Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween is another holiday that, like Christmas and children's birthdays, seems to have morphed into a full week-long celebration.  You'd think that, given my historical indifference to this holiday in particular and my tendency to be "over" things if they begin to drag on too long in general, I'd have been "over" Halloween when the 31st finally dawned brightly yesterday morning.  But I wasn't.  After the wearing-the-costumes-to-dance, the school parties and parades, the family pumpkin-carving and Charlie-Brown-Great-Pumpkin-viewing, I was still into my black cat and my Dumbo as they traipsed from Party Number One to Party Number Two to trick-or-treating around the blocks near our house.  Admittedly, I was only as "into it" as someone who lamed out on a costume can be.  Some years, I am inspired; others, not so much.  But I have already promised Annie that I will be a witch with her next year, and I think I made up for my lack of a costume with the treats I brought to Party Number One:  pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel frosting topped with BACON.  Oh, yes I did.

Now, the pumpkin cupcakes themselves were nothing to get excited about (and I'm on the market for a better recipe, so send it my way if you have one), but the frosting was spectacular (like, still licking at the bowl hours later, hoping there might be one more speck of sweet/salty goodness).  I come late to the sweet/salty food party.  I used to be of the opinion that nothing was too sweet for me, and saltiness in my desserts was just getting in the way.  But, lately, in my middle age, I have started to find things too sweet, and this frosting would be one of them if it wasn't for the salt.

Salted Caramel Frosting

1/4 c. sugar
2 T. water
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 t. vanilla
12 T. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 t. kosher salt
1 c. powdered sugar

Stir sugar and water together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until dissolved, then continue to boil without stirring until mixture is a dark amber color, about 6 minutes.  Remove from heat and immediately stir in the cream and vanilla with a wooden spoon, stirring quickly until mixture is smooth.  Set caramel aside to cool to room temperature, about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat butter and salt together on medium-high until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add sugar, beat well, scrape down bowl, and beat again.  When caramel is cooled, add it to the bowl, and beat until it's combined.

Frost your cupcakes and top with small shards of very crisp bacon.  Trust me.

I didn't take a picture of the cupcakes, but I think the black cat and Dumbo were cuter, anyway:

It was a very, very happy Halloween.

1 comment:

  1. My mouth is watering thinking about that frosting...who needs the cupcakes. I might just make the frosting!