Bacon Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting + a Bourbon Drizzle.
I always make these sorts of… resolutions, if you will.
Not resolutions in the new year about diet or exercise, but little brain resolutions about my recipes and how I should try to do x, y and z. How I should try to make beautiful, classic things, dishes that are pretty and simple and elegant enough to grace the inside of a Martha Stewart book or something.
I decide that I should try and make food that is more west coast cool or beautifully european and style it with pretty pastels and antique silverware and stuff that I always see others’ do but can’t quite execute in my own (impatient) state.
In attempts to grow personally and professionally in food and photography, I stack plates high enough that if they should come crashing down, I will probably lose a few toes and I proceed to stand on chairs and risk my life (okay, my ankles) any and everywhere to try and get an overhead shot that I can consider classy. CLASSY.
Then I make peanut butter bacon banana cupcakes and the whole thing flies out the window. It’s like falling off the workout bandwagon or something. Because I’m pretty sure that this combination of flavors is full of everything but class. Calories? Maybe. Richness? Obviously. Elegance? Um, no. My grandmothers are probably shouting WHAT IS GOING ON in that brain of yours, Jessica?
Except that they wouldn’t shout – they would so gently and calmly ask. They were lovely.
These cupcakes would not be described as lovely. Let’s be real.
Lovely is all robin’s egg blue napkins and embellished winter white sweaters and tomato salads with perfect drizzles of balsamic. Lovely is not dense and gooey brown sugar banana cupcakes with a fat, fluffy peanut butter hat and shards of freshly fried, crispy bacon.
These are more like… alarming. Or provocative.
But one can’t be classy and elegant if they aren’t even being themselves, right? That’s what I like to tell myself. I mean, since I do a number on trashed up food, does it make me less classy? In the fashion world, are these cupcakes considered edgy or frumpy? I have no idea. But I do know that eating one more is going to put me on the EDGE of BEING frumpy.
Totally worth it.
After making, photographing and – shockingly – eating these cupcakes, I was struck with fear. Fear that I had already made a banana bacon PB cupcake because of my infatuation with the flavors. I’ve already done that about four times this year, you know. Made something that I thought was new, only to realize that I’d shared it 273 days ago. I am officially losing my mind.
But I was wrong – I made a peanut butter bacon banana BREAD, which is entirely different than peanut butter bacon banana cupcakes. Nothing is the same as a cupcake… a portable little dreamboat packed with your favorite flavors and better yet, no fork required. Plus, banana bread is clearly a snack and a snack only. Not dessert.
THIS is dessert. A perfectly ridiculous and trashed up dessert, that is. No elegance near.
I don’t mind.
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons of milk, if needed
- 8 slices cooked bacon, cut in half or thirds
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside. In a bowl, whisk the egg and add brown sugar, mixing until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add sour cream and melted butter and mix until a smooth batter forms. Stir in the dry ingredients, then add mashed bananas and mix until the batter comes together. The batter will be thick. Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure, scoop batter into the liners. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting
Add the butter and peanut butter to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix until a frosting forms, increasing the speed from low to high. Add in the vanilla extract and beat the frosting for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high speed. If the frosting is too thick, add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat for another 1 to 2 minutes after each addition. When ready to frost, scoop the frosting onto a spatula or into a pastry bag and frost the cooled cupcakes. Stick the bacon pieces on top of the frosting.
Add the ingredients to a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and cook for 1 to 2 minutes once boiling. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan and let the syrup sit and cool to room temperature, where it will thicken. It won’t be super thick, but just slightly syrupy.
Can’t stand it.