Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting

My mom never did pumpkin pie. Remember, she is an all chocolate, all the time, kind of girl. This meant, I used to view desserts the way she does. Chocolate everything and nothing a shade lighter than milk chocolate in its lightest form. Ok, there may be a few exceptions, like crepes, but even then, they have to be filled with things like chocolate ice cream. I really am having a hard time thinking of anything else, maybe a frosted sugar cookie at Christmastime.
My mom never did pumpkin pie. Remember, she is an all chocolate, all the time, kind of girl. This meant, I used to view desserts the way she does. Chocolate everything and nothing a shade lighter than milk chocolate in its lightest form. Ok, there may be a few exceptions, like crepes, but even then, they have to be filled with things like chocolate ice cream. I really am having a hard time thinking of anything else, maybe a frosted sugar cookie at Christmastime.


INGREDIENTS
BOURBON CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
  • 1 cup bourbon*
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

PECAN PIE FILLING
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

BUTTER PECAN FROSTING:
  • 1/4 cup butter 1/2 stick
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter softened, 1 stick
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract divided
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped raw pecans + 18 whole pecans

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the bourbon, canola oil, eggs, greek yogurt and sugar with an electric mixer.
  3. Slowly add cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking soda, combining on low speed until just incorporated.
  4. Fill baking cups three-fourths full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling, at least 2 hours or covered overnight.
  5. Meanwhile make the pecan pie filling. Combine 1/4 cup cold water with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, whisk until smooth. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, salt and corn starch mixture to a sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking consistently for about 5 minutes. Do not stop whisking the mixture, especially in the beginning or you will end up with scrambled eggs. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the pecans, bourbon and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool a few minutes and then transfer to the fridge for at least one hour or until completely cooled and thickened.
  6. To make the frosting. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat.
  7. In a medium sauce pan, melt together 1/4 cup butter, cream, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl in the freezer (or fridge for longer) for 15-20 minutes or until cool.
  8. In a bowl whisk together the bourbon, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon. Add pecans and stir to coat evenly. Transfer nuts to prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted. Remove and toss the pecans with 1 tablespoon butter. Allow to cool 10 minutes, set aside.