St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays where the theme and menu practically plan themselves! But, if corned beef and cabbage isn’t your style, how about a new twist – serve up corned beef sliders topped with cabbage slaw.
For music, tap into an online music service such as Pandora and call up a Celtic station to add some Irish ambiance.
And for dessert, try one (or both!) of these cupcake ideas, each topped with a decadent Irish Cream Cheese Frosting. (Note: these cupcakes are for grown ups only!)
Irish Stout ‘n Chocolate Cupcakes
The addition of a stout beer adds a chewy texture to these deep, rich goodies.
2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
¾ c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 12 oz. bottle stout Irish beer (such as Guinness)
1 t. vanilla extract
¾ c. sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the butter, beer and vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in the sour cream until smooth and well combined. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients a little at a time, stirring until completely combined. (Batter will be somewhat thin.) Fill the muffin tins ¾ full and bake for 24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Spiked Irish Spice Cupcakes
1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients called for on the box)
1 ½ t. cinnamon
½ t. ground ginger
¼ t. ground nutmeg
¼ t. ground cloves
1 c. Irish whiskey, divided
Preheat oven directed on the cake mix package. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the mix as directed on the package, except:
- Stir the spices into the dry mix before adding the wet ingredients.
- Substitute ½ c. whiskey for ½ c. of the liquid called for on the package.
Fill the muffin tins and bake as directed. Cool on a wire rack. With a bamboo skewer, make several holes in the top of each cupcake. Using a pastry brush, brush each cupcake generously with the remaining whiskey. Allow to set at least 15 minutes before icing with the Irish Cream Cheese Frosting.
Irish Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
¾ c. Irish cream liqueur (such as Bailey’s)
5 to 6 c. powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl, with a hand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until it’s fluffy. Add the liqueur and beat until well combined. On low speed, add the sugar one cup at a time until everything is incorporated and the frosting is fluffy and holds its shape. (The frosting will be soft.)
To ice the cupcakes, first allow the cupcakes to completely cool. Fit a gallon-size plastic zipper bag into a 2-cup measuring cup, folding the top of the bag over the sides of the cup. Fill the bag with frosting and gather the top of the bag, remove excess air, then zip it closed. Work the frosting down into one corner of the bag, then snip off the corner, about ¼ inch. Frost each cupcake with a swirl of frosting, keeping it away from the edge of the cupcake. This frosting will spread a bit on its own to the edge of the cupcake. (Frosts about 30 cupcakes.)
To decorate the cupcakes, make shamrocks from green melting chocolate (available at craft stores). Melt about ½ c. of disks in a microwave-safe dish according to the package directions. Fill a sandwich zipper bag with the melted chocolate; snip off the corner and pipe shamrocks on a piece of parchment paper. (Hint: Use my Shamrock template under the parchment paper to keep the shamrocks somewhat uniform.) Green decorating sugar may also be used as shown. Or, melt and swirl together green and white melting chocolates; allow to harden; and use a vegetable peeler to create chocolate shavings.
Use green melting chocolate, a plastic sandwich bag and some parchment to create professional-looking decorations!