Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Culinary Creations

My family has a little Irish in it on my mom's side. The fair skin, the light eyes, and a few "Fitzgeralds" somewhere in the lineage. But truth be told, we never spent much time observing Irish culture. And so every year when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, I've never given it much thought.

But when I received Martha Stewart's March issue and saw her recipe for Irish Cream Cupcakes, I knew that it was finally time to give some attention to my Irish roots.

The ingredients for these little cakes include the basics: flour, eggs, milk, sugar, etc. And butter. Another whole stick of butter.

Yes...that means I have gone through 3 sticks of butter in the past 5 days. Apparently I'm turning into Julia Child....

Additionally, to accomplish the "coffee" element, the cupcakes called for instant espresso to round out the flavor, and fortunately for me I always keep a little on hand specifically for baking purposes like this...

And then came my handy Kitchen-Aid mixer. It still pleases me to watch it mix so obediently while I keep myself otherwise occupied. Truly it won't be long before I'm caught saying things like, "I don't know how I ever managed without one," and "every woman needs this appliance."
Now here's where my baking enterprise admittedly gets a little obnoxious. You see, the only paper cups I had on hand were leftovers from Valentines Day. Which means that they have red hearts on the bottom and lots of pink stripes. Now everyone knows that you CAN'T put desserts themed for one holiday (in this case, St. Pats Day) into cups designed for another, and so I had a serious dilemma.

So here's the obnoxious part: rather than go to the store to just buy generic cups like a normal person, I decided to be an overachiever and make my own cups from parchment paper. And so I diligently measured each parchment square, and even used special craft scissors to cut a jagged edge on each one.

It was the kind of move that could get you harmed in some parts of the world. The parts that don't take kindly to overzealous displays of free time and unnecessary crafting.

Oh...I almost forgot to mention that these cupcakes also have whiskey in them. These snacks aren't for children, people.
And here, my friends, is the result. Some whipped cream frosting sprinkled with espresso powder and they truly do remind me of an irish cream coffee.

My favorite part about them is that they weren't very sweet. Only half-a-cup of sugar in the cakes and a spoonful in the frosting allowed the other flavors, like coffee and liquor, to come through.
And yes--to round it all out I did pair mine with a glass of Guinness, although I couldn't convince many of my friends to do the same.

There's still time to bake your own Irish Cream treats before St. Patty's Day! I'd give you the link to the recipe, but as usual I can't find it online. So snatch a copy of Martha's March issue and bake away!

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