I was so happy when my husband offered to put up our Christmas tree this year. With all the baking and book-writing going on, I simply didn't have the time or inspiration to spare. He's a pretty creative guy (in a software developer kind of way), so I was excited to see what kind of tree-decorating magic he could work.
When he called me over to see his design, I was amazed at how beautifully woodsy and natural the tree looked. As I studied the tree in greater detail, I noticed some things were missing. Then I noticed a box set aside, and therein was every sparkly ornament I'd ever bought.
"What about these?" I picked two sequined birds from the box.
"Nope." he said.
"They're woodsy!" I argued, which garnered an eye roll.
I held up a glittered pear. He shook his head.
The good news is, I didn't even feel like sulking about the lack of sparkle because the tree was undeniably beautiful - and I didn't have to lift a finger! Anyway, I've more than made up for the lack of holiday glitz with these sparkly,spiked eggnog cupcakes.
If you're wondering about the sparkling deer, I gave these guys a makeover with silver acrylic paint. While the paint was still wet I dipped them in regular ol' glitter from the craft drawer. The pink metallic cupcake liners are available here.
Spiked Eggnog Ganache Cupcakes
[click for printable version]
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Source: cake recipe adapted from Intoxicated Cupcakes with Sprinkle Bakes original frosting
Prep: 55 minutes; total time about 3 hours
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons dark rum
3/4 cup commercially prepared eggnog
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz. quality white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup commercially prepared eggnog
1/2 cup/ 113g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on medium-high speed and beat until creamy. Add the egg, and once beaten smooth, add the rum and eggnog.
- Turn off the mixer and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together on low speed until well combined. Place batter in the paper liners by the level 1/4 cup. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the frosting, combine the chocolate and eggnog in a small saucepan. Place over medium-low heat until mixture can be stirred smooth. Transfer ganache to a bowl and let cool completely in the refrigerator, about 1-2 hours. When ganache is cool (it won't set completely like normal ganache, rather, it will be a bit soft and runny) place it in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add softened butter and beat briefly at high speed. Add confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time. Beat on high speed again until fluffy and mixture is lightened in color.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Grate fresh nutmeg over each cupcake; serve. Store in an air-tight cupcake caddy or covered in plastic wrap.
- My cake batter was very thick. I think this was due to the brand of prepared eggnog I used. I added 2 tablespoons of milk to loosen the batter and it baked up perfectly.
- If the frosting is too loose to pipe and hold its shape, place it in the refrigerator for a little while to firm; re-whip with a hand mixer and then transfer to a piping bag.