This weekend, I finally got my cookie plates prepared and shared to out to friends. After a lot of planning and work, I was happy to put together a plate that consisted of Eggnog Muffins & Whiskey Frosting, Cranberry & Crystallized Ginger Shortbread, Lemon Oat Sugar Cookies, Oreo Truffles, Chocolate Gingerbread People, and Pumpkin & Dark Chocolate Cake. To be honest, I had two other things I wanted to add but time got away from me, I was pretty tired and was kind of feeling like a failure. My icing skills are not that great and I wanted things to look good.
Rabin and my brother Suraj had to suffer through hearing a lot of “are you sure this looks good? Why is my hand so shaky?! I could never be a surgeon! Ugh Icing sucks”. They talked me down from that frosted abyss many times. Special props also go to them for packing the plates and neatly writing out the list of items on the plate…and if you know Rabin’s handwriting you’ll know the effort it took for him to write neatly. I was also blamed for giving him carpal tunnel syndrome. Because hours of swiping at the iPad changing fantasy football players HEALS your wrist! :p
Generally, when I bake, I don’t use frosting or any kind of decorative thing on my cupcakes. I’m lazy and also don’t like that much sweet. It also makes it easier to convince myself that an un-frosted cupcake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast. However, when I do want to present cupcakes to people, I feel the need to frost them. Sort of the way that putting on makeup is an effort for me and is only done on the most special of occasions.
I’ve made these eggnog muffins before and although I really like them, they tend to run a bit dry, so the need for frosting is even more evident. The recipe I used called for icing sugar and white rum, but I didn’t have white rum and didn’t think that plain icing sugar would be that great.
So I decided to make a quick buttercream frosting. I also couldn’t just omit the liquor, so I went with the staple of every bar in Guyana – Johnnie Walker. And come on – doesn’t saying ‘whiskey’ makes you feel more hardcore and dangerous than saying ‘rum’? Anyone can drink rum, but badasses drink whiskey. My drink of choice is vodka by the way, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Whiskey Buttercream Frosting
1 stick Butter (1/2 cup), softened
1.5 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
1 tsp dried Vanilla (or regular vanilla extract)
1 tsp Whiskey of choice (I used Johnnie Walker Black Label)
4 tbsp Whipped Cream
Mix butter & sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, whipped cream & whiskey and mix for another minute or so until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add more whipped cream (1 tbsp at a time) if desired.
You’ll see the hulk-ish colour of my frosting – I added about 1/4 tsp green food colouring to the mix. Of course, tinting the frosting is your choice. To be honest, I cheered when the mixer started flinging the colour all over the place like tie-dye on acid. Needless to say, I was the only one the house that reached that level of excitement…or any level of excitement at all.
I also like adding the dried Tahitian vanilla to the mix because apart from the flavour, you see the dark flecks throughout the icing which gives it a unique look without compromising the taste. You can definitely use regular vanilla though. The frosting tends to melt quickly so just stick it in the fridge for a few minutes if you need it to firm up.
Apart from being super easy, I like the flexibility of this recipe. It can work with lots of flavours of cupcakes / muffins, you can add different extracts (I used almond extract in another recipe and it was freakin’ magical), or add more whiskey. Better yet, add more whiskey and omit the butter, sugar, vanilla and whipped cream. Just a thought.