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And for dessert? Beer cupcakes (with bacon!)

  • This Jan. 4, 2012 photo shows Super Bowl cupcakes in Concord, N.H. These cupcakes are big, bold, manly and totally down for a Super Bowl spread. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
    This Jan. 4, 2012 photo shows Super Bowl cupcakes in Concord, N.H. These cupcakes are big, bold, manly and totally down for a Super Bowl spread. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
Published February 01. 2012 05:04PM

These are not your girlfriend's cupcakes. There is no frilly pastel frosting piped on top. They are not delicate. They are not pretty.

They are big, bold, manly and totally down for a Super Bowl spread.

Since ease is key for Super Bowl feasts, we decided to start with a chocolate cake mix. To man-it-up, we made them big and added beer. Instead of pretty buttercream frosting, we dabbed and smeared whiskey frosting all over them. And to really take it up a notch, bacon. Salted peanuts, pretzels or crushed malted milk balls also would be terrific.

If you want, you could make giant cupcakes; you just need an oversized muffin pan (sold at most kitchen shops). You'll need to cook larger cupcakes longer (timing will vary depending on the size).

Super Bowl Cupcakes

Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active)

Servings: 24

For the cupcakes:

1 cup dark beer, such as stout

cup sour cream

1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

3 eggs

18.5-ounce package moist chocolate cake mix

For the frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

3 cups powdered sugar

cup whiskey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the toppings (use any or all):

Crisp cooked bacon

Salted peanuts

Pretzels

Crushed malted milk balls

Heat the oven to 350 F. Spray 24 muffin regular cups with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the beer, sour cream, oil, eggs and cake mix. Mix until thoroughly combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, sugar, whiskey and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.

When the cupcakes have cooled, add a smear of frosting to the tops, then sprinkle with your choice of toppings.

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