The holidays have arrived and are all around us. We’ve waited patiently for them, and now that they are finally here we try to hold on to them for as long as we can. The decorations have been up since the beginning of November, the music has been playing since right after Halloween (well for me it has anyway) and yet we still can’t seem to get enough.What is it about the holidays that makes us so jolly? Is it the music and decorations? Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby crooning their way into our holiday hearts? The tiny lights dancing off trees? No, not quite. Is it the quality time spent with family and friends? The ones you love all around you as you enjoy the season of giving and thanks? It sure is lovely but no, not that either. Oh well, for sure it’s all the wonderful presents we give and receive, right? A certain red suited gentleman sliding down chimneys delivering gifts and the look on our loved one’s faces as they tear apart the paper and reveal the perfect gift? No, no, not at all. I know! It’s all the good food and special treats that are made during the holidays, isn’t it? The time spent in the kitchen making those delicious sweets that only come out during this time of year?
In reality, its a combination of everything. For each of these traditions is what makes this time of year so special. Sure, treats help out a lot. One treat in particular calls out to me that can only be described as such; rich, velvety and smooth. Delightfully sinful, and yet it’s only around for the winter. The rest of the year it leaves us high and dry. Cold, yearning for it’s delectable sweetness. With the magical powers to turn dreary, sad and lonely, into happy, excited and delighted.
With each passing day in December, we grow more and more excited about the holidays. As they approach, the anticipation starts to get the best of us. “Can I open just one little ol’ present? Just one, please!” was the anthem to my childhood in december. The thought of wonderful food, happy memories, candid photographs, and presents creates a warm fuzzy feeling inside us. Whichever holiday you might celebrate, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Winter Solstice, New Year’s Eve, or even New Year’s day, you might have certain traditions for each specific holiday. Ones that you and your family never fail to do. Certain foods you eat, movies you watch and music you listen to, take center stage on that day. Whatever the case might be, one treat stands from the crowd and is present and accounted for in each holiday. It’s versatile, and an equal opportunity holiday celebrator. It knows no boundaries of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. It doesn’t matter what holiday you celebrate, just as long as it can celebrate with you. What is this wonderfully delicious treat I speak so highly of? Well, its eggnog of course. A winter tradition that is only made merrier with a healthy dousing of rum. Or brandy. Or Whisky. Or dare I say it? All three. Perhaps it isn’t the food, memories, photographs, movies, and presents that cause the warm fuzzy feeling inside. In fact I don’t believe any of those things do. It must be the liquor, because we all know liquor makes people happy. It makes crazy Aunt Sue, even crazier. Grandpa Bill less paranoid and you a little looser. As for me, I don’t care whether it has rum, brandy or whisky. Just make sure it has plenty of it, and that it’s heavily doused with cinnamon.
And the dry ingredients are:
The very first thing we have to do is……
….yup you guessed it. Mix all the dry ingredients together. You know me too well by now!
Baking Soda Baking Powder Salt
Cinnamon Nutmeg Mix, Mix
It’s time to mix the wet ingredients.
Grab your stand mixer, paddle attachment and a bowl.
Don’t have a mixer? Well then go buy one! What are you waiting for?!?!?! No I kid I kid. You really don’t need one. A simple bowl and whisk with the added elbow grease, will do just fine, thank you.
Me? I’m too lazy (I mean, I’m using all the strength I’ve got to muster up together this oh so witty post)….so I’m using a mixer.
And now for the main ingredient. Drum roll please ba rum ba rum ba rum bum bum bum….(okay, so that was the best I could do)
I’m using a pumpkin spiced eggnog, just thought I’d be a wee bit more festive than usual.
Add the thick holly jolly beverage into the mixer.
Let’s add canola oil. Just a tiny little ol’ bit. No one has to know.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The good stuff…..don’t be bringing any of that imitation vanilla to the party.
It’s not invited.
Okay so I lied earlier, the main star of the show isn’t the eggnog. Oh sure, it has top billing, but the real show stealer is…
RUM. Awaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwahhhhhh…..cue the parting of the heavens. Light shining bright through the window and onto the yummy rum.
Make sure it all goes into the bowl, NOT into your mouth. Yea, I’m watching you. The booze is for the cupcakes.
Add some granulated sugar to the party.
Give it a good mix.
It’s time to add the dry ingredients.
Go ahead, its okay, I give you permission to.
Slowly and carefully mix the dry ingredients in. Don’t over mix it because the cupcakes will get dry and tough, if you do.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
You know its time for HIM to make his appearance when “Scrape, Sides and Down” are in the same sentence.
Who am I talking about?
Mr. Piggy Spat. World Famous. One of a kind. I have the only one. No other like it.
Oh wait. Hold on a second, my phone is ringing….(uh huh. uh huh. Oh really? Oh. Wow. Uh huh. Uh huh.) Okay well, I was just informed that he was mass produced and that there are hundreds of him everywhere.
Well, this one is special okay.
Give it another mix, to make sure everything is well incorporated.
And now, prepare the cupcake pans.
Line them with cupcake liners.
Use an ice cream scoop, just because it makes filling the pans easier, and why not make your life easy? Drop in leveled mounds of batter into the cupcake pans.
Well go ahead, you have two pans to fill up! Don’t slow down now.
Fortunately for me, I have the magic of technology on my side…
….BAM, all filled just like that. Ooooh. Ahhhhhh. Thank you. Thank you. I’ll be here all night.
Wait! I have more up my sleeve, well I would if I were wearing sleeves.
BOOM! Wow, they’re all baked and finished! How did I do that?! It’s magic.
Sadly, for you, you have to wait for them to bake. I know it sucks.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
As the cupcakes cool, let’s make the frosting.
Drop in the softened butter into a bowl.
Whip on high speed until light and fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar.
Lets add some salt.
It enhances the flavor.
I don’t know if it actually does…..but everyone says it does and who am I to question such stories?
It wont hurt.
Add a little nutmeg.
Which is one ingredient who is always invited to any party I throw. My door is always open for you Mr. Cinnamon.
As the frosting is being mixed, slowly stream in some eggnog.
Add a little rum as well. Why not? It’s the holidays…..we’re allowed to party.
One tablespoon for the frosting.
One tablespoon for me.
One tablespoon for me.
One tablespoon for me.
Mix the frosting rapidly, on high, until light and fluffy.
STOP. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
eh. eh. eh.
Okay, you knew that was coming.
When the frosting is finished it will look like this…
It’s now time to frost the cupcakes.
They should be cooled by now.
This is how you frost the cupcakes.
There you go, it was that simple! Now frost the rest.
Sorry, again, I have the magic of technology on my side.
Look, they’re all frosted. Boy, I’m fast.
Dust the tops with some, or a lot of cinnamon which is a must because eggnog always has a dusting of cinnamon.
And now for the finishing touch.
The right accessory for these cupcakes.
A cinnamon stick.
Place it directly into the frosting.
These cupcakes can easily be made without the liquor if you so desire. Although I don’t know why anyone would want them any other way. They’re the perfect treat to leave for Santa. I’ve decided that he’s bored of cookies this year. He needs a little pick-me-up. Santa, good ol’ buddy, one thing is for sure, I’m going to leave you some rum spiked eggnog cupcakes by my tree. Let’s just hope they make you happy enough to leave me a huge ginormous present. Thanks pal. See you soon.
Spiked Eggnog Cupcakes
Taken and adapted from Annie’s Eats. Thanks Annie 🙂
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup pumpkin spice eggnog
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tbsp pumpkin spice eggnog
- 1-2 tbsp dark rum
- cinnamon, for dusting
- cinnamon sticks, garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, using a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggnog, canola oil, rum, vinegar, vanilla and sugar. Mix on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is thick and well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined, be careful not to over-mix. Half-way through, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Once the batter is well incorporated, evenly divide it into lined cupcake pans. Bake for 20-24 minutes until golden brown, or when a tooth pick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean. Allow to cool in the cupcake pans for about 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
As the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. Place the softened butter in a bowl of an electric mixer, or this can be done by hand as well, good luck, and whip for 3 minutes until light in color and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt, mix again. As the mixer is running, or you hand is mixing rapidly, slowly stream in the eggnog, rum and vanilla. Whip on high for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides every so often, until the frosting appears light and fluffy.
Frost the cupcakes using a pastry bag with a fancy star tip like I used, or a knife or spatula, whichever you prefer. Sprinkle the cupcakes with cinnamon and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!