Cupcakes for the Grown Ups {No Sharing Required!}

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I am all about some shamrock shaped sugar cookies with green sprinkles to celebrate the Luck O’ The Irish…but in recent years I found a recipe I love. Please note that this treat is for all of you PARENTS.  This recipe contains alcohol and is NOT kid friendly. Treats? That the kids, literally legally, cannot touch?  You’re welcome.

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If any of you are on Pinterest, then I am sure that you have seen these cupcakes pinned, and repinned, and repinned, and repinned. To give proper credit, the original recipe and method that I found is located here at the Brown Eyed Baker blog. (You should check out her site in general. In the words of my two year old, “many deewishus things.”)

To the cupcakes!

Ingredients:

The Cupcakes:

1 cup Guinness stout (OR Young’s Double Chocolate Stout)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

The Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

The Baileys Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

The Method:

1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the stout and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly. (You will wonder if this is what the Harry Potter books meant by “butterbeer.”)

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until incorporated. Next, add the chocolate stout mixture to the egg mixture and beat just until mixed. Reduce the speed to low, add in the flour mixture and mix briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely blended. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (about 17 minutes depending on your oven). Cool the cupcakes completely.

3. Whiskey – Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream until it is simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center and then outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey, and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thickened a bit, but still soft enough to be piped. The ganache will seem kind of runny, even once it has cooled. It will firm up. (I was later informed that I got a little heavy handed with the Jameson in the ganache. Whoops.)

4. Filling the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Again…I didn’t have any decorating tips, so I used a melon-baller (my genius husband’s idea). Transfer the ganache to a piping bag (or baggie with a corner cut off) with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. You will now have 24 cupcake centers to snack on while you bake.

5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (set the timer!), scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Next, add the Baileys and then increase the speed to medium-high. Whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture  is light and fluffy. You may need to tinker with the amount of sugar to your liking.  One time I made this and it was too sweet, the next time, it wasn’t sweet enough.  So taste as you go!

6. Using your favorite cupcake decorating tip, or spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate how you so choose (my choice was sprinkles). Since I don’t have any fancy-schmancy cake decorating supplies, I actually did the old “fill a gallon baggie with ganache or frosting and cut off a corner” trick.

I didn’t get the perfect piping that the original recipe poster had, but I think that my method did okay. Although, my cupcakes definitely look more special homemade – compared to the original post which looks Boutique-Cupcake-Shop perfect.

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container, or they can be frozen and thawed. I do not recommend refrigerating them since they will dry out. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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