Car Bomb Cupcakes

Good morning my devoted readers! :) Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!  Are you wearing green?  Are you downtown wherever you are drinking pint upon pint of green beer and singing along to whatever Dropkick Murphy's song they've got blasting?! Well, probably not, since you're reading this (and if you are? well that's just weird).  If you're like me, you're probably at work WISHING you were doing all those things...but alas, you're stuck in your cube (or maybe you're big time and have an office!).  I have the cure, folks, for the St. Patty's Day office blues...Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream Frosting.  In the words of the wise Emeril Lagasse? "Oh yeah, babe."

I was on Facebook yesterday when I saw that one of my friends was making "Car Bomb Cupcakes" and I remembered that I had the recipe too!  I'm fully admitting to being a copy cat here, although our versions are slightly different.  Seriously, though, getting inspiration from a girl named Maggie O'Toole on St. Patrick's Day?  Luck of the Irish and whatnot, if you ask me!  :) So thanks, Maggie for reminding me of this gem!

The recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen, another one of the many blogs that I love!  The original recipe includes an Irish whiskey chocolate ganache in the middle, but I chose to leave that out (just too rich for my taste!).  Maggie made hers with the ganache, and did a cream cheese frosting instead...and you should see hers!  They look gorgeous!  I went for just a spread of frosting on mine, as the taste of Bailey's in it is pretty potent, so I didn't want the cupcakes to be overwhelmed by the frosting.  As I'm writing this, there is ONE cupcake left in the box of 22 that I brought in...and it's not even noon yet! all of the cupcakes are GONE!!  Needless to say, these went over VERY well here!  On to the recipe (straight from the blog--all commentary is hers, which is pretty great)!

Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes
While the Guinness in the cake gets mostly baked out, the Baileys is fresh and potent, so if you’re making this for people who don’t drink — ahem, nobody I know, but I hear such people exist — you’ll probably want to swap it with milk.
The Baileys frosting recipe makes a smallish amount of frosting — enough to just cover the cupcakes. Because they were so rich and this frosting so sweet, I felt it only needed a little. Double it if you want more of a towering effect.
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling (Updated to double it, based on many commenters suggestions — thanks!)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

Baileys Frosting (see Recipe Notes)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)
Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.
Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
[This is a fantastic trick I picked up while working on the cupcakes article for Martha Stewart Living; the test kitchen chefs had found that when they added the sugar slowly, quick buttercream frostings got less grainy, and tended to require less sugar to thicken them up.]
When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
Ice and decorate the cupcakes. [I used a star tip and made little "poofs" everywhere and sprinkled it with various colors of sanding sugar to keep it looking festive for New Years. I bet shaved dark and white chocolates would look gorgeous as well.]
Do ahead: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)

Natalie again!  So-some issues that I had with the cake:
-When I melted the butter and Guinness and cocoa powder, it kind of separated and didn't look very smooth.  I whisked it until I decided that all of my effort wasn't making one bit of a difference, and put it in the mixer bowl with the eggs and sour cream.  It all came together just fine, but it did make me nervous.
-As usual, my oven cranked the heat, so they were done in about 13 min.  Please people.  I beg of you.  Don't overcook your chocolate cupcakes.  Just consider it illegal.  Camp out in front of your archaic stove like I do, and stare in at them.  It's worth me!

Final product, voilá!    And yes...that's a cupcake wrapper in the background.  :) Jeff and I split one last night.  Dee-lish!  I also had to include a pic of Maggie's, because they were so pretty!  Enjoy, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Maple Magic!

Good evening dear readers!  Today's baking adventure took me down a new road--scones!  I have never made a scone before today, but Ina Garten made some DELICIOUS looking Maple-Oatmeal Scones while I was vegged out on the couch recently...and I decided they were a must-try.  My husband is a huge maple-anything fan, and I was excited to make something that he'd really enjoy.  I also have included a couple more photos today, as I usually only include the end product. The easiest thing I have access to is my phone-so the quality of the photos aren't usually the greatest....but they get the job done. 

So I took a photo today of all of my ingredients before I started, and then I laughed.  I noticed my iPod and speaker was in the shot, and realized that music is an essential when I bake, cook, drive, breathe, etc.  My husband says that my life has a soundtrack...and that's probably true :)

So there they are.  The essentials for today's adventure.  I was feeling like some country today, so today I played my Country mix with songs like "American Saturday Night" by Brad Paisley, and a whoooole lot of Sugarland (my favorite band!).  It put me in such a great mood while I baked!
Also, before I go into the recipe-I just want to take a minute to tell you about this dough.  All I could think while I was rolling out the dough was how luscious it was!  It was so soft, but not too sticky (after flouring my counter and the dough) and just made me so excited to get the scones into the oven!  Also, as I'm about to post a photo of the dough, you should know that the largest cookie cutter that I had was a big heart.  I felt a little silly at first, but I was so happy with how they turned out!  They just looked adorable!
Okay, so on to the recipe!  Like Ina's, mine made about 16 large (heart shaped, hers were round) scones.  Also, you'll see in my ingredients photo above that I had 4 eggs.  Well, those were the last of the eggs, so I didn't do an egg wash on the top.  No big deal, it didn't make a difference because of the glaze that we're putting on top anyway.  Also-It took the ol' turbo heater 15 minutes and not 20-25.  Keep an eye on them, they get nice and golden!

Maple-Oatmeal Scones
by Ina Garten, from Barefoot Contessa, Food Network

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water, for egg wash
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Blend the cold butter in at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, and eggs and add quickly to the flour-and-butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough may be sticky.
Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4 to 1-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into 3-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done.
To make the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. When the scones are done, cool for 5 minutes, and drizzle each scone with 1 tablespoon of glaze. I like to sprinkle some uncooked oats on the top, for garnish. The warmer the scones are when you glaze them, the thinner the glaze will be.

And now the final result!  I placed the scones on a cooling rack, and put the rack over a sheet pan and the parchment that I baked them on, to make for easy clean-up when I put the glaze on.  They turned out so cute, I love the hearts!  They're VERY tasty too!  I think the only think I would try next time is adding a little cinnamon to the dry ingredients; I think it would really make the maple flavor pop a little more.  I hope you'll give these a shot, they are just perfect!  Enjoy!
Write here, about you and your blog.
Copyright 2009 Give Me Some Sugar All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Blogspot Templates From Wordpress Theme by EZwpthemes