Back when I was living in Los Angeles, the Ipod took me home to Chicago for a long weekend to visit her parents & see the city. It was an INCREDIBLE trip. I got to sleep in a real bed, in a clean gorgeous house and her parents really spoiled us. Her mom even took us out for mani/pedis- my first one ever! I remember feeling soooo warm & cozy and after struggling in LA for a couple of years, having my parents far away, that trip was truly a gift. I'll never forget it. It was like being hugged for an entire weekend. And hellooo, I was introduced to Garrett's Popcorn that trip!!!?? ENOUGH SAID.
When my boyfriend Sarah asked to come stay with me for the weekend while she auditioned for Steppenwolf Theater Company (YAY!!!), I wanted her to have exactly that same kind of weekend!
***************Secret insider MandiCrocker information: Sarah & I worked together for years. Neither of us had boyfriends at the time which bummed us out a bit and we really missed having a boyfriend/outlet to lavish our creativity & affections on. So we decided one day to be each other's boyfriends and we'd bring goofy 'Have a great day, BF!' notes, flowers, chocolate, etc. to work. And for that reason, she will always be my 'boyfriend Sarah.' WHO CARES IF IT'S WEIRD, I got daffodils. :) *****************************
I wanted her to feel relaxed & rested, to feel spoiled and have treats! And since my BF is a vegan, I thought I'd try something new: Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes.
I was very scared about the root beer aspect, though. What happens if she doesn't like root beer? I don't remember my BF ever even drinking the stuff... I was concerned that I opted for a less-traditional flavor but hey, they're cupcakes... how bad could they be?
WOULDN'T YOU KNOW ROOT BEER TURNED OUT TO BE ONE OF HER ALL-TIME FAVORITE FLAVORS!!!??? :) :) :)
*hee hee hee, snort snort, swoon swoon*
I was happy.
So in the BF's honor, here's the recipe for some d*mn good cupcakes! The Sweet Lovin' Man thought they were pretty out of this world. AND VEGAN, PEOPLE!!!! :) :) :)
VEGAN ROOT BEER FLOAT CUPCAKES
adapted from: My Sweet Vegan, by Hannah Kaminsky
1 Cup Root Beer Soda
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
⅓ Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoons Root Beer Extract
1⅓ Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
5 Ounces Dark Chocolate, Chopped
¼ Cup Plain Soymilk
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 Cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter
4 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
2 Tablespoons Plain Soymilk
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste (vanilla extract works too!)
sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
chunks of chocolate (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar. It has to stand for a few minutes so in the meantime...
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In the large bowl, add in the sugar and oil. Whisk vigorously until slightly frothy. Add your root beer soda and extracts.
- Gently add the flour mixture to the sugar oil mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Fill up 12 muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes. Keep them in the pan for 10 minutes and then let them cool on a wire rack completely before adding the ganache.
- In a medium size saucepan, heat the soymilk until almost boiling.
- Add the dark chocolate and immediately remove from heat. Let the chocolate & soy milk sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix them them together until smooth. Add the maple syrup.
- Allow to cool to room temperature or you can put the saucepan in the fridge for a bit.
- Frost cupcakes with ganache.
- Beat the two sticks of vegan butter until light and fluffy.
- Add soymilk and vanilla bean paste.
- Add the powdered sugar & beat well. If the frosting is too runny, add more sugar. If it is too dry, feel free to add a tablespoon or two more of soymilk.
- Frost, decorate & DEVOUR.