These cupcakes excite me greatly.
Expect lots of exclamation point throughout the post. Sorry in advance, but I just cannot help it.
So, Pecan Pie.
How do you guys feel about it? Love it? Hate it? Want pumpkin instead?
I am a pecan pie lover all the way, of course it has to be a chocolate pecan pie. It’s what I grew up on, and also what I look forward to every holiday season.
My mom never did pumpkin pie. Remember, she is an all chocolate, all the time, kind of girl. This meant, I used to view desserts the way she does. Chocolate everything and nothing a shade lighter than milk chocolate in its lightest form. Ok, there may be a few exceptions, like crepes, but even then, they have to be filled with things like chocolate ice cream. I really am having a hard time thinking of anything else, maybe a frosted sugar cookie at Christmastime.
I mean, up until a few weeks ago when I made these Pumpkin Pie Oreos I had never had pumpkin pie anything.
Guys, I loved those Oreos, but these cupcakes are really where it’s at. I guess the hard-core chocolate lover that my mom has forever ingrained into me can never stray too far from the classics I grew up loving.
I have always said that my mom’s Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pies are one of my all time favorites.
The gooey filling gets me every single time.
There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of things I really want to make between now and December twenty-fifth, but I knew that I had to create a pecan pie cupcake for Thanksgiving.
So I am declaring this my very first (official) Thanksgiving recipe. I thought it was a pretty good one to start out with.
Well, that and the fact that I have been so focused on these cupcake that I really have not thought up any other Thanksgiving recipes. All the bourbon, chocolate, pecan and general gooeiness of these cupcakes has been clouding my brain for weeks.
I promise, I’ll start thinking savory soon. I think. I hope.
These are obviously not the simplest cupcakes around. They take a little Thanksgiving love and time, but there is nothing complicated about them. First, there is the chocolate bourbon cupcake that calls for a whole cup of bourbon. I know that sounds like a lot, but you guys these are some of the best cupcakes ever. SO moist, SO much flavor. Then there is the pecan pie filling. I used my mom’s recipe, but cooked it on the stove to thicken it so I could then stuff it in the center of each cupcake. Finally, the butter pecan frosting. Honestly, it is the best topper to the cupcakes. It’s perfectly sweet and stuffed with bourbon glazed roasted pecans.
Oh my gooosssh. SO amazing.
So they may take some time, but really, it is becoming the holiday season, and to me that means spending lots of time in the kitchen. Hopefully, yours is warm and cozy. Mine is kind of cold sometimes in the mornings, but normally by the end of the day it’s nice and toasty!
So it only makes sense that the kitchen is also the place to create amazing holiday food!
- Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 cup bourbon*
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup greek yogurt
- Pecan Pie Filling
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup corn syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Butter Pecan Frosting:
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cup finely chopped raw pecans + 18 whole pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners.
In a medium bowl whisk together the bourbon, canola oil and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and greek yogurt with an electric mixer. Slowly add bourbon and cocoa mixture. Combine on medium speed until silky and smooth. Beat in the sugar.
Slowly add flour, salt and baking soda, combining on low speed until just incorporated.
Fill baking cups three-fourths full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling, at least 2 hours or covered overnight.
Meanwhile make the pecan pie filling. Combine 1/4 cup cold water with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, whisk until smooth. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, salt and corn starch mixture to a sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking consistently for about 5 minutes. Do not stop whisking the mixture, especially in the beginning or you will end up with scrambled eggs. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the pecans, bourbon and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool a few minutes and then transfer to the fridge for at least one hour or until completely cooled and thickened.
To make the frosting. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat.
In a medium sauce pan, melt together 1/4 cup butter, cream, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl in the freezer (or fridge for longer) for 15-20 minutes or until cool.
In a bowl whisk together the bourbon, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon. Add pecans and stir to coat evenly. Transfer nuts to prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted. Remove and toss the pecans with 1 tablespoon butter. Allow to cool 10 minutes, set aside.
Now grab the cooled butter mixture and add the remaining 1/2 cup room temperature butter, vanilla and powdered sugar to the bowl and beat together until well combined. MIx in about 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans. If the frosting is not stiff enough to frost the cupcakes place it in the fridge for 30 20-30 minutes or the freezer for 5-15 minutes. The remove and whip it for a few second to get everything smooth again.
To assemble the cupcakes: Use a small paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with the cooled pecan pie filling. Add the frosting (if you want to pipe the frosting on use a circular tip, double the frosting recipe and swirl the frosting on in a circular motion) and sprinkle each cupcake with the remaining pecans. If desired top with 1 whole pecan.
*If you do not want to use a whole cup of bourbon you can do 1/2 cup coffee + 1/2 cup bourbon. I really recommend using all bourbon though!
Thank god it is Friday. Now lets make pie cupcakes!