Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Belated St. Paddy's Day

St. Paddy's Day has come and gone yet of my favorite baking times of the year.  No one looks at you weird for throwing in booze into delicious baked fact, people request it!  So as I was figuring out what recipes I was going to try this year our whole house started getting sick.

It started with pink eye....something I still find absolutely disgusting, and had never experienced until having kids.  Mom and both monkeys got it.....eye drops all around.  Then a mysterious virus for Mom that felt like strep throat but wasn't testing as it.  Then a 6 day flu for our oldest monkey with fevers spiking around 104.5 the first few days.  Finally a strep diagnosis and antibiotics for Mom after struggling with it for about 10 days.  And now another round of pink eye.  Ick!  I'm surrounded by germs!!

All of that to say that I really didn't get around to trying any other fun St. Paddy's Day recipes.  Boo.  Guess it's time to move onto Easter.

But before we do, I did manage to squeeze one super simple St. Paddy's Day recipe in after dinner yesterday.  It's Irish Coffee Pudding from Sprinkles Bakes, and it was a huge hit with the hubby!!  This one couldn't be simpler......just throw it together on the stovetop and chill for a couple of hours, then top with whipped cream.  A little coffee, a little whiskey......what could be wrong?

Check out Sprinkles Bakes for the recipe.....and Enjoy!

My little monkeys!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

There's something about boozy desserts.  I gotta admit, I have a blast baking with in some ways this is the most wonderful time of the year!  What a better excuse to do some boozy baking than St. Paddy's Day!  Luckily I've got quite a few friends who share in my love of boozy desserts, so these were pretty darn easy to pass around.

This year I've got a couple of new St. Paddy's Day recipes that I want to try, so first up.....Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes from Bakers Royale.  These bad boys are a chocolate cupcake with Guinness and coffee in makes for an incredibly chocolate-y cupcake.  Fill those bad boys with some Bailey's buttercream frosting, and top off all of that with a whiskey buttercream.  And not just any buttercream, but a Swiss meringue buttercream.  If you have not tried making Swiss meringue buttercream, you don't know what you're missing!  It makes for an amazingly smooth and light frosting.  I prefer this to pretty much every other kind of frosting.  It takes a little bit more work, cooking egg whites and sugar in a double boiler till you hit 150 degrees.....then whipping up in a stand mixer until cooled off and forming stiff peaks (basically marshmallow fluff), then you add all your butter and flavorings.  But

There's quite of bit of booze in these cupcakes (unless you ask the hubby, who says there's still not enough).  I've always been a fan of Bailey's in frosting.....but the whiskey buttercream was surprisingly delicious!  And powerful enough to make you happy :)

The only note I'll make to this recipe is to watch the bake time of your cupcakes.  The recipe states 35-40 minutes, but in my oven it was closer to 30.

So check out Bakers Royale for the recipe....and Enjoy!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cream Puffs

Cream puffs have always been high on my favorite desserts list.  What's not to like, right?  Delicious pastry filled with some sort of creamy center and occasionally dunked in chocolate.

I never had the guts to attempt them at home though.....the thought of making the dough, something called Pate a Choux just seemed to be slightly too daunting to me.  Until my dear friend Jackie stayed with us for a few days.  As one of my few friends who actually enjoys baking, she decided that the two of us together could tackle this recipe.  After going through my millions of cookbooks (and looking at Julia Child, Martha Stewart, etc), we decided on Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Profiteroles recipe.

Well, I'm happy to report that these are actually not that hard at all!  Just be sure that you read through the instructions thoroughly so that you had an idea of what you're doing, since this process is quite different from most things you'll make.  And once you get the dough together, it's time to put your piping skills to work.  We used the Pate a Choux dough to make cream puffs.....but you could just as easily bust out some eclairs (which I think I'll do next time around).  I think our were in the oven a minute or two too long.....I would rather seem them less browned on top.  However, once we filled these with whipped cream.....they disappeared awfully fast!  The Barefoot Contessa recipe actually slices these bad boys in half and puts a scoop of ice cream in there.  Or you could make some pastry cream to fill them.  So many choices!

The hubby's only comment was that he would have loved the tops dipped in chocolate.  Next time!  Check out the Food Network site for Barefoot Contessa's recipe....and Enjoy!

Thanks for the photo bomb sweetie!