmix, your batter will be lumpy -- that's a good thing).
5. Fill cupcake liners with batter, and stick in oven for about 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
6. Cool on wire wrack.
7. Once cupcakes are cooled completely, whisk together the powdered sugar and warm water until smooth. Drizzle with a spoon over cupcakes liberally. Sprinkle with colored sugar/sprinkles.