It’s that time of year again…the holidays are upon us and when Starbucks rolls out their ‘red’ cups, that is when I begin my holiday planning! Department stores begin playing ‘Jingle bells…’, Santa’s helpers stand on corners, ringing bells and sweet yummy smells start to drift out of my kitchen. This is the time when you don’t worry about fitting into that ‘yellow-polka-dot’ bikini, when you can eat and ‘should’ eat all the scrumptious o’rdeuarvs at holiday parties, cookies and treats around the office and drink to your hears content. At least that is what ‘I’ look forward to doing. The watch-what-you-eat (notice I didn’t say the word ‘diet’;with all my being I hate using that 4-letter word.) will commence in January.
Besides all of my traditional Italian baking around this time of year; pizzelles, Italian tea cookies, patiticia, italian sausage bread, only to name a few, I wanted to make something different. I was also on the look-out for something to make for my holiday work party. I was planning on bringing something in anyways, but then heard they were having a ‘bake-off’, so I needed to step up my game!
Something with alcohol is always a winner, but what? I had been wanting to make a recipe I had found that called for soaking berries in wine then using those as a compote for a super rich chocolate cake, but that didn’t seem festive enough. My thoughts then went to a ‘trio’ of cupcakes; ‘Holiday Cocktail Hour’ I wanted to call it. Margarita, Champagne and Guinness cupcakes! They were all my ‘to bake’ list, but it did seem a bit overwhelming especially since I would be making these on a work night, late. Then I came across a recipe that called for Baily’s Butter-cream Frosting, and it hit me, ‘Nutty-Irishman’ cupcakes! It’s a nice winter-time cocktail, with all the nuttiness of Frangelico and the sweetness of the irish cream…Perfection!
Needless to say they were a ‘huge’ hit…’I WON’! Woo hoo! I have never won any kind of contest in my life. Those little babies went fast and they were potent to say the least. A light and fluffy vanilla cake, soaked in Frangelico, then frosted with heavenly Baily’s Irish Cream Butter-cream. How could you go wrong?
What would be your favorite cocktail to turn into a scrumptious little cupcake? Let me know : ) and have a Fabulously Sweet Day!
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup Frangelico Liquor (plus some for glazing)
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream (I was feeling indulgent and made it 6!)2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with 24 cupcake liners.
2. Sift together dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, use electric mixer to cream butter and sugars and vanilla; beat until blended. Add eggs and beat until incorporated. With mixer on low, add flour mixture and liqueur alternately to the wet mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
5. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling them almost to the top; they don’t rise too much. I use a mini ice cream scoop to get the batter neatly into the liners. Bake cupcakes 18 to 22 minutes, or until centers of cupcakes are set.
6. To make buttercream: Cream butter until smooth. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar. Add vanilla and bailey’s until incorporated. Slowly add rest of powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. (should be fairly stiff.)
Buttercream source: Recipegirl.com