Tag Archives: New England Patriots


4 Jul


Happy Independence Day! July 4th has to be my favorite holiday – I don’t know why really. Maybe it has to do with my interest in early American history, American culture and celebrations.

Or maybe it has something to do with being a native New Englander, now living just outside Philadelphia, both regions claiming to be the birthplace of America. (Philly may try to claim it, but we all know it was Boston).

Maybe it’s my love of that patriotic red-white-blue color combination, which also happens to be the team colors for both the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots (coincidence? I think not.) But who isn’t moved by the sight of the star spangled banner, waving proudly in a gentle breeze atop any stadium or ballpark in this country?


Maybe it’s the parades, the fireworks, the cookouts with family and friends.

Or maybe it’s the sheer wonderment how just a handful of men, full of provocative philosophy and even more courage, managed to create this country of ours 237 years ago. We’re a baby really compared to some other nations, but look how far we’ve come and the impact we’ve had on the rest of the world – cause indeed for the most glorious fireworks celebration!

For these July 4th cupcakes, I’ve taken my red hot Goldschlager cupcakes, added a little flash of red, white and blue, and topped them with some sizzling Goldschlager cream cheese frosting. Because today of all days, your cookout or picnic should end with a little bang!


I love the way Goldschlager has it’s own fireworks display going on inside the bottle.



Follow the recipe for Goldschlager cupcakes, http://buicupcakes.com/2013/02/14/goldschlager-red-hot-cupcakes/ but omit the cinnamon hearts. Instead, after all the ingredients have been mixed together, gently stir in 2-3 tablespoons of red, white and blue jimmies or decorating stars. Bake as directed, but be sure to fill the tins only 2/3 to 3/4 full.


1/2 cup butter

4 ounces cream cheese

4 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons Goldschlager

red white blue sprinkles

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add sugar, vanilla, salt and Goldschlager and mix at low speed until combined, then at high speed until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Frost and decorate as desired.



Super Bowl Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cupcakes

26 Jan


There’s something about those classic, iconic cocktail combinations – gin and tonic, Captain & Coke, vodka and cranberry juice – that never let us down. We’ve all had that moment when the bartender asks, “What’ll you have?” and we freeze. Sure, we wanted to try something new, something fun, something trendy, but instead we fall back on the old reliable stand-by. And that’s OK, because at least we know what we’re getting and we know it’ll get the job done….what ever that job may be.


Beer and pretzels are kind of like that. A plain, simple combination that never fails to satisfy. A traditional duo that goes way back. Some might try to switch it up a little, maybe trying a crafty microbrew or some fancy honey mustard nuggets, while others are happy with a Bud and a bag of standard pretzel twists. But no matter the variation, beer and pretzels are a winning team.

And so it’s no wonder that football season seems to be the traditional time for this classic combo. Sitting on the sofa, a beer in one hand, a bowl of pretzels next to the other, eyes glued to the game. By my way of thinking, this is one of the best ways to spend a chilly Sunday afternoon.


Unless, of course, like me you’re a New England Patriots fan, watching the AFC championship game, and the nasty Baltimore Ravens just dashed your dreams of making it to the Super Bowl. That’s not a fun afternoon at all. If that’s the case, you might be better off adding that beer to some batter, drizzling those pretzels with some nice, dark chocolate and consoling yourself with a rich, decadent chocolate cupcake with lots and lots of frosting. It won’t get your team to the Super Bowl, but it does make it sting just a little bit less.

This recipe is one I adapted from My Baking Addiction. The cupcake comes out nice and moist, and the flavor of the stout really comes through. You can make the frosting more or less chocolatey by adding or reducing the amount of cocoa powder to suit your taste. And wait until serving to add the pretzels. Otherwise, they tend to soften up a little.



For the Pretzels:

36 mini pretzels twists

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Line the pretzels up on a baking sheet covered with wax paper.


Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring after every 20-30 seconds or so until fully melted. Pour the melted chocolate into a plastic sandwich bag, seal it shut and snip off one tiny corner. Drizzle the chocolate back and forth over the pretzels. Let cool completely before storing in a plastic bag.


For the Cupcakes:

Makes 36 cupcakes


1 (12 ounce) bottle stout. I used Harpoon’s Chocolate Stout

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 teaspoons warm water

3 eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the stout, milk, oil, vanilla and espresso.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time until thoroughly combined. Add in sour cream and mix until combined.

In another large bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour and baking soda.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Batter will be thin.

Fill muffin tins about 1/2 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until risen and set in the middle.

Cool completely on wire racks.

For the Frosting:

1/2 cup butter

1/3 – 1/2 cup of cocoa powder

3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-4 tablespoons 1/2 & 1/2

fleur de sel or sea salt for decorating


Cream butter until soft and fluffy. Add cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla and salt, mixing first on low and increasing speed as mixture combines. Add 1/2 & 1/2, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Frost cupcakes and sprinkle very lightly with sea salt. Garnish with chocolate covered pretzel just before serving.


Enjoy, these were  favorite!

And please let me know what you think of my recipes, my stories, my blog – I’d love to get some feedback….


Autumn’s Gift – Pumpkin Ales

13 Oct

Autumn is the time of year that gently nudges us away from our sweet sangria and minty mojitos and has us rummaging through our junk drawers searching for the bottle opener so we can crack open that ice cold bottle of brew. For me, the reason is simple: Fall = football (New England Patriots football) and football = beer. Last year, I fell in love with pumpkin ales, specifically Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale. We’ve got the Dogfish Head brewery in our own back yard and so the Punkin’ Ale was easy to come by. Sam Adams and Blue Moon put out pretty good harvest ales too. But the season is short lived and the pumpkins and harvest ales are with us for only a few short weeks before, tragically, they are gone.

This year, my sister Laura and I attended a pumpkin ale tasting. I know, pure heaven, right? The pumpkin ale scene has exploded in the last year and there were plenty of varieties to sample. The Dogfish Head Pumkin’ Ale was holding its own until about halfway through, and then we tasted it – pure nectar from the gods: Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumking. This one pumpkin ale stands heads and shoulders above all the others. It is simply delicious. So delicious in fact, that I began hoarding it. I’ve told my friends and now they are hoarding it. My favorite bartender at my favorite craft brewpub is hoarding 5 kegs of it. (We threatened mutiny and he finally tapped one – but don’t tell anybody.) It’s that good.

One questioned remained: what to do with the previously hoarded bottles of Dogfish Head? (I can’t help it, the season is really, really short). I did a little research and found the following recipe, courtesy of My Baking Addiction. A nice, spiced chocolate cupcake, goes well with pumpkin ale – Southern Tier’s Pumking, of course. Use the Dogfish Head in the recipe.

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes

Makes about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

1 (12 ounce) bottle Pumpkin Ale
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the pumpkin ale, milk, oil, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add in sour cream, mix until fully incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda.
Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. (Batter will be thin.)
Evenly divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle, but still soft and tender. Remove pan to wire rack. Cool completely before turning out of the tins.

Ingredients for the Buttercream Frosting:

4 sticks I salted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
6 tablespoons pumpkin ale

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
Slowly begin adding the confectioner’s sugar, mixing well after each addition.
Once all the sugar has been mixed in, add the pumpkin ale and mix until light and fluffy. Beat on high speed for about two minutes. If frosting is too thick, add a little more pumpkin ale, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach desired consistency.
Pipe frosting onto cupcakes, decorate with sprinkles, if desired.


I made half the frosting recipe, and was able to cover all but two of the cupcakes. But if you’re using a large tip to frost, go with the full recipe.

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