St Patty’s Day

I’m not Irish (that I know of) but I’m all for a day that is dedicated to drinking and eating.
Plus, I think I gained a large appreciation for St Patrick’s Day while living in Chicago… no city (at least in the States) goes “all out” for March 17th like Chicago does, I assure you. 

Of course, in order to celebrate the holiday, I made my yearly batch of Guinness cupcakes.
Now, I have attempted this the past couple of years (and it was actually one of my first posts as a blogger) but I had yet to find a recipe that I liked. In fact, last years’ recipe turned out to be a baking disaster. They were too dry, somewhat chewy, and the Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting I attempted was not good. None of which are characteristics of a good cupcake recipe.

So, last night I scoured the internet looking for a recipe that appealed to me. Some of the ones that I found called for whiskey in addition to Guinness (and I wasnt in the mood to risk the overall success of the cupcake endeavor by adding additional booze)… some only called for 1 cup of Guinness (and I dont know about you, but that doesnt seem like enough)…. then, I finally came across a recipe (at bunkycooks.com) that I was interested in trying; and it turned out wonderfuly! They were fun (and easy) to make. The end product was fluffy, moist, and light, and tasted delicious! It was an all-around baking success. I have officially found my yearly Guinness Cupcake recipe.

So, without further ado, here is the delicious recipe; I strongly encourage you to try it out:

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine salt
1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

To make the icing:
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.

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