Category Archives: Recipes

Cute Cupcakes: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

It’s your “lucky” day! I found the best cupcake to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day this Saturday: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. These mini slices of heaven are beyond delicious. I know I’ve shared with you a handful of cupcake recipes that I have enjoyed baking in my kitchen travels, but none have elicited such a reaction from my taste buds as this one.


In case you don’t know what an Irish Car Bomb is (and if you don’t, what kind of St. Patrick’s day celebrant are you?!), it is a beer cocktail that is comprised of a shot of whiskey, such as Baileys, dropped into an Irish stout, such as Guinness. The kicker is that once the shot is dropped into the glass, the drink must be chugged  before it curdles and makes a huge mess.

To mimic this party favorite, our cupcake today consists of a Guinness-flavored chocolate cake, a Baileys-flavored chocolate ganache filling, and a Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting.

Please keep in mind that this cupcake is a little time consuming. If you are looking for a quick and easy dessert to bring a St. Patrick’s Day gathering, this is not the recipe for you. The cake requires you to heat Guinness and cocoa powder before mixing the ingredients together; and the ganache filling consists of slowly melting blocks of chocolate and then, after the cake has been baked and cooled, piping them into the middle of each individual cupcake. But don’t let the added steps stop you from making these cakes yourself. Set aside some baking time to give these cupcakes a go. The Guinness really deepens the flavor of the chocolate, making it taste richer, and the Baileys ganache filling, once bitten into, is a creamy, chocolatey delight. Find the recipe here.

If you just don’t have time to spare, make a normal chocolate cake and top it off with the Baileys Irish Cream frosting. I have received many rave reviews on it alone. (Specifically the DeBacker clan.)

Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting

• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
• 4 to 8 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish cream (I use this four-pack of Baileys Minis.)

1. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth. Add more if necessary until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

This weekend I will be enjoying brunch with my soon-to-be-a-doctor sister-in-law. Cheers to early morning drinking games!

So what are your plans for this emerald-toned weekend? Picking shamrocks? Making Irish-themed desserts? Drinking Guinness? Watching basketball? (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) Leave me a comment and let me know! I look forward to hearing from you.

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Cooking with The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Making a Dutch Baby

As of a year ago I became the proud owner of a cast iron skillet. It was gorgeous, heavy, and all mine. But I was afraid to use it. After reading into cast iron skillet ownership, the list of dos and don’ts  seemed overwhelming. Don’t wash it with soap. Don’t scrub it with the wrong kind of sponge. Make sure to store it in a warm, dry place. If you don’t follow these rules, you’ll need to reseason your skillet. Reseason it? What does that mean? I don’t want to do that! That sounds way too complicated for a pan. Can’t I just put it in the dishwasher and call it good?

No. I can not. But after reading into cast iron skillet care it a little bit more, it didn’t seem quite as scary as I was making it out to be. And yes … it took me a full year to make this decision.

In order to get over this fear, I bought The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in your Kitchen by Sharon Kramis and Kramis Hearne (Sasquatch Books, 2004). After paging through my brand new cookbook, I found an incredibly easy recipe to ease me into cast iron skillet cooking: the Dutch baby.

This cookbook is a great book for new cast iron skillet owners who may be looking for a few new dishes that exceed in flavor when cooked in a cast iron skillet. It also introduces readers to the ins and outs of caring for your cast iron skillet while offering recipes for breakfast, appetizers, entrees, sides, outdoor eating and desserts. However, the main downfall of this book is the lack of art. Although there is a photography section in the center of the book, I am a visual person and would much rather have a photo alongside every recipe. And because there was no picture of a Dutch baby in my cookbook (and no, not this kind of Dutch baby), I can only imagine that mine turned out the way it was intended. What I do know is that it tasted delicious.

{Cook your Dutch baby in a cast iron skillet for maximum taste.}

{Dutch babies puff up after they bake, then they will shrink back down to size.}

{Top it off with mixed fruit to add some sweetness to your brunch delight.}

Dutch Baby

A Dutch baby is a delicious mix between a pancake and French toast. As it cooks it puffs up to delicious heights. By itself, it’s not all that sweet. Top it off with your choice of fruit to add extra flavor to the brunch favorite. SERVES 2

• 2 tablespoons butter
• 4 extra-large eggs
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup milk

Topping:
• 3 tablespoons butter
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. To make the Dutch Baby, melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over low heat. Mix the eggs, flour and milk in a blender on medium speed unil just blended, 5 to 10 seconds. Pour the batter into the skillet with the melted butter.

2. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the top puffs up and is lightly golden, about 25 minutes.

3. To clarify the butter for the topping, melt it over low heat in a small saucepan. Skim off and discard the foam. Remove from the heat and let stand until the solids settle, about 5 minutes. Pour through a strainer into a glass measuring cup.

4. When the Dutch Baby is done, drizzle the clarified butter over the top, then sprinkle with the lemon juice and dust with the powdered sugar. Note: I also cut up bananas and strawberries and scattered the mixed fruit onto my finished Dutch Baby for added flavor.

5. Cut into six wedges and serve immediately.

Do you own a cast iron skillet? What are your favorite dishes to prepare in it?

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Cute Cupcakes: Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

The girls and I had a fun time baking last weekend. We caught up on each other’s lives, watched our favorite Sex and the City episodes, munched on red pepper hummus (Yum!) and baked these delicious Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes, courtesy Doughmesstic. Whoever said it was bad having too many cooks in the kitchen clearly didn’t bake cupcakes with three of their best friends.

The cake is a vanilla bean cake, which forced the girls and I to learn what it means to scrape a vanilla bean. (Basically, you take a vanilla bean, slice it lengthwise down the middle, flatten it out, scrape the insides out of it with a paring knife and set it aside.) The scraped vanilla eventually gets added to the batter along with 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 teaspoons bourbon to give the cake a little extra flavor. The result is a moist and tasty vanilla cake.

I really enjoyed these cupcakes, but I wish more prominent strawberry and cheesecake flavors were present. The next time I find myself following this recipe, I think I may look into improving upon the cake batter a little bit. The strawberry flavors only come from the jam filling and the strawberry garnish; the cheesecake flavors only come from the cheesecake frosting and the graham cracker crust topping. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the cupcake, I don’t think it’s 100 percent fair to call it a Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake.

But please note, it’s a delicious cupcake. I’m just whining because I have a blog … and I can. 🙂

{Aren’t my girlfriends and I just the best food stylists? All four of us had our cameras out trying to capture this delicious treat, as we kept coming up with different ways to style our cupcake properly. The end result? Stacked plates, Laura’s centerpiece and Laura’s beautiful scarf that I snagged from her closet. There are no amateurs among us!}

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Visit Doughmesstic to get the full list of ingredients as well as detailed instructions.

To assemble these cupcakes, add a bit of strawberry jam to the inside of a cooled cupcake with a piping tip designed for filing. Top with a healthy amount of the cream cheese frosting. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small bowl in the microwave.  Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs and stir well,  Sprinkle the mixture on the frosting. Halve some fresh strawberries and add one half to each cupcake. Serve and enjoy!

So what do you think, dear readers? Do you think that you’ll soon find yourself in the kitchen trying to recreate these delicious cupcakes? If not, what baking projects do you have planned? I just recently learned how to make a Dutch Baby. Stay tuned for the exciting cast iron skillet details.

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What I’m Inspired By: Baking Party Inspiration

I know it’s the new year and everyone who’s anyone is dieting, but me and my girlfriends are going against the trend. We’re having a baking party tomorrow to celebrate the holidays with one another a little bit later than usual, and I am super excited. It gives me a chance to go through my Pinterest page and look over all the desserts I’ve pinned over the past year—but have yet to make. I decided to share some of them with my dear readers. Check these out and be sure to follow me on Pinterest.

These Caramel Frappuccino Cupcakes look amazing. I must have a fascination with cupcakes disguised as delicious drinks, and these top the chart. Starbucks’ Caramel Frappuccinos are one of my favorite things to enjoy in cold weather. Maybe we should try these out tomorrow.

These Red Velvet Brownies just scream Christmas to me. Red velvet is one of my all time favorite sweets, and this White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting looks divine. Served with a glass of ice cold milk? Yes, please.

The isn’t so much a recipe as it is a cooking tip. And it’s an adorable cooking tip at that. Who would have ever thought to bake cookies using a waffle iron? Pinterest would! I’m really curious to see if this works.

These Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes look ridiculously delicious. Sign me up for these immediately.

If you’re a fan of cake batter (like me!) then you may also be drooling right about now. These Cake Batter Blondies look like a perfect dessert for a baking party. I mean, what screams fun more than funfetti?

You may have noticed that I’m a bit obsessed with cupcakes. So you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I fell head over heels in love with these Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes. A perfect baking project for Valentine’s Day!

What are your latest dessert obsessions? Please leave me a comment to let me know. And remember to follow me on Pinterest!

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Cute Cocktail: Candy Cane Cocktail

I don’t know about you, but my house is filled with sweets. Chocolates, candies, cookies and … candy canes. I love these peppermint-flavored delights, but I’m not much of a hard candy fan. I’d rather chew into something creamy and delectable, like red velvet cake balls, or munch on something crunchy and salty, like butterscotch dipped pretzels. But I won’t deny candy cane’s tasty goodness. So if you’re like me, enjoy this hard candy flavor in something even more delicious than a piece of chocolate: a Christmas cocktail.

I made this cocktail for the first time on Christmas day, i.e. the best Christmas ever. Did I mention that my Christmas day consisted of a movie marathon and numerous Christmas-themed cocktails with the hubby? Definitely the best Christmas ever. It’s simple to make although it does comprise of three different (somewhat costly) liquors, so save this recipe for a special occassion like New Year’s Eve, or for a random weeknight when you’re in the mood to splurge.

Candy Cane Cocktail

This cocktail goes down smoothly with peppermint rimming sugar around the glass. Recipe via Food Network.

• 1 shot vanilla rum
• 1 shot Godiva white chocolate liqueur
• 1 shot peppermint schnapps
• Ice
• Peppermint rimming sugar
• Candy cane, for garnish

1. Add all liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well.

2. Strain into martini glass rimmed with peppermint rimming sugar and garnish with a candy cane.

For more delicious seasonal cocktails, visit one of my newest blog finds, Nutmeg Nanny, who recently finished a special Christmas series called The Twelve Boozy Days of Christmas. What’s not to love about that?!

What  are your favorite seasonal cocktails? Got any special drinks planned for the new year? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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