Giddy Up!

Today is Derby Day and what kind of Kentucky girl would I be if I didn’t make a Derby Day cupcake?  Plus, I’m feeling a little homesick and I kind of need this cupcake for sheer comfort.  That may be a slight stretch because you know I look for any excuse to make and eat cupcakes!

I spent most of my younger days living on a farm in Kentucky.  We owned several horses and had many fun times trail riding and many not so fun times cleaning stalls.  We didn’t own thoroughbreds but we always gathered around the TV on Derby Day.  I knew a little about thoroughbreds from a few trips I made to the Kentucky Horse Park.  Additionally, I grew up in small town Walton, KY where jockey, Steve Cauthen, was proudly honored on our water tower:  “Walton, KY Home of Steve Cauthen.”  That was pretty cool!  I’m, by no means, a thoroughbred or racetrack expert but I enjoy the Kentucky Derby and all the time-honored traditions that are part of race day.

While many ladies have been selecting their magnificent Derby hats and the gents have been shining their shoes, I’ve been thinking about how to turn traditional Derby Pie into a cupcake.  Someone has to do it!  I didn’t feel the need to create this on my own as I was certain there were tons of recipes out there.  Sure enough, my search resulted in lots of variations.  Mine is a combination of a few recipes I found.

Kentucky bourbon chocolate walnut pie is traditionally served at the annual Kentucky Derby horse race. Melrose Inn, located in Prospect, KY, is famous for their invention of Derby Pie in 1950.  I reviewed several Derby Pie recipes and decided that bourbon, chocolate, walnuts and a little frosting would make for a fantastic cupcake!  So, I got busy and put these together. I’ve decided to add these to our menu for May and call them My Old Kentucky Home cupcakes.  Something about these just feels like home.  They are decadent and gooey.
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A key ingredient in these is bourbon.  It’s in the cake, the frosting and the sticky glaze I drizzled on top.  We usually have lots of bourbon on hand but the only bottle in our cabinet (obviously, it’s time to restock) was Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon made in Bardstown, KY.  It smelled AMAZING as I added it to every part of the cupcake!
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After smelling all that deliciousness, I was pretty excited to dig into these!  I wish I could tell you they were terrible and I wouldn’t be wasting any calories on these BUT they were out of this world, melt-in-your-mouth divine!  I was not disappointed and, as far as the calories go, let’s just say I could use a lap (or two) around the track! 🙂
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I’m excited for the 140th Kentucky Derby!  Do you have any Derby Day traditions?  Perhaps you’re attending live and deciding if you want to place your bets on California Chrome, Dance with Fate or Wildcat Red.  If you’re like me, you’ll be watching all the action from home.  Whether you’re drinking Mint Juleps, wearing a fancy hat, eating Hot Brown and Derby Pie or just cheering on your favorite horse and jockey, have a grand time!  I know I’ll be eating more of My Old Kentucky Home cupcakes while I eagerly await post time!  Yee-haw!
From the heart, Shannon
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