After a pretty darn stressful week (few weeks, actually), I had a pretty amazing day. My parents kept the girls for us this morning, and the hubs and I spent a few hours together, just the two of us. We had some fun in downtown KC, and grabbed a quiet lunch. It was nice to have some adult time. Some QUIET adult time.
After a quiet morning, we came home and just kind of hung out. The girls went swimming, I took a nap (A NAP!!) and then made these cupcakes.
Tonight, we went to the ballfields and played some softball with the kids. And then, we played on the playground until it started to get dark. On the way home, I stopped by my parent’s house and snagged some tomatoes out of Dad’s garden, and made tomato and cheese sandwiches for a late dinner.
Boring, I guess to some, but those are the kinds of days that I just love. It was just family time, and focusing on what’s important. At the playground, I found myself just sitting and watching my husband play with the girls, and just so, so happy. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of life that when you actually remember to just slow down and enjoy? Those moments are priceless.
And, to top it all off, there were cupcakes waiting for us when we got home. Doesn’t get much better, I tell ya.
These are a definitely boozy cupcake – you use a whole beer in the batter. I’ll let you use your own judgement on serving them to kids – I know the arguments on alcohol cooking out are varied. The actual alcohol content per cupcake is pretty low – just .33 ounces of beer per cupcake. Personally, I keep these away from my kids, I doubt they’d appreciate the hoppy flavor, anyway. 😉
The beer keeps these cupcakes super moist, and the beer flavor remains just barely present in the finished dessert. And while you can use any beer you have handy, I would recommend a dark, stout beer for the best flavor. The chocolate ganache frosting also has a hint of beer in it, but just enough to give it a touch of flavor. Chopped, salted pretzels sprinkled on top give it a popular sweet-and-salty flavor that I guarantee you’re going to love.
And how perfect would these be for a football party?
Don’t be afraid of the long ingredient list for these, either. They really go together VERY quickly, and I didn’t even use my mixer to make them, which was a nice change.
Hope you love these. And make some time to enjoy the small stuff today, even if just for a little bit.
Thanks for stopping by today! Leave me a comment below so I know you were here!
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle of dark beer, preferably stout (reserve 2T for Ganache)
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso granules dissolved in two teaspoons warm water
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate; chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Stout Beer
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Chopped salted pretzels, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Prepare 3 cupcake pans (36 wells) with liners, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together cocoa powder, sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, combine beer, milk, espresso, oil and vanilla with a large whisk.
- One at a time, add eggs and whisk to just to combine after each addition.
- Add dry mixture to wet mixture in three batches, stirring until just moistened every time.
- Fill cupcake papers ⅔ full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- Chop chocolate, and set aside.
- In a microwave-safe glass bowl, heat cream, beer and vanilla until steaming hot but not boiling.
- Add chopped chocolate to steaming cream, and allow to sit for 30 seconds.
- Using a clean wire whisk, slowly stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
- Allow to cool and thicken for about 15 minutes.
- Using an offset spatula, carefully spread frosting over the top of each cupcake.
- Garnish with chopped pretzel sticks,