She’s baaaack!

Long time, no see! After a Summer of adventures and changes, I am so ready for Fall. It’s my favorite season regardless but I have a feeling this year is going to be extra special 🙂 This week brought my most exciting announcement– I’m officially a first-time home owner. It was a pretty painless experience (mostly physical…boxes for days…) and I’m overjoyed with my new home. As with most homes, this one came with a kitchen! One that will now be used every Sunday rain or shine for some Bubbles and Sprinkles cupcakes. Hold me to it 🙂

So I’m celebrating this weekend. And when I celebrate, I generally eat a lot of candy. One of my favorites is Milk Duds. I love anything caramel/carmel/toffee/fudge, but Milk Duds just nails that chewy texture right on the head. I’ve eaten enough of them sans cupcake recently, so I thought they deserved to be recruited as a flavor. I wondered how much the consistency of the Milk Dud center would change when baked, but surprisingly it stayed pretty solid. A reminder to myself that any cupcakes with a filling involving chocolate or fruit need to have at least 50% more flour than usual. They sank a wee bit in the oven. Remedy? Fill the concave area with home made caramel, top with the creamiest of buttercream frostings and drizzle additional caramel on top. Voila!

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Recipe (makes 12)

Cupcakes-

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 carton Milk Duds

Caramel-

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Frosting-

  • 1 box confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Preset oven to 350 and line cupcake tin. Combine cupcake ingredients and beat until smooth. Fill liners and bake for 20 minutes. While the cupcakes are baking, mix brown sugar, heavy cream, butter and salt for caramel in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk for 7 minutes. Add vanilla. Cook additional minute until consistency is thick. Turn off heat and move to refrigerator. Combine frosting ingredients and beat until smooth. Remove cupcakes from oven and layer caramel, and frosting on top. Drizzle additional caramel to desired aesthetic and top with sparkly gold stars!

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The other thing I tend to do when I’m celebrating, is enjoy delicious Champagne. This week merited bringing out one of the big guns– Veuve Cliquot Cuvée‬ Rosé. It’s one of the more well-known varieties of Rosé and for good reason. I tried to do it justice, analyzing the smell, feel and taste. Smell- I got a lot of red fruits, raspberries, cherries and strawberries.

The initial taste remained the same. There’s not a ton of acidity to this Cuvée‬ , which is great because it brings out the saltiness of the caramel/Milk Dud flavors in the cupcakes. It holds up, there’s a backbone, despite the lightness of the different fruits that make up its composition. This could be due to the range of wines that make up its base– 55% Pinot Noir, up to 33% Chardonnay and a combination of different reserve wines to separate it from other Rosé contenders.

Big fan. I wouldn’t pair it with a lot of foods. Maybe sushi. Or maybe just the main course of a sparkling liquid diet for the day 🙂

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Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna

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