Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Boilermaker Cupcakes (aka Steelers Superbowl XV Cupcakes)


Every Pittsburgh Steeler fan knows that this a song to be played every year, with the hope that the Pittsburgh Steelers will actually make it to the Superbowl. And this year, we've made it happen once again! On Sunday we'll be in Dallas for Superbowl XV against the Green Bay Packers.

So what better way to get pumped up and ready to celebrate than by making Steelers cupcakes again! I've already made one set of Steelers cupcakes this season. Apparently that was enough to single-handedly bring us to the Superbowl, so hopefully another set of cupcakes will help us get that 7th ring.

And of course these are not just regular cupcakes. They're Boilermaker Cupcakes.

First of all, I have a confession to make. I totally stole this idea from Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe. I don't know anything about this place, unfortunately, but I do know that they are making Pittsburgh Steelers Boilermaker cupcakes for the Superbowl. And some other garbage cupcakes for those Packer cheeseheads. Anyway..., I decided I needed to make my own version of the Boilermaker cupcakes in honor of the Superbowl.

So what's a boilermaker? According to the City Dictionary, a boilermaker is a drink cocktail which requires a shot of whiskey and a pint of beer. Apparently there is some leeway with regards to the combination in which the whiskey and beer can be consumed. Look, I'm just telling you what I read. Don't shoot the messenger. I'd never heard of this drink before last week, since I don't usually drink whiskey.

My version of the Boilermaker Cupcake requires a Guinness cupcake and whiskey buttercream frosting. I actually tried to use Yuengling Black and Tan stout for the cupcake so that I could keep even more in line with the spirit of Pittsburgh. However, I was thwarted by the liquor store's inability to sell just 1 bottle of Yuengling Black and Tan. I never drink stouts, so I refused to buy a 6-pack just to use a cup of the beer in a cupcake recipe. Sorry, Pittsburgh.

Boilermaker Cupcakes

To make the cake portion of this recipe, start off with this Guinness Cupcake recipe.

While you're at that link, you may also get the urge to make Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. Nothing wrong with that. St. Patty's Day isn't very far away!
Whiskey Frosting
doubled and adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Bailey's Frosting

  • 2 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 to 5 cups confections sugar
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon whiskey (such as Jameson) (You can add more or less whiskey according to your taste. This is just what I did.)
  • Red food coloring (or no-taste paste)
  • Yellow food coloring (or paste)
  • Blue food coloring (or paste)
  • Black food coloring (or paste)
1) Whip the butter using an electric or hand mixer for several minutes. You want the butter to look almost white and be very light and fluffy.

2) Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
3) When the frosting is thick, drizzle in the whiskey. Whip until combined. If the frosting is too thin at this point, add another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
Note: At this point, you can pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes as-is. If you're a Steelers fan, please read on:
To make the Steelers decoration:
a) Spread a thin layer of the white frosting over all the cupcakes.
Do you like my black and gold cupcake liners?
b) Separate the remainder of the frosting into 4 separate bowls. (You might want to keep a dollop or two of the white frosting in case you need to touch up your handiwork later.)
c) Add red food coloring/paste to 1 bowl to achieve a bright red. Repeat this step with the yellow, blue, and black food colorings.
i) I didn't actually get the bright red, blue or black colors that I was looking for, although I got pretty close. I spoke to Deirdre, one of my coworkers who's an expert on dying frosting, and she recommended that I use paste next time to achieve a brighter color.
ii) If you're going to use red paste, Deirdre recommends using "no taste" red paste. Otherwise you might end up with inedible frosting. And that is not a good time.
iii) If you don't have any paste and you're going to use food coloring, you can add a few drops of black frosting to the red or blue frostings to make the color a little deeper. I actually didn't do this with the red food coloring because I didn't think of it until I got to the blue. But it should work with the red color as well. Use the black frosting sparingly. You can always add more but you can't take it away!
...and now, back to decorating...
d) Using either a stencil or your own steady hand, create the Steelers symbols using the red, yellow, and blue frostings. You can use a metal writing/piping tip to help with this, or you can use a pastry bag or Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off (which is what I did). A toothpick can help guide the frosting in the right direction.
e) Using the black frosting and a writing tip (I like the #2 piping tip) , write "Steelers" on the cupcake. I do recommend using a writing/piping tip for this step, because the surface of the cupcake is smaller than you think.
I really liked this cupcake, and not just because it's boozy and represents the Steelers. First of all, the Guinness cupcake was moist and almost fudge-y. And I love me some chocolate. Second of all, the whiskey frosting was really tasty! I'm definitely not a whiskey girl, unless the name of the drink is "Whiskey Sour" or "Irish Car Bomb". Other than that, don't talk to me about whiskey. But once the whiskey comes into contact with the frosting, it kind of becomes a mellow aftertaste. I can still smell the essence of whiskey in the frosting, but I personally think the aroma of the chocolate in the cupcake overpowered it. I am not complaining.
Funny enough, when I brought the cupcakes to work, cleverly disguised as "Steelers Cupcakes", people told me they could immediately smell the whiskey. In my defense, (1) As I already said, I don't drink whiskey very often so I guess this is why I can overlook the smell. Maybe? (2) I spent a lot of quality time with those cupcakes on Monday morning as I sat in my car and waited for a random guy to show up and jump-start my dead battery. It's kinda like when you wear a perfume and you stop smelling it after an hour, but everyone else can still smell it...
Wait, does this mean I smelled like chocolate and whiskey all day long? Someone would have told me, right?
Superbowl XV

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