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Happy St. Patrick’s Day (and week) to you all. As I’ve mentioned here before, this time of year has always been a big deal for me and my family. Being of Irish decent on my father’s side, there is a certain unspoken pressure to be just a little MORE Irish during the week of St. Patrick’s Day. Extra pints of stout and so forth, you know, to reconnect with my roots.
Of course I’ll be making my famous-in-Sheboygan Guinness Irish Stew on Thursday. If you don’t have the gumption to make it yourself from my recipe, you can always go to Manning’s Irish Pub in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and get yourself a bowl, if you’re in the neighborhood.
But there are other ways to enjoy Guinness, and some are less obvious than lifting a pint glass. Rich, malty Guinness Irish Stout, it turns out, is really excellent in desserts, especially spiced cake recipes. Take this easy gingerbread-inspired cupcake recipe I came up with. I name it for Paul Simon’s character, Mrs. Robinson, because he admonishes her to “keep it in your pantry with your cupcakes…” He’s likely talking about pills in the song, but I’m sure Mrs. R had some hooch in the pantry, too. These boozy little cakes would be right up her alley– not only do they have Guinness Irish Stout in them, there’s also a wee bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream in the cream cheese frosting too, for good measure.
Hope you enjoy them and have a happy St. Patrick’s Day! Oh, and word to the wise:
“Steer clear of the green beer or you’ll feel queer.” I recommend that you stick to the thick, creamy black stuff. Much better for your constitution.
Guinness and Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey’s Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes
6 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Guittard
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
4 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 cupcake wells with paper liners. In a medium saucepan, combine the stout and the molasses and bring to a boil over medium high heat (watch closely so the mixture does not boil over). Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda; the mixture will foam up. Pour into a large glass measuring cup and place in refrigerator to cool for 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter, orange zest, brown sugar, and sugar until fluffy, 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, add the egg and egg yolk, and beat until combined.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the beer-molasses mixture. Stir between the additions with a rubber spatula. Fill the prepared cupcake wells with the batter using a small ice cream scoop, only filing the wells are 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 24 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
When the cupcakes are cool, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter and beat until fluffy, 2 minutes. Sift half the powdered sugar over the frosting and beat to combine. Repeat with remaining powdered sugar. Add the Bailey’s and beat to combine. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes. Drink a shot of Bailey’s to your health and then eat the cupcakes.