The “big” day is almost here, and no, I sure as hell am not talking about my impending nuptials (wedding planning is not going quite as well as, er, planned). I’m talking about Valentine’s Day!
Although I have never been one to really get into the holiday, I am kind of feeling the love this year. All those heinous stuffed animal, chalky candy hearts, and pounds of truffles are starting to rub off on me, I suppose. Not that I’ll be showering J with such frivolities. Oh heavens no. With him, as with any man, you should stick to what you know he’ll appreciate: food and alcohol.
I already shared with you my favorite, and holiday appropriate, drink. so now I’d like to gift you with a recipe for you something sweet Enter: Pear of the dog cupcakes. Another cocktail-inspired cupcake for your sweetie!
Back in the summer, I took a trip to Charleston where I discovered the Pear of the Dog at the Rooftop Library Bar. A mixture of pear vodka and grapefruit juice, this drink was right up my ally. Now before get all pucker faced on me, here me out. Grapefruit juice is good. Slightly tart, yes, but so much better than those syrupy mixers full of all kinds of sugar nonsense that leave you feeling like you just drank a piece of candy. And if you throw in some, say sweet pear vodka, your grapefruit juice is suddenly transformed into a perfectly harmonized party of love in your mouth.
Turns out, the same is true for their cupcake counterparts. I mean, why make lame old red velvet when you can make these?
Pear of the Dog Cupcakes
Yields: 24 Cupcakes
Difficulty: Pretty easy
- 1 box white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup Sprite
- 1/2 cup Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 tsp grated grapefruit peel
For the Vodka Pear Icing:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 ounces Pear flavored Vodka (I used Absolut)
- Red food coloring
- *optional* Candied grapefruit. I found mine in the bulk bins at Fresh Market. Essentially, its just the sour patch version of a grapefruit slice. Looks like so:
- Preheat the oven to 375
- Fill muffin tins with 24 liners
- In a bowl, mix box mix, melted butter, egg whites, Sprite, grapefruit juice, and peel with a mixer for 3 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the muffin tins, about 2/3 full
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.
For the Icing
- Cream the butter and sugar together
- Add vodka
- Add food coloring (only 1 or 2 drops, were going for a light pink color here)
- Spread atop cooled cupcakes. I used a piping bag, but if you’re feeling lazy, feel free to spread it on manually.
- You can leave your grapefruit candy as is (it’s a bit big for my liking) or cut it up into smaller pieces. Top your cupcakes with the pieces and enjoy!