Last night, I ran into Specs liquor store at 8:55 PM.
“A bit late, aren’t you?” the door man said. “We close in five minutes.”
“It’s the night before St. Patrick’s Day!” I said over my shoulder. “And I know what I need!”
At 9:01 I ran out with some Baileys. Like I said…I knew what I needed.
When I studied abroad in Ireland, we learned about “the craic” — pronounced “crack,” it just means good, old-fashioned Irish fun. One smell of this frosting and I thought of the craic.
Despite how exciting it is to make boozy frosting, these cupcakes were still a huge endeavor.
I saw “The Adjustment Bureau” last weekend and I’m convinced that by deciding to make these cupcakes, I went off “The Plan” somehow and guys in hats decided to step in and mess with my life. There is no other way I can explain all the problems I went through trying to get them made. I hope you have some sort of Irish blessing when you try for yourself.
The recipe itself isn’t difficult; I just probably didn’t have time to make cupcakes last night. I wanted to make Smitten Kitchen’s Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, or even just espresso cupcakes with Baileys frosting. When I realized I didn’t have time to make cupcakes from scratch, I came up with a new plan to do white boxed cupcakes stuffed with Jessica’s (amazing!) white chocolate ganache and topped with the Baileys frosting. And that would have worked if I’d actually bought white cupcakes…but instead I flaked out and bought chocolate cupcakes instead (Duncan Hines double fudge cupcakes to be exact).
Well, I wasn’t going to stuff chocolate with white chocolate [insert sexual race joke here], so I decided to stop at Wal-mart (not my preference, but it was the only place open on my way home) for white cupcakes. I was met with so many more challenges at that point, it was too late to make the white chocolate ganache.
So that’s the short story of why these cupcakes are chocolate, and not chocolate with Guinness, or espresso stuffed with whiskey and chocolate, or white with gooey white chocolate inside. And if you want the long story, just go to PeopleofWalMart.com and stare at it for 45 minutes without moving and you should have an idea of the rest of my night.
(Side note — the lengths I’ll go to to make something happen when there is booze, food, and a theme involved: totally awesome vs. rock bottom?)
The good news is, if you have as much hassle as I did, and find yourself frosting cupcakes at 11 PM, you won’t have to worry about pouring yourself a drink when you’re done. You can just dip a finger in the frosting to eat and drink your frustrations!
12 chocolate cupcakes, baked from a box mix (Wow…that’s a legit start to a cupcake recipe, isn’t it?)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature (I didn’t have time to let it sit out, so I accidentally melted the first stick of butter in the microwave. Of course. Of course I did.)
5-6 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream (This is more than the original recipe calls for, but I do love my drink. But even that isn’t very much, so I went with the mini bottles because it’s how broke-ass hoes cook)
This is How We Do It
Bake your cupcakes according to the boxed directions and let them cool completely. Meanwhile, beat the butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until it is very fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. When the frosting looks thick (or, in my case, when it looks like perfect biscuit dough because the cupcake gods are revolting), drizzle in the Baileys. It should fluff right up and get smooth. And it will smell like booze…in a really good way. I mean, Baileys is pretty warm and inviting!
Now, the other problem I’d been having with these cupcakes was a decorating dilemma. Personally, I hate the look of chocolate cupcakes with white frosting, and green frosting just makes my stomach turn. So I decided to do light brown frosting and make the cupcakes look like a black and tan. Baileys is light brown, after all. I was lucky enough to find brown gel food coloring in my bag-o-fun-baking-shizz in my closet, so I went with that. The frosting started out a nice creamy off-white, and I could have just left it like that, but I went ahead with the brown food coloring anyway…and the frosting began to turn mauve. I was not happy. Luckily, after adding a ton of brown food coloring, it turned brown, though it wasn’t the tan color of Baileys I had imagined.
But then my darling boyfriend had to tell me that that didn’t seem very festive. I thought it was a mature take on the holiday — I love St. Patrick’s Day, but I’m never going to be the girl in the light-up, blinking shamrock pin — but he gave me a hard time about it.
So I sprinkled some green sugar on top.
(I imagine the cupcake saying that in an angry Irish brogue.)
Whatever you decide about colors and sprinkles is up to you. Once your frosting is done, scoop it into a pastry bag or plastic zip-top bag with a baking tip inserted and pipe it on out onto your cupcakes however you like.