Today I decided to put everything I love that begins with B in a cupcake. And it wasn’t even intentional. I even overdid the brown sugar in these babies for the ultimate alliteration. Yes, blueberry + bacon + brown butter + brown sugar in one yummy treat!!
Then I forgot to add the milk because, as Kyle says, maybe beers and baking doesn’t mix (which I totally thought did!). And without the milk, my attempted cupcakes turned into muffins which is a slight bummer because I couldn’t use my brand new fancy piping tools (thanks trip to Kessenich’s with mom!) to frost them but not really a bummer at all because these things are absolutely delicious sans frosting! And maybe 10% healthier and can now be considered a breakfast food instead of a dessert!
This all also led to a major revelation in my kitchen: you can’t just frost a muffin and call it a cupcake (!!!) because I did and it was way too dense and very strange. So there’s that.
BLUEBERRY BACON BROWN BUTTER MUFFINS
If you have never made brown butter and are extremely nervous about it, you **could** skip that step and just use plain old melted butter but you really should just suck it up and learn how to make brown butter because it will revolutionize your life.
Takes 50 minutes
Makes 12 lovely muffins
5 pieces of thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons reserved bacon grease, cooled
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon for later use
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces blueberries (frozen is totally okay! just make sure they’re thawed right before use and then dried as best you can–I rolled them around on a paper towel lined baking sheet)
Cook the bacon however you like. I prefer to bake it in the oven. I put it into a cold oven on a foil-lined baking sheet. Once the bacon is in, I turn the temperature up to 400 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes total. Perfect bacon, every time. Chop and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
Brown the butter. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once melted, you’ll want to keep an eye on it. Have a spatula in hand and keep on moving the butter around. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan pretty much constantly. The butter will melt and then foam. It will then turn a clear golden brown color right before it begins to brown. At the browned stage, it will smell nutty. The smell is a better indicator of browned butter than the color because often by the time it looks brown, it’s too hot and about to burn. Keep your eyes on the butter as you brown it, scraping off any browned pieces from the bottom of the pan (they’ll only add deliciousness!). Set butter aside to cool slightly–maybe 5 minutes.
Combine melted butter and bacon grease in a large mixing bowl. Add sugars and stir to combine. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until completely smooth. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Toss blueberries with one tablespoon of flour. Add blueberries and chopped bacon to the muffin batter. Fold in very gently. Pour batter into 12 lined-muffin cups. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Try not to eat 3 immediately (I failed).