st. patrick’s day: Guinness and Bailey’s chocolate cupcakes

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I’m not Irish, and I’m not a huge fan of Guinness beer, but when I woke up this morning and saw that it was st. patrick’s day, I knew that it was time to put together these boozy cupcakes.  As you’ve seen in the past with my boozy bailey’s milkshakes, I am a lover of anything bailey’s.  So I did not hold back with this recipe.  Because the only thing better than homemade ganache, is homemade ganache with bailey’s mixed in.

All things aside, I made this recipe because I love chocolate, I love bailey’s, and I love an excuse to make a cupcake for friends and family.  So to all those celebrating the holiday and having an extra drink (or two!), I hope you enjoy the day and don’t be afraid to give this recipe a try!

Guinness and Bailey’s Chocolate Cupcakes
(Makes 12 cupcakes)


For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:

1/2 cup Guinness beer
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/8 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream

For the Bailey’s chocolate ganache:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup (about 6 oz) milk chocolate chips
2 tsp Bailey’s Irish Cream

For the Bailey’s buttercream frosting:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line your cupcake pan with liners.

Prepare the batter; in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the beer and butter.  Stir in the cocoa powder and mix until smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg, sugar, and sour cream.  Add the beer mixture to the wet ingredients and mix.  Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until incorporated.

Next, prepare the ganache;  in a small saucepan on medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.  Pour the hot cream over a medium bowl containing the chocolate.  Whisk together for 2-3 minutes, or until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated with the cream.  Add the Bailey’s and mix until uniform again.

Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool slightly and using a cupcake corer or teaspoon, remove a small amount of cake from the center of each cupcake.  Fill each hole with ganache to the rim, about 2 tsp worth.

While the cupcakes are in the oven, prepare the frosting; in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter until smooth and creamy.  Slowly add the confectioners sugar and mix until incorporated.  Add the Bailey’s and mix until smooth.  If consistency appears to be too thick, add more Bailey’s 1 tsp at a time.  If consistency appears to be too thin, add more confectioners sugar.  Frost the cupcakes however you’d like, and drizzle with any remaining chocolate ganache!

cupcake on,
Sharon

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girl scout cookies as a cupcake: tagalongs

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I saved the best for last in my girl scout cookie roundup – tagalongs.  Tagalongs are crispy vanilla cookies topped with peanut butter and coated in chocolate.  I was actually really excited about making these cupcakes.  I’ve always been a fan of chocolate and peanut butter together, plus I’ve been dying to perfect my peanut butter frosting.  This was just the nudge I needed to get started.  Plus, it was the perfect break from work that I needed.  Oooops.  Don’t tell my boss.

I went with a plain jane vanilla cupcake – my go-to recipe, then topped it with some peanut butter frosting (a new favorite for sure!), and coated that with a hard chocolate shell (super easy recipe below!).  I contemplated stuffing the cupcakes with peanut butter, but I thought that might be too heavy.  So I left it out.  But feel free to experiment with that, especially if you’re crazy about peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
(Makes 12 cupcakes)

For the vanilla cupcakes:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk

For the peanut butter frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the hard chocolate topping:

1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line your cupcake pan with liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until uniform.

In another large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.  Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.  Add all the milk and mix.  Finally, add the remaining dry ingredients and mix.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix, ensuring everything is incorporated.

Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

While the cupcakes are in the oven, prepare the frosting;  in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth and creamy.  Gradually add the confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Add the vanilla extract and mix.  If too thin, add more confectioners sugar.  If too thick, add milk 1 tsp at a time.  Frost the cupcakes however you’d like and stick them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil.  In a double boiler or in the microwave, melt everything until incorporated.  If microwave, be sure to microwave 30 seconds at a time, mixing well after each time.  This prevents the chocolate from burning and seizing up.  It typically takes no longer than 90 seconds for everything to fully melt.  Dip the tops of each cupcake in the chocolate, or just pour the chocolate over the tops.  It should harden very quickly and will turn from shiny to matte.

Well, that’s it!  I hope you enjoyed my girl scout cupcakes!  Here is the full list of my creations:
girl scout cookies as a cupcake: samoas
girl scout cookies as a cupcake: thin mints
girl scout cookies as a cupcake: s’mores

cupcake on,
Sharon

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girl scout cookies as a cupcake: thin mints

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Growing up, my favorite girl scout cookie flavor was always “animal treasures”.  You know, the shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate with an assortment of animals embossed on the top.  They were sweet and chocolatey and fun!  It’s now been several years since they’ve been sold (RIP, lil’ guys) and I still find myself anxiously wondering each season if they’ll magically pop back into the lineup.  Luckily, the new s’mores cookies  are becoming my new favorite.

Despite my love for animal treasures and s’mores, it’s clear that thin mints are the clear favorite worldwide.  It seems that every year, they make up the majority of the sales.  So for my second cupcake creation, I had to give thin mints a shot.  I crushed up the thin mints and created a delicious cookie crust, made a rich chocolate cupcake, filled it with mint chocolate ganache, and frosted it with mint chocolate frosting.  If you’re a mint lover – enjoy!  You’re in for a real treat.

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
(Makes 12-15 cupcakes)

For the thin mint cookie crust:

1 cup (about 15 cookies) thin mints, crushed
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the chocolate cupcakes:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

For the mint chocolate ganache:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup (about 6 oz) milk chocolate chips
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

For the mint chocolate frosting:

2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tbsp heavy cream
3 tbsp mint chocolate ganche (recipe follows)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line your cupcake pan with liners.

Prepare the cookie crust; add the thin mints to a ziploc bag and seal.  Using your fist or the flat side of a meat tenderizer, crush the cookies until it is a coarse mixture.  Add to the melted butter and stir until incorporated.  Press about 1 tbsp into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  Bake for 3 minutes and remove from the oven.

Prepare the batter; combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract.  In a couple batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.  With the mixer at a low speed, add the boiling water.  Be patient – it will take about a minute for everything to incorporate.

Next, prepare the ganache; in a small saucepan on medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.  Pour the hot cream over a medium bowl containing the chocolate.  Whisk together for 2-3 minutes, or until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated with the cream.  Add the peppermint extract and mix.

Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool slightly and using a cupcake corer or teaspoon, remove a small amount of cake from the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with ganache to the rim, about 2 tsp worth.

While the cupcakes are in the oven, prepare the frosting; beat the sugar and butter until they are incorporated.  Small clumps are okay.  Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract and beat for 2-3 more minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.  If too thin, add more confectioners sugar.  If too thick, add milk 1 tsp at a time.  Frost the cupcakes however you’d like!

– cupcake on,
Sharon

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biscoff cupcakes

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Will you judge me if I say that I choose my airliner based on the snacks they hand out?  Because I do.  Delta Airlines all the way.  And it’s because of their amazing Biscoff cookies that they hand out on every flight.  If you’ve never had these cookies, get yourself on a Delta flight ASAP! Or, you could just buy them off Amazon.  That’s where I normally buy them in bulk.  They are buttery cookies with a gingersnap-like taste, yet still so unique and decadent.  When my Amazon delivery came in the mail, I knew I needed to repurpose them into cupcake form.

Biscoff cookies are all over this cupcake.  There is half a cookie on the bottom of every cupcake, biscoff spread filling (also highly recommended and available at most stores), and biscoff spread frosting.  You can even garnish each cupcake with another half a cookie.  Perfect for any and all occasions.

Biscoff Cupcakes
(Makes 12 cupcakes)
Adapted from The Baker Chick

For the cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
12 biscoff cookies, broken in half
1/2 cup biscoff spread

For the frosting:

8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup biscoff spread
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat over to 350F.  Line cupcakes pans with liners and place a half a cookie into each one.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the vanilla and beat again.  Add half the flour, then the 1/2 cup of buttermilk.  Add the remaining flour, then the 2 tbsp buttermilk.  Scrape down the bowl with a spatula to ensure all the batter is uniform.

Fill each liner about 3/4 full with the batter.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Let cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.

Using a small knife or spoon, remove a small bit of each cupcake.  Fill each core with a teaspoon of biscoff spread.

For the frosting, mix together the butter and biscoff spread.  Working 1/2 cup at a time, add the powdered sugar.  If too thick, add a splash of milk.  If too thin, add more powdered sugar.  Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake.

cupcake on,
Sharon

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cannoli cupcakes

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It’s no surprise that I love baking, especially cupcakes.  My favorite part about cupcakes is that the batter and frosting is so versatile.  I think one day I’m going to stick a bunch of batter options (vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, confetti, strawberry, etc.) into a hat, and a bunch of frosting options (chocolate buttercream, vanilla buttercream, cream cheese, whipped cream, etc.) into another hat, and just make whatever I get.  Pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting?  Chocolate cupcake with mocha whipped cream frosting?  Yum.

When I first decided to make this cupcake, I had no idea what to make.  I knew I wanted to go simple with the batter, but I was very open to the frosting options.  I was making this cupcake for a friend with deep Italian roots, and all I could think of was cannoli.  How hard could it be to turn a cannoli into a cupcake?  Turns out it is incredibly easy, and incredibly tasty!

So if you want the cannoli flavor, but want to avoid the cannoli frying, this cupcake will do the trick! Enjoy!

Cannoli Cupcakes with Cannoli Chocolate Chip Frosting
(Makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup 2% milk

For the frosting:

1 cup whole milk ricotta
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

For the chocolate-dipped cannoli decoration:

4 oz dark chocolate, melted
12 cannoli chips

Prepare the frosting first; In a large bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract until smooth.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and ricotta to the mixture and beat until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Place the bowl of frosting uncovered in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Prepare the cannoli decoration by dunking each cannoli chip halfway in melted chocolate.  Place each dipped chip on a parchment-lined sheet and leave in the refrigerator for about an hour to harden.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line the cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour and baking powder.  In a separate large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until uniform.  Starting and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill each cupcake tin about 2/3 full with batter.  Bake in oven for 16-18 minutes, or until the sides of the cupcake begin to brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Once the cupcakes are cool, frost them with the cannoli frosting.  Top each cupcake with a chocolate-dipped cannoli chip.

bake on,
Sharon

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