M&M Chocolate Cookies…Happy Holidays!!

M&M Chocolate Cookies

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The M&M Chocolate Cookies were laid out with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous time filled with endless laughter and Foodventures!

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M&M Chocolate Cookies
Makes 2½ dozen cookies

Ingredients:

5 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup cocoa powder
1¾ cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
1½ cups M&M candies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate and butter together until melted and smooth. This should be done in 15-20 second intervals, stirring in between to avoid scorching the chocolate. Set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs until combined. Whisk in the chocolate mixture and then slowly add in the dry ingredients. Stir in 1 cup of the M&M candies.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the cookie dough (about 1½ tablespoons each) and place on the sheet a few inches apart. Flatten the dough balls slightly. With the remaining M&Ms, add a few candies to the top/sides of each cookie dough, pressing them slightly in.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until the cookies begin to slightly crack. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas

Don’t you just love delish treats that are quick and easy? And when they can be served at a holiday or themed party, it’s even better!

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas

With Independence Day quickly approaching, I whipped up a few batches of these beloved Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas to cool down the hot summer days with. I went with some festive sprinkles for a patriotic touch but hey–anything goes!

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

ps. I plan on throwing down some baby back ribs that day. What are y’all planning on putting on the grill? :)

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Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas
Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 Bananas, cut in half
8 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil
6 Popsicle Sticks
Toppings (sprinkles, nuts, chopped candies, etc.)

Slide a popsicle stick in each of the banana halves. Place the bananas in the freezer and allow to chill for 2-3 hours. Combine the chocolate with the teaspoon of oil and microwave in 20 second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the bananas from the freezer. Dip each of the bananas into the chocolate and gently roll/shake the excess chocolate off. Sprinkle each banana with your choice of topping and rest on a wax paper lined tray. Repeat with the remaining bananas. Once complete, place the tray of bananas in the freezer for approximately one hour until hardened. ENJOY!


Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

I’m Bananas…..

For Nutella.

Shocking— I know.

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

So why not add Nutella to Banana Bread? Seemed like a Win-Nguyen Situation to me.

And it sure was :)

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Nutella Swirled Banana Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Nutella

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Spoon 1/2 the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread 1/2 the Nutella on top and lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not over mix. Spoon the rest of the batter on top and repeat with Nutella swirls.

Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

Slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Thin Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes for St. Paddy’s Day!

Thin Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes

 

 

This is the time of year when I stock up on bottles of Guinness, Baileys and well…..all things Green.

To make dozens and dozens of Guinness and Baileys Cupcakes, of course!

But this year, I wanted to go a different route and since my niece (alright, more like my sister) was selling Girl Scout Cookies, utilizing the beloved Thin Mint® Cookies was a no brainer!

 

 

Thin Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes

These cuppies were a great alternative to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Rich and moist chocolate cake filled with chunks of  Thin Mint® Cookies and topped with a lightly minty buttercream and cookie. DEE-LISH!

But if you aren’t big on Thin Mints® (which may be slightly CRAZY!), try one of these other GREEN LOVING cuppies!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

Fluffy Lime Cupcakes with Lime Whipped Cream

Fluffy Lime Cupcakes with Lime Whipped Cream

But no matter which sweet treat you choose, have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!!

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Thin Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 2 Dozen Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1½ Teaspoons Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1¼ Cups Granulated Sugar
5 Ounces Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Strong Brewed Hot Coffee
2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Large Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Thin Mint® Cookies (or other chocolate mint cookies), roughly chopped

Buttercream:
4 to 5 Cups Confections Sugar, sifted
2 Cups Unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 to 5 Tablespoons Milk
½ Teaspoon Mint Extract

Garnish:
1 Dozen Thin Mint® Cookies, cut in half
Shamrock Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin pans and put one cookie on the bottom.

Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour hot coffee over it. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for a few minutes. Remove plastic and stir until smooth. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. In a mixing stand, beat egg for a few minutes until it becomes pale yellow. Beat in oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly add the chocolate. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in chopped Thin Mint® Cookies. Scoop batter into the lined cups–about 3/4 way. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

Prepare the frosting: In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add about half of the powdered sugar a few spoonfuls at a time until incorporated. Slowly drizzle in the milk and whip until combined. Mix in the mint extract. Add the rest of the powdered sugar until your desired consistency has been achieved.

Fill a pastry bag and pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. Garnish with ½ a cookie and sprinkles.

ENJOY!

Chocolate Tart with Hazelnut-Graham Crust

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

The Tết Festivities (Lunar New Year) has finally come to a close. And so far, the Year of the Dragon isn’t looking too bad at all. I’ve eaten a ton of yummy food, my home is spankin’ clean, work hasn’t been a hot mess, and I even found money in the pocket of one of my coats I haven’t worn in awhile. Score!

Ok, let me revise that. The BEST thing this week is that I get to meet my brand new nephew, Leonidas (Leo), tomorrow! He’s so adorable and CHUBBY! Of course, pictures are to come.

Over the weekend, the clan got together at my auntie’s home for Tết. We ate, drank, gambled, gave/received lì xì (lucky money), and had a good ol’ time with the peeps.

I had struggled for some time thinking what I should bring to the party as my aunties and sis would be covering the Vietnamese dishes. Vietnamese desserts aren’t really my specialty so after much mulling around, I decided to whip up a few Chocolate Tarts. I know…not the least bit Vietnamese or even Asian for that fact but I was pretty sure the fam wouldn’t complain.

For the recipe and cute video tutorial, check out Dulce Delight.

I’ve got two quick tips should you try this little number out… … First, after you bake the tart you may freak out a bit if the filling looks a bit grainy or bubbly. I know, cause I totally did! But don’t worry, once it cools, it all settles and the gorgeous honey-ganache glaze covers any imperfections. And second, although the flavor of the crust was divine, mine was really crumbly. I’d recommend throwing in another tablespoon of butter to the party.

I served the tart with fresh whipped cream and it was bliss. The tart itself is like a rich, decadent truffle and the hazelnut crusts added a great crunch and flavor—kind of like a Ferrero Rochers. Mmmm…I love those.

All in all, I’m liking the Dragon. :)

A Peanut Butter Pie for My Loved Ones

Peanut Butter Pie

 

 

For some time now I’ve remarked about the truly amazing community amongst food writers and bloggers. In the short time I’ve joined this special “fraternity”, I’ve experienced and witnessed such open support, generosity, collegiality, and celebration.

Quite extraordinary considering the majority of us will never have the opportunity to meet face to face.

But through the shared love of food and stories (which, really….are inseparable) we have created somewhat of a food society. We revel and congratulate each others successes and reach out to support each other during times of challenge and pain. And the latter was so greatly experienced nearly 2 weeks ago when Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen suddenly and tragically lost her husband.

I met Jennifer for but a moment in Chicago earlier this summer at the Wilton Food Blogger Workshop. It was such a quick, jammed packed weekend that I didn’t get the chance to get to know her but quickly added her on Twitter when I got back home to San Diego. Her writing is so inspiring and quick-witted that it didn’t take me long to become a big fan of hers. So when I heard the news, my heart just broke.

No –I don’t really know Jennifer. But through her writing she became a kindred spirit and I was overcome with sadness for her and her little ones.

In a heartbeat, the food community from all over the world came together to envelope Jennifer with love and support. When asked what people could do to help her, she answered by asking us to make a peanut butter pie (her husband Mikey’s favorite) to share it with our loved ones.

 

 

Peanut Butter Pie

In addition to honoring Jennifer & Mikey, my Peanut Butter Pie is for:

  • My grandpa Ôn— who was gentle-hearted, loved WWF wrestling and our peanut butter cookies;
  • My grandma M– for her thunderous laughter and spirited soul;
  • Dad– who carried the weight of his entire family on his shoulders and for always pushing us to be better;
  • Mom– who taught me everything;
  • My eldest sister Ngọc – who can remain level minded during times when I fly off the handle and who won’t “waste” calories unless it’s for desserts;
  • My elder sister Phooey– who is stronger than she sometimes gives herself credit for and is our ultimate foodie;
  • My brother Việt– who taught me everything I know about electronics and who had to put up being the only boy amongst 4 sisters;
  • My sister Tường– who, for better or worse, is exactly like me…..fiercely loyal and isn’t afraid to say anything;
  • My in-laws Curtis, Liezl, & Rick — for willingly jumping into our crazy family;
  • My nieces & nephews (Nina, Nini, Maya, Lucas, Luna, Baby Nguyen)– for being such smart, loving and kind kids;
  • My Bella– for being the cuddliest, crazy, peanut butter lovin’ puggle ever;
  • And for the rest of my Family and Friends— for being exactly who they are. Entertaining, hilarious, adventurous, and above all–loving.

Thank you Jennifer, for reminding me to take time out to appreciate and acknowledge my loved-ones. Here’s a big virtual hug to you.

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Peanut Butter Pie
Serves 8
Slightly adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen

For the Crust:
8 ounces chocolate graham crackers or chocolate wafer cookies, crushed into fine crumbs
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped peanuts, plus 2 more tablespoons for the top

For the Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.  Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well.  Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. (I used a tart pan)

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula.  Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Pour the filling into the prepared  pan. Sprinkle the tops with remaining peanuts and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.


Godiva Coffee-Chip Ice Cream

Godiva Coffee-Chip Ice Cream

It’s no secret that I began drinking coffee at an early age…..like at 11 or 12.

But before you judge my upbringing, you’ve got to remember that I’m Vietnamese and cà phê (Vietnamese Coffee) practically runs in our veins. Well, that and nước mắm (fish sauce) of course :)

Godiva Coffee-Chip Ice Cream

So you can imagine my delight when a box arrived at my door with a few bags of Godiva’s new line of coffee to play around with. There were so may different routes I could have gone with but since July was National Ice Cream month, I decided to make a coffee flavored ice cream using Godiva Chocolate Truffle Coffee.   And of course, adding in chocolate was a must!

The end results were AH-MAY-ZING! The coffee flavor was the star but the chocolate shards were such great little bits of surprises throughout the whole thing.

And you want to know a secret?

I didn’t even use an ice cream machine to make this! Yup….totally old school! Thanks to David Lebovitz, all you need to make your own homemade ice cream is a few ingredients, a cold freezer, and a little patience.

Delicious!

And if you’re looking to make an adult version of this ice cream, throw in some Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur! Because after all, why the heck not? :)

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Godiva Coffee-Chip Ice Cream
Makes approximately 1 Quart

Ingredients:

1½ Cups Whole Milk
1½ Cups Heavy Cream
3 Large Egg Yolks
2 Large Eggs
½ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Strongly Brewed Coffee (I used Godiva Chocolate Truffle Coffee)
1 Teaspoon Instant Espresso
5 Ounces Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 Cup Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur (optional)

Dissolve the espresso into the brewed coffee. Allow the coffee to cool to room temperature.

In a mixing stand, whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl for 2 minutes until its pale yellow in color. Heat milk and cream in a medium saucepan until it is near-boiling and turn off heat. Turn the mixer on medium-high and gradually drizzle in ½ of the hot milk/cream into the egg mixture. Once the mixture has been tempered and combined, pour it back into the saucepan with the remaining milk/cream. Heat medium low, stirring constantly, for a few more minutes or until the consistency is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when dipped in. Turn off heat. Whisk in the coffee/espresso and Baileys (if using). Pour the custard base into a bowl and chill over an ice bath.

Once the custard has chilled, pour it into a glass baking dish and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. Pull out of the freezer and use a rubber spatula to vigorously stir the mixture, breaking up any frozen bits. Place back in the freezer and continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing.

When the custard is nearly frozen, take the chocolate and heat over a water bath. Take out the dish and drizzle the chocolate over the top of the custard. The chocolate should harden fairly quick and use the rubber spatula to break it up into small pieces. Transfer the ice cream to a covered storage container until ready to serve.

*If using machine, add the chilled custard base into the machine and follow manufacturer’s directions.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received Godiva Coffee. However, all views and opinions expressed here are my own.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Finding the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe is near impossible. A few years ago, the NY Times published a pretty extensive article about these iconic cookies and interviewed some of the top experts in all things chocolate and cookie related. They talked about the importance of the quality of chocolate, temperature, types of flour and even aging the dough.

And the good news is, the Chocolate Chip Cookies they published are freaking delicious.

My sister made these for us a few years ago and I’ve loved them every since. Fantastic texture—somehow both chewy and crispy. And with the light sprinkle of sea salt on the top—just LOVELY!

 

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

The dough comes together fairly easy—though it does require two types of flour.  Unfortunately the hardest part is having to wait 36 hours to age the dough before you can bake it. Just killer!

But don’t let the time deter you from making them because these cookies are amazing. They were a hit with my co-workers and it’s always been one of my rules of thumb to keep the people you work with happy and fed. :)

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New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Jacques Torres
Yields 16 5-inch cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.

“Tagalong” Cupcakes….Peanut Butter and Chocolate Perfection!

"Tagalong" Cupcakes

Not one year goes by when I don’t jump at the chance to pick up my favorite Girl Scouts Cookies…..Tagalongs®! And how can you blame me? Peanut Butter…. Chocolate….a Buttery Cookie. It just doesn’t get any better!

"Tagalong" Cupcakes

I’ve seen so many cupcakes inspired by Chocolate Chip Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Oreos and even Thin Mints—that is was high time I paid homage to Tagalongs®. I used one of my basic chocolate cake batters and paired it with a lightly salted, peanut butter frosting. But the surprise ingredient was a whole Tagalong® cookie at the bottom!

"Tagalong" Cupcakes

I was SOOOOO happy with the end results! The peanut butter frosting and chocolate cake mimicked the flavors of the cookie so well. And the Tagalong® held up beautifully in the baking process and acted like a “crust” for the cupcake.  So Yummy!

"Tagalong" Cupcakes

Needless to say, these little cuppies had me doing my “happy dance” from the very first bite.  And if you love the peanut butter and chocolate combo like I do, you absolutely MUST snag a box of Tagalongs® and make these!

On that note—-Have a wonderful Easter Weekend, Friends!

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“Tagalong” Cupcakes
Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
¼ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Cups All Purpose Flour
¾ Teaspoons Baking Soda
¼ Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cups Granulated Sugar
2½ Ounces Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
½ Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Strong Brewed Hot Coffee
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
12 Tagalong® Cookies (or other peanut butter & chocolate cookies), additional for garnish

Frosting:
1 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons Lowfat Milk
2 Cups Confections Sugar
1-2 Pinches Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin pans and put one cookie on the bottom.

Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour hot coffee over it. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for a few minutes. Remove plastic and stir until smooth. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. In a mixing stand, beat egg for a few minutes until it becomes pale yellow. Beat in oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly add the chocolate. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Pour batter into the lined cups–about 3/4 way. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

Prepare the frosting. In a standing mixer, whip the butter and peanut butter for several minutes until light and fluffy. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar a few spoonfuls at a time until incorporated. Drizzle in milk and add the rest of the sugar (spoonfuls at a time). Add sea salt and mix until combined.

Fill a pastry bag and pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. Garnish with ½ a cookie or other adornments.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream…..Slainte!!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

 

It’s that time of the year again. When you see tons of postings in honor of St. Paddy’s Day.

Green colored beer and desserts, shamrocks galore, corn beef recipes, Guinness braised meats, and more! As for me, I went all out last year with our Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with a Baileys Ganache.

 

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

 

I kind of went overboard with them. They literally SCREAMED St. Paddy’s Day with a decadent Guinness Beer cupcake, filled with a chocolate truffle, with spirals of green Baileys buttercream, topped with shamrock sprinkles and wrapped up in a bright green striped cupcake liner. PHEW! Now that is St. Paddy’s!

 

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

 

Those cuppies were decadently delicious and I wanted to bring them back for this year’s St. Paddy’s Daybut a little more “understated”.

I went for the same moist, stout beer cupcakes and Irish cream flavored buttercream—-however, this time around I opted out of the truffle centers and put away my green food coloring. No need….their yumminess speaks for itself.

 

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

 

I chose a simple large round tip to pipe the frosting this time– a Wilton 1A. But as “understated” as I was trying to keep things, I could not resist breaking out the shamrock sprinkles. After all, I don’t get to use them very often — and who couldn’t use a little more luck?

As for the end results……they were delicious! The dark stout beer adds such a subtle nuttiness to the chocolate cupcakes while the Irish Cream buttercream perfectly rounds out the flavors. And if done correctly, the buttercream is so smooth and rich— a dream to pipe out :)

So whether you want to go BIG with the GREEN theme or be a little more subtle, Chocolate Stout Cupcakes are definitely the way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

And with that dear Friends, SLAINTE!!!

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Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
1 Cup Stout Beer
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
¾ Cup Quality Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1½  Teaspoons Baking Soda
¾ Teaspoon Salt
2 Large Eggs
⅔ Cup Sour Cream

Irish Cream Buttercream:
4 to 5 Cups Confections Sugar
2 Cups Unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 to 5 Tablespoons Irish Cream Liqueur

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake cups with paper liners.

Prepare the cupcakes: Put the butter with the stout beer in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs and the sour cream together. Add the beer/butter/cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly just to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined, making sure to incorporate little pockets of flour on the bottom so that the batter is of equal consistency everywhere.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way if you want flatter cupcakes and 3/4 if you want domed. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely to room temperature.

Prepare the frosting: In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add about half of the powdered sugar a few spoonfuls at a time until incorporated. Slowly drizzle the Irish Cream and whip until combined. Add the rest of the powdered sugar until your desired consistency has been achieved.

Assemble: Fill a pastry bag and pipe buttercream on top of cooled cupcakes. Garnish with sprinkles or other adornments. Enjoy!

Note: This makes a lot of buttercream so that you can pipe large mounds on the cupcakes. If you prefer less on your cuppies, halve the amounts.