There’s Bourbon in My Batter (Or How to Make Chocolate Bourbon Cupcakes with Caramel Bourbon Topping)

So, my blog basically went on hiatus when perky, fun, glue gun/glitter pen-loving Anika became serious, sad, OMG-everyone-is-dead Anika. Then that Anika got all mad.

Again?

Not fun.

Since November I’ve basically been a basket case. I’ve also been really busy, which doesn’t always leave a lot of room for baking, writing about baking, or just learning to BE. The last bit is the hardest for me, by the way. When you’re a DOer, learning to be still… and just BE?

Is murder.

So, anyway, I wrapped another producing project last week and our first episode went live today. Sorry for the self-promotion, but here it is.

Now that I’m not working 12-hour days, I have been crossing things off my personal to-do list like: schedule the massage I paid for five months ago, make an acupuncture appointment to deal with my two year-old IT band injury, and write a bloody blog post.

Today I’m finally getting around to the blog post part, and for my first post back, I thought I’d write about the seriously sinful cupcakes I made for my last day on the Acuvue show. The other producers and I shared a love of bourbon, so I commemorated my last day with some boozy cupcakes. I wanted to make something chocolatey with caramel and bourbon… and a little googling led me to this recipe.

Which led to these cupcakes.

Chocolate Bourbon Cupcakes with Bourbon Caramel Topping

You need to bake these things as fast as possible because the batter is dangerously delicious. Trust me. There was an incident involving my mouth and a large spoon.

Which then led to a few declarations of undying love. (Apparently people like their chocolate soaked in Maker’s Mark.)

The key to these cupcakes (or to any cupcake for that matter) is not to bake them as long as the recipe instructs. I always go for 2-4 minutes under the baking time and the cupcakes end up being much, much better. (You want them to be moist — with a few crumbs sticking to the tester.)

Later this week I’m mixing up some cocktails for poolside festivities so look out for some Skinny Margarita recipes and a cocktail with vodka and muddled peas.

Yup, you read that right. Vodka. With muddled peas.

Stay tuned for that mess.

This Yankee Likes Bourbon (Or How to Make Spiked Old Fashioned Shakes)

Spiked shakes are amazing. Also bourbon belongs in ice cream. Trust me on this one.

There’s this fabulous pub in my neighborhood that makes spiked milkshakes. They are divine. I mean, what’s not to love about bourbon in your ice cream? I’ll tell you. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Unless you consider the calories, but shhh, let’s not speak of such things.

As my good friend once put it, “Counting calories is as damaging as counting the number of guys you’ve slept with.”

Amen, sister.

Some things just don’t need to be tallied.

(This also applies to counting the months and sometimes years of my accidental celibacy, but again, let’s not speak of these things.)

Back to bourbon, ice cream, and happiness.

The pub also serves a pretzel with a beer fondue sauce that will change your life. I need figure out how to make that as well, but I digress. Tonight I’m having a girlfriend over for a movie night, and I’m going to make some of those fabulous spiked shakes.

See, I promised Jerry, the sweet old guy up the street, that I would watch Gone With the Wind, and I have been putting it off. For weeks. Every time I stop to chat with him, he opens with, “Have you watched the movie yet?”

Each time I must hang my head in shame and admit that I have not.

I mean, the movie is FOUR HOURS LONG! Four. Hours. Long.

Just so you know, the last time I did anything for four hours uninterrupted, it was called sleeping. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the movie won Oscars and is all famous and shit, but I have about a 90-minute attention span, max. Sure, I have two film degrees, which means I have endured more long, obtuse “art” films than anyone should ever be exposed to unless they’re being tortured by a rogue terrorist cell, but there’s a reason I work in TV and not features now.

So anyway, I need to bribe myself to sit still tonight, and I need my friend Kim, and my friend bourbon, to force me to do it. This is why I’m making truffle popcorn and Spiked Old Fashioned shakes to accompany Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece.

If you have a movie night coming up and want to mix it up a bit, the shake recipe is below and the popcorn recipe is here. You may not need bourbon and butterfat to sit still like I do, but it’ll make it more fun. I promise.

Spiked Old Fashioned Shake

2 C vanilla ice cream
4 oz bourbon whiskey
2 oz orange juice
¼ tsp Angostura bitters
3 maraschino cherries, plus one additional cherry for garnish
Whipped cream for garnish, optional

Scoop the ice cream into the blender. Add the next four ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour the shake into a glass and garnish with whipped cream and a cherry.

Consume. Smile. Go into a creamy bourbon-induced coma while watching Scarlett O’Hara shout about Yankees in Tara for four hours.

OK, anyway, this Yankee is going to down some Kentucky Bourbon now.

Later, ya’ll.