Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Christmas Island Birthday

December 18th was Dashing's 26th Birthday. However, he has thought he was 26 since I turned in July. He usually just assumes that we are the same age. I, however, take the crown on that one by 5 months.

This year, I wanted to throw him a birthday party of "things he loved." So, here's how it came together.
Things he loves: Friends, Food, Islands, Christmas, Coor's Light, Mai Tais.

How was I possibly going to put all this together in one event??! Then, it just showed up. Dashing heard a song played on the sub-par PA system of Good Will as we were shopping for Ugly Sweaters. He immediately began Googling the song, and I started paying attention to the words. The song....Christmas Island (the version by Six Pence None the Richer). What perfect timing! That's it! A Christmas Island Birthday Party!

With Island Grill catering, homemade Rum Cupcakes, ugly Christmas Sweater's, card games, and Santa's Silver Bullet Beer; it was a hit!!! (Not to mention the "Icing" shenanigans that occurs that evening as well).

I would like to say that this has been an adventure in preparing for two of my 11 in 11's...preparing for my own Golden Birthday party AND experiments in baking!

So, I'd like to share with you the DELICIOUS Rum Cupcake recipe! I got the recipe from a blog The Cupcakery.

Rum Cupcakes

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 18-1/2 ounce yellow cake mix
1 1-3/4 ounce (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Sprinkle toasted pecans on the bottom of liners.
3. Combine all cake ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl. Beat for 2 minutes on high with electric mixer.
4. Pour batter into prepared cups.
5. Bake for 27-29 minutes or until toothpick comes out of center completly clean.
6. Cool on a cooling rack. Prick top of cupcakes with toothpick.
7. COOL CUPCAKES COMPLETELY, then dip cupcakes into Buttered Rum Glaze.

Buttered Rum Glaze 
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum

1. Melt butter in saucepan.
2. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Be very careful when adding the rum, it will cause steam, so you do not want to burn yourself on this step!

Buttercream Frosting
1 package(s) 16 ounces, confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp milk, plus up to 2 tablespoons more, as needed
1. Before starting, place your stainless steel bowl and the arms for mixer into the freezer, for about 5 minutes. The cold bowl and arms form stiffer peaks in your frosting.
2. In large bowl, with mixer at medium-low speed, beat sugar, butter, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons milk until blended.
3. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
4. Beat in more milk as needed for easy spreading consistency.
5. Once the cupcake is glazed, a dollop of of buttercream frosting added, drizzle remaining glaze over the top of the buttercream and insert a vanilla filled Pirouette cookie.



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