Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

IMG_6415

It’s been many moons since I’ve had an Irish car bomb, but whenever St. Patrick’s Day rolls around I find myself thinking about that delicious, milkshake-like drink. To honor the patron saint of beer I whipped up some cupcakes that incorporate all the boozy components of the quintessential St. Paddy’s drink…without the hangover. You don’t have to slam these like the drink, but I won’t judge you if you do. They’re that good.

The traditional car bomb uses Guiness, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Jameson. Around here, we tend to buck tradition and wanted to use ingredients that were local. I used Loowit War Tortoise Barrel Aged Stout (brewed in Vancouver, WA) baked into the cupcakes, Woodinville Bourbon Whiskey (distilled in Woodinville, WA) swirled in the ganache, and Five Farms Irish Cream (not local – Cork, Ireland) whipped in the icing.

The following measurements will yield 12 cupcakes.

Chocolate Cake

My go-to chocolate cake recipe is none other than Hershey’s that I’ve adapted slightly over the years. It yields an insanely moist and flavorful cake that has yet to fail me. For this version, I swapped beer for the coffee.

  • 1.5 oz dark chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup stout of your choosing
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk – I use 1/2 C milk with a tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder – can use regular cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare muffin tin.

Place chocolate chips and beer in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Whisk together until smooth.

In a medium bowl or measuring cup, mix together buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until combined. With mixer on low, gradually pour in the milk mixture and mix until combined (~30 seconds). Slowly add the chocolate and beer mixture until combined.

Divide mixture evenly in the muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) dark chocolate chips – or your favorite kind of chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons whiskey – can add more or less depending on your desired booziness

Heat heavy whipping cream in microwave-safe dish until hot but not boiling (~45 seconds – 1 minute). Add chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Gently stir the mixture until smooth. Add whiskey and mix to combine. Allow ganache to cool; it will thicken as it cools and you may want to put it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.

Irish Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup of butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Irish cream

In large bowl or stand mixer, cream butter on high until light and fluffy (~5 minutes). Slowly add powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments allowing mixture to combine before adding more (this helps decrease the graininess you sometimes get with American buttercreams). Once all the sugar has been added, pour in the Irish cream and continue whipping until light and fluffy (~3-4 minutes).

Assembly

Once cupcakes are cooled, use a knife to cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake. Spoon a generous amount of ganache into the hole. Frost the cupcakes using your favorite method (I used a Wilton 1M tip).

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

IMG_6402

Around mid-February, when it feels like the winter will never end, I get a craving for all things fresh, bright, and summery. Enter the lemon poppy seed pound cake. This bread is moist and bursting with lemon flavor. The poppy seeds add a fun texture and the glaze adds an extra punch of lemon. It’s perfect for breakfast, a mid-morning snack, or any time you’re craving a sweet treat. As always, we love ours paired with a good cup of coffee.

IMG_6389

Lemon poppy seed pound cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 1/2 large lemons (~2 tablespoons)
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (~1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk – we typically use 1/4 milk and add white vinegar until it equals 1/c cup (~1 tablespoon) as a substitute

Preheat oven to 325 F and grease and flour an 8″x4″ bread pan.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine softened butter and sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy (~3-4 minutes).

Mix in eggs one at a time until just combined. Then mix in vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

Alternate adding in half the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk, scraping down the sides of the bowl before adding in the remaining. Do not over-mix.

Pour batter in prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Lemon Glaze

  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon (~2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Add additional juice or sugar as needed to achieve the desired consistency. I also added some lemon zest, because you can’t have too much lemon flavor.

Once cake is cooled, drizzle glaze over the top.

IMG_6404

IMG_6407

 

Recent Bakes

Just a couple of photos of some things I whipped up recently.

IMG_0054

Christmas cookies. I love making sugar cookies – the decorating is actually really cathartic to me – and I like to change it up and do some new designs every year. Matt requested the jumping reindeer this year, and they were my favorite!

56641616730__E5753203-1526-479F-896D-C1E79EE52A4B

Vegan meringues. This was on a bit of whim, but I roasted some chickpeas and wanted to see what I could make from the leftover brine. It whipped up with a bit of sugar into a fluffy, marshmallowy meringue that baked into a delightfully crunchy, chewy cookie. I slightly overbaked them, but we had them as part of a pavlova (not vegan) with whipped cream, cranberry curd, and berries and it wasn’t noticeable.

IMG_0118

Girl Scout Cookie samoa cake. Matt requested a cake, and when I came across this recipe I knew it was a winner. I used my classic chocolate cake recipe and layered it with: dark chocolate ganache, shortbread cookie crumbs, shortbread cookie buttercream, and toasted coconut caramel. It was decadent!

Lemon Cranberry Muffins

It’s no secret that we love muffins. To change it up from our weekly banana nut muffins and to use up some leftover cranberries, I decided to whip up some lemon cranberry muffins. This cranberries are cooked before being added to the batter to remove some of their inherent tartness, and then lemon adds such a brightness.  I also added poppy seeds, which aren’t necessary, but balance out the tartness of the lemon with a slight nuttiness.

IMG_6171_v1

IMG_6162_v2

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C  all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour – can sub all-purpose if desired
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t  salt
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C milk
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 C fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 2 T water

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Place cranberries, brown sugar, and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium until cranberries start to pop. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

In a medium bowl, mix together oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add to dry mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in cranberries.

Divide into muffin tin and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

IMG_6165_v1

IMG_6170_v1

Everything Bagels

Not to turn this into a baking blog, but here’s another recipe we tried and loved.

I’m typically a sweet > savory person when it comes to breakfast foods, but Matt may have changed my mind when it comes to lox bagels. We like having bagel sandwiches for breakfast or lunch, and since we don’t have many food options close by in SLC we decided to make our own.

Yeasted dough is a bit of a time commitment because it needs to rise twice, but it could be made the night before and allowed to do the second rise in the fridge; just make sure to let it come to room temperature before baking for an even bake.  You could easily make this recipe sweet with the addition of blueberries or cinnamon and raisin, or even just make them plain. We actually made a few with jalapeño and cheddar, which were fantastic with a little cream cheese, egg, and bacon. The possibilities for combinations are endless!

For the everything bagel seasoning, you can make your own, but we use Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. It’s convenient and has all the goodies pre-mixed. We loaded these bagels with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, and red onions. Yum!

20180518_114609_v1

Bagels

Makes 5 medium-sized bagels

Mix water, sugar, and yeast together in a small bowl or measuring cup and allow to sit for ~10 minutes until yeast has bloomed and is bubbly.

In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer combine 1 C of flour and salt. Mix in activated yeast mixture and work with hands or bread attachment until a sticky dough has formed. Continue to add in remaining flour until dough is stiff. Knead with hands on a lightly floured surface or in mixer with bread attachment for 8-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Punch down dough and divide into 5 even portions. To form the dough, either roll dough into a ball, poke a hole in the middle with your finger, and stretch until it is about 1-2 in diameter, or roll into a rope and pinch the ends together. Let rise for 20-30 minutes.

While dough is rising, preheat oven to 350°F and fill a large pot with water and boil on the stove. When dough has risen, drop into boiling water and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side (1-2 minutes total per bagel). Pat dry with a paper towel and place on baking sheet.

Beat egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the boiled bagels. Sprinkle liberally with seasoning mix. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

20180518_114632_v1

Strawberry Chocolate Scones

Here’s another tasty recipe we tried and loved!  (What is this, a food blog??)

We’ve been making savory scones for a while now, and they turn out fantastic every time. This time, we decided to tweak the base recipe for the savory scones and turn them into a sweet treat. We used freeze dried strawberries, which we picked up at Trader Joe’s but you can get them on Amazon. You could certainly use fresh berries, but they will add a lot of moisture to the dough; to combat this you may consider draining the juice after chopping, using frozen berries (don’t thaw first), or coating the chopped berries in flour or powdered sugar prior to mixing in. As always, we love our sweets with a side of coffee! This time we paired it with a Columbian from La Barba Roasters here in Salt Lake, which has notes of honey, caramel, and chocolate. Yum!

Strawberry chocolate scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, very cold — splash of vinegar in milk
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg for egg wash
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter – cut into
  • 1 T honey or brown sugar
  • 1/4 C freeze dried strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 C dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into the dry mixture until resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the buttermilk/soured milk and honey into the mixture and mix until it forms a dough. Mix in strawberries and chocolate until well incorporated.

Pour the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice to make sure everything comes together. The mixture should still be very shaggy.

Form the mixture into an 8-inch circle. Cut the circle into 6 even wedges. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Beat one egg and brush the top of each wedge thoroughly. Sprinkle tops with a little sugar.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, until puffed and golden.

The recipe inspiration came from The Hungry Genealogist(??)

Cream cheese glaze

  • 2oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T milk

Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until creamy. Add milk to your desired consistency and drizzle over scones.

Enjoy!

Check out Matt’s personal site matt.guide for more coffee insights!