Did you know that both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, while thought of as New York Icons, are actually physically located in New Jersey? Just as both the New York Giants and the New York Jets are actually New Jersey teams despite their names.
Those aren’t the only New York-New Jersey connection. While Sandy Hook Lighthouse might not have been the first lighthouse built in America, it is one of the only early American lighthouses that has never been rebuild. The original lighthouse, built in 1764, is still in use today, making Sandy Hook technically the oldest operating lighthouse in the country. Sandy Hook was originally named New York Lighthouse because funding to build Sandy Hook came from a New York Assembly lottery and taxes imposed on all ships entering the Port of New York. So while funded by New York, Sandy Hook is in New Jersey.
New Jersey is the garden state for a reason, with more than 10,000 farms that produce more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables. New Jersey ranks in the top 10 for the production of squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, blueberries, peaches and cranberries. The state is also home to 28 State Parks and 11 State Forests.
Over 100 battles were fought on New Jersey soil in America’s push for independence. One of the first major victories in the Revolutionary War was fought in Trenton, New Jersey. Before the battle, George Washington had to cross the Delaware River, an image most school age children recognize.
When we think of crowded places to call home, most of us think New York City or Southern California. Yet New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, and 11th most populated. On average, about 1,030 persons live in each square mile of New Jersey land. That might also explain why New Jersey is known as the Diner Capital of the World, with more diners than anywhere else on earth.
While the 3rd state to be admitted to the Union, New Jersey was the first state to sign the Bill of Rights. And finally, during the Lockdown Pandemic of 2020, the good folks of New Jersey were baking Vanilla Cupcakes. Yep, the most searched recipes in New Jersey were not just any cupcake, but Vanilla Cupcakes.
Today, as luck would have it, is also Crème Brûlée Day. In honor of New Jersey’s desire for Vanilla Cupcakes and my favorite creamy dessert, the Crème Brûlée I give you Crème Brûlée Cupcakes. Enjoy!
New Jersey’s Crème Brûlée Vanilla Cupcakes
1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 box Vanilla Cake Mix
1 cup Water
Heat oven to 350-degrees and line two cupcake pans paper liners.
Melt butter just until a liquid. Let cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, butter and water using an electric mixer on low for one minute, then mix on high for one minute.
Divide batter evenly into cupcake liners, filling each two thirds full.
Bake for 20 minutes and cool completely.
1 box Instant Vanilla Pudding
2 cups Cold Milk
In a large bowl, whisk together pudding mix and cold milk until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Cover and refrigerate until fully set, about 20 minutes.
1 cup Butter, softened
4 cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 tablespoons Heavy Cream
Let butter soften at room temperature.
Sift powdered sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar, vanilla and salt, and beat until fluffy. Add heavy cream if the frosting is too thick.
1/2 cup Sugar
Using a paring knife or small melon scoop, cut a small well out of each cupcake and fill it with vanilla pudding.
Using a small offset spatula, spread frosting on top of each filled cupcake. Sprinkle each cupcake immediately with sugar.
Transfer filled and frosted cupcakes to a large rimmed baking sheet. Heat broiler element of oven, broil cupcakes until the sugar on top of the frosting caramelizes, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely, then serve.