Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Noggin' Toboggan

I like eggnog. There's something about the milkshaky nutmegy cinnamony beverage that appeals to me during the Christmas holiday. I'm not a milk person, by ANY means, but I am enjoying being able to grab a glass of eggnog at any moment during the day. A month or so, ago I came across a recipe for eggnog french toast, which I just HAD to try (thank you Pinterest!) It was delish. Ever since, the 'nog has been readily available in the fridge.

**So funny - As I type this, my 6 yr old son is requesting a glass of eggnog. Classic!

Anyway, the french toast was delish (kid approved.) Once that was established, I knew that the next experiment would be to incorporate it into a cupcake. I'd seen a few different recipes online for eggnog cupcakes, but many of them started with a cake mix base. Don't get me wrong, I have a couple of these recipes, but not for cupcakes. Since this cupcake thing is my THING I want to be as "from scratch" as possible. This cupcake was YUMMY! The cake itself was borderline muffin consistency (I thought) but yet super moist....then once it was filled, it took the eggnog flavor over the top. I am definitely going to make these again before the holidays are over!

Eggnog Cupcakes

For the cupcake:
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1 c eggnog
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp rum extract
2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the filling:
1 3oz box french vanilla pudding
2 c cold milk
2-3 tsp rum extract, to taste

For the frosting:
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c butter, softened
2 tsp rum extract
1 1/2 Tbsp eggnog
5 c confectioners' sugar
Nutmeg - for garnish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prep your cupcake pans. Put butter and sugar in mixer bowl, and mix at medium speed until combined, which was about 3 minutes for me. While this is mixing, combine your dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and set aside. (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg) Combine your eggnog and extracts in a large measuring cup, and set aside. 
Once butter and sugar are well combined, add your eggs, one at a time. Scrape down your  mixer bowl, then set to low speed and alternate adding dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry's. Mix until completely incorporated. Remove from mixer, and scoop into cupcake liners. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until tops bounce back when touched.

While cupcakes bake, prepare your pudding, as directed. Add 2-3 tsp rum extract, to taste. Pop into the fridge, while you wait for cupcakes to bake and cool. Once cupcakes are fully cooled, core them, then pipe custard into center.

For your frosting, combine butter and cream cheese in mixer. Mix at medium speed, until incorporated, then add extracts and eggnog. Slowly add confectioners' sugar, about 1/2 a cup at a time. Mix until light and fluffy. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes, then sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired.

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