Our son moved to Chicago in April to find a job and incidentally look after my folks a bit. His job hunting in Portland was unsuccessful. (Too many foodie transplants competing with a native? Who knows.) But he found a job at a great place on the north side near Wrigley Field and so has opportunity to practice and hone his baking and pastry chops. I am all over the research and development, suggesting ideas and combinations that he might use someday. We were chatting about showcasing a good French buttercream and I thought, “hey, why not something with a maple buttercream frosting.” The picture obviously does not show one iota of maple buttercream frosting but it is a picture of the first step, maple bacon banana cupcakes. After all, we are from the land of Voodoo donuts, the place that made the maple bacon bar famous.
Even without the frosting, these were fabulous. And I made them gluten-free for some of my GF friends.
Gluten free Maple Bacon Cupcakes (first try)
Oven at 375 degrees
1 cup oat flour GF
3/4 cup almond meal
½ tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
Enough very ripe bananas to make 1 ½ cups smashed (about 3 medium)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
2 T sour cream or buttermilk
6 T butter, melted then cooled
Bacon cooked and crumbled
½ cup maple candied walnuts or pecans
1 cup plain walnuts or pecans chopped (or make them all maple candied)
Mix together dry ingredients including plain walnuts.
Mix/beat together sugar, bananas and wet ingredients by hand (do not use a mixer!)
Stir in bacon and candied walnuts.
Scoop into prepared cupcake tins. Bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 12-16
Your kitchen should smell redolently of banana bread. You can frost these with maple buttercream and top with more candied nuts. But they are perfectly good as is.
Calories: without frosting at 16 per batch = 177; at 12 per batch = 236.
I know there are a lot of good food blogs out there. But in the privacy of my own home, the kitchen is a laboratory. I love it.