Jenny Jack loves to eat. A self-confessed sugar addict, she is the baker, food fluffer, photographer, and storyteller behind The Brunette Baker – a blog dedicated to all sugar-laden decadence.
She is a recent culinary graduate and the queen of impromptu living room dance parties. Jenny is happiest in her kitchen creating messes with her two incredible kids while her husband serves as mandatory taste taster of all creations made.
Her sign is Aquarius and she loves Mexican Food.
Green Eggs and Ham.
My anxieties towards breakfast started with this wildly popular Dr. Seuss book. When I was quite young, I refused to eat any proteins associated with the word. This included the holy grail of all breakfast meats: Bacon.
I was not Sam I Am. I would not eat them in a box, with a fox, in a house and certainly not with a mouse. Gross. I never made it to the end of the book because the illustrations made me nauseous. A wonky chunk of green meat speared with a paltry utensil that resembled a fork? No thank you.
It all started when a couple of my cousins convinced me the eggs and ham were moldy. Sam I Am was trying to poison the man who would ultimately end up in the hospital if he ate them. Suddenly, a book with a moral became a book with a nightmare. I never wanted to know what became of the poor chap, so I would stop mid-story—or if I was feeling particularly daring, right before he would consume them.
It wasn’t until I was nine years old I had my first sleepover at a friend’s home. Sleepovers were fun, but breakfast was a stressful time for me. Instead of the usual cereal box selection that lined most countertops on a Saturday morning, my friend’s mom opted to prepare a hot breakfast. These smells weren’t foreign to me by any means, as my own mom made them regularly; I just knew I would have to eat what was put in front of me so not to offend anyone. My Mama taught me well.
As I took my place at the table, I swallowed hard knowing I was about to face my fears head on. I watched as my friend tucked into her fried eggs by smashing the bulbous yolks open with the corner of her toast point. The marigold hue ran down into the valleys of her crispy bacon strips, creating pools in the ripples. She picked up the bacon and heartily bit into it as bright yolk ran down the palm of her hand, stopping mid-chew to lick it.
Squeezing my eyes to fight the flashbacks of moldy eggs and ham, I nibbled on a piece of toast slathered up with homemade strawberry jam. I thought I dodged a bullet until her Mom encouraged me to dig in. I helped myself to a piece of bacon from the plate in the center of the table, squeezing my paper napkin as if my life depended on it and took that first bite.
Like a kid in a candy store or a bird with a french fry, euphoria took over like never before.
This is…. really good! What was I so afraid of? Why didn’t I try it sooner? WHY IS THERE NO MORE BACON ON THIS PLATE?!
I picked up a copy of Green Eggs and Ham several years later and finally finished the book. I was happy to read the man ate the green eggs and ham, lived to tell the tale, and all was right with the world. Oddly enough, the food I once feared is now my most favourite to consume.
Moral of the story: Try it. You just might like it.
And friends, these Maple Bacon Cupcakes are no exception. They’re a delicious take on pancakes or waffles, drizzled with sweet maple syrup and served with a side of crispy bacon.
Heed your mother’s (and Dr. Seuss’) advice and give them a try.
Trust me. You’ll eat them with fox, in a box, in a house, and even with a mouse.
Maple Bacon Cupcakes
Cook time: 18-20 min
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
Maple Buttercream Frosting
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 12 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.
- In a separate larger mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar for two minutes until creamy and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Add in vanilla and maple syrup. Mix well to incorporate.
- Slowly begin to incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients, only beating until flour mixture is blended through and you can no longer see clumps of flour. Do not over mix. Add in buttermilk and stir to combine.
- Fill cupcake liners until they are 2/3 full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool on a wire rack for five minutes before turning out of muffin tin to cool completely.
- While cupcakes are cooling, crank oven heat up to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and place bacon strips in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Bacon should be golden brown and crispy, but not overdone.
- Place bacon on paper towels to drain excess fat. Once cool enough to handle, chop into finely cut pieces and set aside.
To make buttercream:
In a mixing bowl, using electric mixer, cream butter on low speed for two minutes. Slowly add in one cup of icing sugar at a time, beating until incorporated and scraping down the sides as you go. Add in maple syrup and heavy cream. Mix to combine.
NOTE: Buttercream should be thick, but spreadable. If consistency is too thick, add in heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If it becomes too thin, add in more icing sugar.
To frost cupcakes:
Using a small offset spatula or piping bag fitted with your choice of tip, spread or pipe buttercream over cooled cupcakes. Liberally apply chopped bacon atop buttercream and drizzle with pure maple syrup. Garnish with a generous piece of cooked bacon.