So my friend Jamieanne of The Sweetest Kitchen has started the Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge. This month the secret "ingredient" is a childhood memory! My sister Heather called me to see if I had thought of entering this month. I have never entered before, and I wasn't sure what I would do. We started talking about childhood memories and the one that always sticks in my head is going to Great Grandma's house for lunch and eating her "famous" pickles and hamburgers with garden-fresh tomatoes! So, after much debate as to whether or not I should put my idea "into the oven" I decided to go against the norm and create a savory cupcake that only a Great Grandmother could love! :)

Maybe I should let you in on a little secret about Grandma's pickles, they may be the easiest pickles ever made, but she made them taste like gold! The last 2 summers I grew a garden just so I could try out her recipe. Surprisingly, the pickles taste pretty similar to what I remember. I wanted to make a jar for each of my family members for Christmas, but unfortunately I've only had enough cucumbers to fill about 10 jars (if I can't share them with EVERYONE I guess I am going to have to eat them all by myself). Anyway, about Grandma's pickles, she packed cucumbers, a head of dill or 1 Tbsp or dill seed in a jar with a clove of garlic and a dried red chile pepper, made her brine of salt, vinegar and water, poured it into the jars, sealed them and VOILA! 6 weeks later we had the BEST PICKLES EVER! Her pickles had just the right amount of garlic, heat and dill due to her "secret" ingredients! I knew I had to use these three things in my cupcake!

I am and always have been a HUGE fan of dill pickles (huge may be an understatement) but the idea of a pickle cupcake just sounded weird, even to me! I set out on a search to find a recipe I could adapt to fit my memory. I found so many savory cupcakes that pickle cupcakes started to sound more normal than any of the rest! I came across a Salmon Cupcake, a Guacamole Cupcake, a Catfish and Grits Cupcake and also a Pregnant cupcake among many other strange creations. I decided to modify the pickle cake in this recipe to make it more like my Great Grandmother's pickles. I added part of a dried red pepper (that I crushed), I used the pickles and pickle juice from one of the jars I made this summer from my Great Grandma's recipe, i used garlic salt and garlic powder and dill seed, too.

Several ideas crossed my mind for the "icing" of my cupcake, I thought about chocolate syrup (because Grandma always had a can of Hershey's syrup in her refrigerator that we would occasionally drink from) and ice cream, but after finding the recipe for the Pickles and Ice Cream Cupcake, I decided that had already been done so I would find something else. Great Grandma's hamburger recipe was never written down, but her hamburgers were so yummy! That's when I decided to create "Grandma's Pickle-burger Cupcake". A Pickle cake "bun" with a mini-cheeseburger, pickle, tomato and mustard (the way we always ate them at Grandma's)! Great Grandma's house was the best, we spent a lot of time there as kids and pickles, hamburgers and fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes are three things I will never forget!

Here is my creation!
"Grandma's Pickle-Burger Cupcake"

**I have to say, I DID try it! It wasn't nearly as weird-tasting as it sounded. The cake barely had a pickle flavor at all, it was smillar to a spiced cornbread but without the cornmeal texture (if that makes any sense). Eaten as a cupcake sandwich, it tasted just about like any other cheeseburger would.**

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