David Arrick's and Janice Kollar's "The Butch Bakery Cookbook" is full of unique cupcakes to make your desserts a little, well, manlier. Cupcakes made with beer, frosting with a dash of Jack Daniels, and of course two cupcake recipes topped with bacon bits. And don't worry--all the recipes that do use alcohol have virgin alternatives if that's your preference. Clear instructions make the delightfully new ideas easy to make and the sheer variety of frosting flavors makes this book a must try even if you don't grow hair on your chest.
The lemon cupcakes for the Side Car recipe are a bright burst of spring, and really dense and delicious. I decided to go all out and use lemon cream cheese frosting, from the Date and Fig Cupcake recipe, for a real lemon explosion. Preparing everything for the cupcakes, like zesting and juicing lemons, was the real work--putting everything together after that was a snap. The only thing that threw me off about this recipe was that I was expecting the cupcakes to be lightly browned on top when they were done, which didn't happen. The old standby, the toothpick test, saved my guests from overdone cupcakes.
-Lindsay T., Jamestown Bluffs