Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Bacon Cream Cheese Icing

The way I see it, the four food groups need an overhaul. I know they had that pyramid thing for a while, but I like to keep things classic. How about the four food groups of awesome? Henceforth they shall be: Bacon, Cheese, Sugar, and Liquor!!!!!

Oh, and carbs because duh, how would you live?

I combined two of the essential food groups into one ridiculous cupcake. I mean, you haven’t been able to buy yourself any new clothes in months. You need cupcakes to keep you going. You deserve it.

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

I’m not so up on the trends, usually because I can’t afford them. It took a while, but I finally put bacon in a dessert, and it was super awesome. I know I’m not the last one on the planet to give this a try. Let me urge you not to waste another day.

The cupcakes are sticky and rich, with a hint of spice. And the cream cheese icing has bits of bacon throughout. Bacon! What else do I have to say?

This cupcake isn’t overpoweringly bacony. It’s not like putting your breakfast on top of a cake. The bacon just adds an essential chewy, salty, smoky factor that pretty much makes you want to swoon.

Bacon Irish Coffee

You might also like to put some Bailey’s and bacon vodka into your favorite coffee to help wash it down. Bacon Irish Coffee can’t possibly be a bad idea.

Put bacon on your cupcakes. Do it now! You’ll thank me later.

 

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes
Yields 12
A moist and lightly spiced chocolate cupcake dripping with cream cheese icing studded with crisp bacon
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
18 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
18 min
for the cupcakes
  1. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 4 Tbsp recently boiled water
  3. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  4. 1 cup flour
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 shakes of ground cloves
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 cup sugar
  11. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
for the icing
  1. 1/2 stick (2 ounces) butter, softened
  2. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  3. 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  4. 2 Tbsp milk
  5. 6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped to small pieces (save one piece per cupcake to decorate, it you so choose)
for the cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and put your favorite cupcake papers in your pan.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and hot water to form a thick paste. Then slowly whisk in the buttermilk.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cloves, and both sugars.
  4. In a larger bowl beat the eggs for about a minute. Mix in half the cocoa mixture, then half the flour mixture. Then repeat the process with the rest of the cocoa and flour. Stir until just combined.
  5. Fill the cups about halfway, then bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool completely.
for the icing
  1. With a mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, and milk, and mix until smooth. It will be halfway between a set frosting and a glaze.
  3. Stir in the bacon.
  4. Spoon the frosting onto your cupcakes. It will drip a bit. Garnish with bacon pieces then store in the refrigerator.
Adapted from My Year in Meals by Rachael Ray
http://awesomeon20.com/
 

Life on Two Wheels

What’s your dream car? Mine’s a Vespa. That’s right. A cute sleek Italian scooter. I picture myself wearing an A-line dress, Jackie O sunglasses, and a long scarf, cruising around the island. And of course, a helmet, preferably leopard print with goggles.

I wish this was my helmet.
I wish this was my helmet.

This does not fit into my budget. But driving a scooter definitely helps me live on $20 a day. Ask me how much I spend on gas each week. Go on, ask me.

$4

That’s it. Four bucks at the pump. And the only reason I spend that much is because I work so far away right now.

His, mine, and ours
His, mine, and ours

Every time I put gas in my car I want to cry. It’s always over $50. Luckily, I don’t drive it that often. Dealing with traffic and parking is so tedious, I want to tear my hair out. Then there’s the tags and the inspection fees. New tires. Dead batteries. Car ownership is a drag.

I paid about $900 for my current scooter, brand new. I get around 75 miles to the gallon. I’ve gotten 100 before. It’s worth it for the reduction in carbon emissions alone. My scooter saves me a ton of money.

Proper scooter attire required
Proper scooter attire required

But apart from being economical, it’s also super fun. I first started riding a scooter when I lived in Taiwan, and we’d ride those things everywhere. We even went camping at the top of a mountain. If you can find the right back roads, you can go just about anywhere. And you can see everything. There are no pesky roofs or windows to block your view of the scenery.

I realize a scooter might not be practical for everybody. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for travelling with small children, though I have seen dogs that are scooter trained. And I know for a fact you can pull a goat trailer with one. But if you live in a place that’s above 65 degrees even six months out of the year, and you don’t have to do a lot of freeway driving, it’s absolutely the best way to get around town.

Always wear a helmet!
Always wear a helmet!

Save money. Reduce carbon emissions and dependence on foreign oil. Never have to search for parking. Look totally cool driving around saying “Ciao!” Ditch your car. Get a scooter. All the cool kids are doing it.

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Sausage Rolls

sausage rolls

St. George’s Day is coming up, so today I’m celebrating all things awesomely English. My absolute favorite Anglo export is the dude sitting on my futon. We’ve been married for two years, and I’m still charmed by his accent every day. My second favorite English fellow has to be Mr. Harry James Potter.

On our visit to England we had some time to kill in London, so I pretty much insisted on seeing King’s Cross station and getting a cheesy photo at platform 9-3/4. If you visit the station, there aren’t any signs to help you find it, and it’s sort of impossible to see. The guy at the info counter will get annoyed when you ask where it is. You’d think they’d be over it by now.

platform 9 3/4

After completing this necessary duty, I fell in love with another English wonderment known as the sausage roll. Why oh why are these not sold on every street corner in America? It’s completely perplexing. It’s one of the most ingeniously delicious things I’ve ever eaten. And to have it at King’s Cross, where Jo Rowling’s parents met, was extra special. It was all thoroughly English.

sausage rolls on tray

It’s just yummy sausage wrapped in puff pastry and baked to a golden brown. So simple, yet so mind-blowingly delicious. I wish I could eat one every day. In England, they’re sold on nearly every street corner, but now that we’re back in America, we have to make them ourselves. Luckily, it’s quite simple. Moreover, you can eat them hot or cold, so they’re great for picnics or snacks, if you can get them to last that long.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of burning your mouth on a piping hot sausage roll, you simply must make some right this minute. Put down your sword, stop slaying dragons, get out of your castle, and get in the kitchen and make these. Then try and share with your friends. It’s the English way.

sausage rolls inside

Sausage Rolls
Yields 12
A homemade version of the perfect British street food
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  2. 1 pound of your favorite sausage meat, uncooked (I like Jimmy Dean hot)
  3. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Let your puff pastry thaw on the counter. 30 minutes should be plenty.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the sheets. With a pizza cutter or a sharp knife cut each one down the middle, then cut into thirds in the other direction to make six squares per sheet.
  4. Divide your sausage meat evenly between each square. Smoosh it into a line down the center of each square. It’s okay to go right to the edge.
  5. Crack your egg into a bowl and beat it with a fork until well combined. You can add a bit of water to thin it out, if you like.
  6. For each square, carefully fold the sides of the puff pastry over the sausage so they overlap. Press the dough together to seal it, then using the fork dipped in your egg mixture, press the tines into the seam. The egg will help act as a glue.
  7. Place the roll seam-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Depending on the size, you may need to use two baking sheets or work in two batches.
  8. With a sharp knife cut 2-3 slits into the top of each roll.
  9. Brush each roll with a thin layer of your egg wash. This makes them all shiny and lovely.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or golden brown. Allow them to cool for as long as you can stand it. At least 10 minutes.
  11. Try not to burn your fingers when you finally sink your teeth into one of these bad boys. It’s not easy. Patience is overrated.
http://awesomeon20.com/
 

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