Beer Batter "Dudecakes"
For the cupcakes (makes about 24):
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Delirium Tremens beer, room temperature (this is important– melted butter will curdle if it’s mixed with cold beer)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
For the maple buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces (half brick) cream cheese, softened
6 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple sugar (I used India Tree brand, found at Whole Foods)
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (I used Stonewall Kitchen brand)
For the cayenne praline bacon:
1/2 pound thick cut bacon
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup halved pecans
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, if you want a greater kick)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place cupcake liners in muffin tin
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate large mixing bowl, combine Delirium Tremens, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, whisking well as you go.
Fill muffin tin until each is 3/4 full. Bake for about 19-21 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
Remove cupcakes from tin and allow to cool completely.
While cupcakes are cooling, combine cream cheese and butter in a medium mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy
Add powdered sugar two cups at a time, beating well between each
Add maple sugar, vanilla extract, and maple syrup and beat
Spoon buttercream into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes
Place bacon strips in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes
Pulverize pecan halves in a food processor
Dump pecan crumbs into a small bowl and add brown sugar and cayenne, mix with a spoon until blended
After bacon has been baking for 20 minutes, remove from oven, generously sprinkle pecan mixture over the bacon, place back in oven, and bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove bacon from oven, break up into smaller pieces, and stick them into the iced cupcakes!