If you think this is a stretch for my Friday Cocktails, then you didn’t see just how much booze I’ve put into this concoction! It’s everywhere I tell ya! Booze in the cake, even more in the frosting and then because I wasn’t sure that was quite enough I thought an extra touch with a drizzle would be necessary. I think I had the idea to do this but I’m not sure…Jessica posted these Bacon Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting + a Bourbon Drizzle (were those a homage to Elvis or what?) last week and I can’t remember if I said…’Hey, I want to do the same thing and I’ll use your recipe!’ or ‘Hey, that’s a great idea and I’ll use your recipe!” Really I can’t…blame it on the booze if you must but the drizzle was a great idea, her recipe was perfect and yes, I ate some off the spoon!
I made these cupcakes for my daughter Lauren. Her birthday is tomorrow. Thirty years!!! How on earth does a 39 year old woman have a child who is 30? Talk about a miracle huh? But the real miracle is my girl. My sweet girl who was just living her life like so many of us when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The same girl who was so afraid of strangers that I used customer service at grocery stores to get her used to them. I would have her go to the Customer Service desk and ask them a question about where we could find something, always urging her to remember that the WORST thing that could ever happen is they would not know. I know it seemed a silly task but it helped. As she got a bit older those days were a thing of the past and my adolescent girl would take off on her own; shopping with mom was embarrassing. I guess I showed her…if she got too far awry and was nowhere to be seen when I was ready to leave a store; I would have the checkout person call her on the intercom. As much as she hated that; she obviously hated walking the aisles with me more because I remember doing that on several occasions! ‘Would Lauren Kiebel please come to the checkout; your mom is waiting!’
There were fun times too; funny I never stopped to think until just now if she had a clue how nervous I was when I agreed to be the coach of her girls soccer team when she was in elementary school. I did not have a CLUE how the game was played but they needed an assistant coach and I volunteered. I remember thinking how brave she was then too; she volunteered to be the goalie and she was so good at that…that height business really helped!
She has weathered her share of heartache over the years too; her best friend dying three years after a lightning bolt rendered her physically and mentally incapacitated, the pain of a distant father; going through high school a bit too tall and with a bit less social life than she would have liked. But those things have made her stronger and I love this photo a friend took. I see this great warrior princess; unashamed that her hair is gone and still looking fierce. There is no doubt that it was that reservoir of strength that has helped see her through this with a strength of purpose that has not gone un-noticed. She has risen to the challenge of showing cancer who is boss! She was determined to not give in or give up and has found herself in a role where others now see her so admirably for her abject determination to fight this fight with humor and determination and a positive spirit. And the best part. She won! Chemo worked, the lump is gone. Surgery to scrape the area around the lump, remove a couple of lymph nodes and remove her port (what she called ‘her creature’) is complete and she has been declared cancer free!! Is there a way I can add sound to those two words? Maybe this would say it better?
Just as parents aren’t supposed to lose their children, we also aren’t supposed to see them go through something like this. But she did and it has changed her. When just months ago losing her luxurious long hair was heart breaking she now thinks she just might keep it shorter (which I LOVE!). She is unsure of her job future since losing her job (can you believe cancer was a pain for her boss to deal with?) but she’s working on plans and I just know something positive will come of that too. She was meant for greater things and we’re just not sure yet exactly what that is…but I can’t wait to see! In the meantime? We have a pretty important birthday to celebrate don’t we?
It’s not like cupcakes with whiskey could be called Lauren’s favorite for her birthday. I’m not sure she has ever indicated a true favorite cake; most birthdays were a relatively basic cake, it was all about the frosting and the decorating. I remember years of shapes and frostings and making anything from a bubble gum machine to a Care Bears cake to ballet shoes so these are definitely a treat for a woman. She may be my girl but she is not a girl…and this woman deserves this amazing cupcake! So these pups have bourbon in the cake, frosting with bourbon…and well, they are decorated with drizzled BOURBON; how perfect is that?
By the way…I have not tried using this for a cocktail; it’s just SO perfect for something like this and that’s why I bought it. It’s not a whiskey infused with honey; instead it’s whiskey with honey liqueur and it’s YUM, YUMMER and YUMMISH! Guess I’ll have to give a cocktail shout out one day soon but in the meantime…won’t you join me in wishing Lauren a VERY Happy Birthday? Love you sweetie and have a wonderful week with your girlfriends up in Summit County!!
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 Tbsp Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
- 3 Tbsp Milk
- Cupcake liners
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (as much as needed to get correct consistency)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla and mix just to incorporate.
- Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the wet mixture and beat until just combined.
- Add the whiskey and milk until just combined.
- Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners and divide batter evenly into cups; approximately 2/3 full for each cup.
- Bake for 16 to 20 minutes; test with a toothpick; the top will be firm so make sure the inside is cooked through.
- Cool completely on a wire cake cooling rack before frosting.
- Add all ingredients together in a small pan, bring to a boil and boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before drizzling on cupcakes.
- Cream butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar.
- Add the vanilla and Jack Daniels Honey and combine thoroughly.
- Add the cream a Tbsp at a time until your frosting is very light and fluffy and the correct consistency.
- Using a large serrated icing tip, pipe the frosting onto cupcakes.
- Garnish with the Bourbon Drizzle.