Drunken Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream: An Easy Showstopper Dessert!

They taste even better than they look!

It’s no secret that I love chocolate, and these cupcakes are a grown-up’s version of chocolate cupcakes, all fluffy cake, pillowy buttercream with a hint of something stronger, and then the actual secret sauce…a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream. That’s right, these are Drunken Cupcakes! Just pure deliciousness with a kick of something to open up your eyes and make your mouth go “um, yum!”

I cannot stress the deliciousness of these cupcakes enough. I baked a batch of Drunken Cupcakes with Baileys Irish Cream last week and gave one to the DH, who is notorious for not being fond of chocolate. He ate the entire cupcake in three bites. Then I brought in a batch to my workplace. My co-worker’s reaction: “I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE THE BEST!!!” (And yes, it was an ALL-CAPS type reaction.) So, I feel pretty confident that these Drunken Cupcakes with Baileys Irish Cream will be a hit with your family and friends too!

Aside from being super-delicious, these Drunken Cupcakes are great to look at too! They’re a bit of a conversation piece, and would be a hit at any dinner party, birthday party, drinks party, basically any time to be honest. (Like now. It’s 2 am in the morning, I’m sitting on the sofa with my laptop and some fuzzy socks, and my insomnia is wide awake and partying. Some Drunken Cupcakes would really hit the spot.)

They’re super-easy to make, as long as you can lay your hands on some plastic pipettes. I ordered mine online and got something like 50 of them for $5, so they’re not terribly expensive, as baking accessories go. Got your plastic pipettes? Got some Baileys? Then you’re good to go!

So, let’s get baking!

DRUNKEN CUPCAKES WITH BAILEY’S IRISH CREAM

  • 1 batch of my favourite chocolate cake batter
  • 1 batch of Bailey’s Irish Buttercream (recipe below)
  • 12 pipettes
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 3/4 c. Bailey’s Irish Cream

Bake cupcakes according to directions, and set aside to cool. Mix up Bailey’s Irish Buttercream, and fit into piping bag with a 1M piping tip. Pipe icing onto cupcakes in a swirl, starting at the outside and ending on the inside. Set aside, while you prepare the garnish.

Mix chocolate chips and oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smoothly melted and mixed. (You can also do the same thing on the stove, preferably in a double-boiler, but a microwave is easier.) Let cool slightly. Pour into a plastic baggie and snip a small corner of the baggie off. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the frosted cupcakes.

Using the leftover Bailey’s Irish Cream (it will be 3/4 c. less two tbsp.), fill the pipettes. I found the best way to fill them up all the way was to pinch the top (as you would when sucking up basting juices with a turkey baster) and let it fill up, then turn it upside down so that the air rises to the top of the pipette, squeeze out the air, and suck up some more liqueur. Then stick one full pipette into every cupcake. And bam, a delicious conversation-starter!

BAILEY’S IRISH BUTTERCREAM

  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1/3 c. shortening
  • 3 1/2 c. icing sugar (add more icing sugar if you like a stiffer icing)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsps. Bailey’s Irish Cream (you can add more if you want a stronger flavour)

Whip butter and shortening together until thoroughly mixed. Add in icing sugar, vanilla, and Baileys, and mix until combined. Beat on high for at least 10 minutes.

See? Wasn’t that easy? Bake the cupcakes, pipe the icing on, drizzle some melted chocolate over it, and stick in a pipette of liqueur. Much easier to make than you’d think! And wouldn’t it be fun to do with different liqueurs? Maybe a Chambord? With a raspberry garnish? In terms of recipe experimentation, there’s as many combinations as there are liqueurs! What would be your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

Next Post: I’m thinking Pumpkin Gnocchi. Or Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Slices. Either or, really. Any preferences?  

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday, and at Happiness is Homemade!

Better-Than-Store-Bought Cranberry Sauce

Pour it out or spread it on!

I love homemade cranberry sauce! Growing up, my father was the one who made the cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving holidays, using only cranberries, sugar and water. My mother doesn’t like cranberry seeds in her sauce, so he has always been careful to sieve them out of the finished product. Love is in the little things sometimes, yes? Personally, I don’t care if there are seeds in my cranberry sauce. Or skins, for that matter. Makes it SO much easier to make! How much easier? Well, let me tell you!

So. Easy. You literally dump the ingredients in a pot, boil for 20 minutes, blend with an immersion blender, and bam, sauce! High in vitamin C, plus the added benefit of the fibre from the skins. If you’ve only ever had store-bought cranberry sauce, try this recipe — it’ll make you a believer in scratch cooking!

Let’s get saucy!

Easier-Than-Store-Bought Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 pkg. cranberries
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 3/4 tbsp. lemon juice

Dump all the ingredients in a pot and heat over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the pot boils and becomes frothy, all the berries will have been cooked and will have split open. Remove from heat and blend using an immersion blender. Let cool — it will gel as it cools. Serve as a side with meat, or on toast points for brekkie!

You actually can leave out the lemon juice if you want, and reduce the sugar slightly, but I find the lemon adds a nice note. You could probably even stir in some lemon zest for a lemony tang. Or chunks of cooked apple for a cran-apple sauce. The possibilities are pretty endless! If you do add in a mix-in, leave a comment and tell us what you did; I’d love to hear!

This sauce will last for at least a week in the fridge, so it can be made beforehand, but fair warning, it disappears pretty quickly when people realize it can be used as jam! So I recommend on doubling the quantity, at the very least!

Next Post: Either Pumpkin Gnocchi or fancy Drunken Cupcakes (with Bailey’s Irish Cream). Add in a salad and a glass of something you fancy and you’ve got yourself a date night special!

Three-Ingredient Chocolate Marzipan Croissants: 20 Minutes to Weekend Brunch!

 

Ooey gooey deliciousness!

Today’s recipe is one that is super-easy to pull together: Chocolate Marzipan Croissants. I don’t usually use pre-packaged foods but a few weeks ago croissant dough was on sale, and I was recovering from some health issues and was taking things a bit easier. I bought a package of croissant dough for 99 cents and stuck it in the fridge for midnight carb cravings. (What, you don’t have these cravings? It’s just me?)

Speaking of cravings, I always crave chocolate. Plus, chocolate & marzipan are childhood favourites, and almond croissants are a guilty pleasure. So, let’s combine all of those to make delicious Chocolate Marzipan Croissants, but…let’s make them SUUUUPER simple to make!

You use a short-cut — pre-made dough — then add in two ingredients and bake it briefly. That’s right, it’s a 3 ingredient recipe, and made (and baked!) in less than 20 minutes.

Let’s get baking!

Chocolate & Marzipan Croissants

  • 1 package croissant dough
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/2 pkg. (100 g.) marzipan

Unroll dough into triangles. Roll out marzipan into similar sized triangles and place on top of dough triangles. sprinkle a few chocolate chips on each triangle and roll into a croissant shape (start rolling the thick end of the triangle to towards the thin end). Curve the ends of the rolled dough to make a traditional croissant shape.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Let cool slightly. Melt chocolate chips over a double-boiler (or in the microwave in 30 s. bursts) and drizzle over the still warm (but not hot) croissants. Serve and collect ooohs and ahhhs!

About to be nommed!

If you like, you can make the croissants fancier by dusting them with icing sugar or sprinkling on sliced almonds (or candied sliced almonds!). Or, decadently, topping with chocolate sprinkles! Mmm…now that would be delicious!

Wasn’t that an easy treat to bake up? Who says that delicious has to be time-consuming? Now, if you want to earn uber-baker cred, you could make your own croissant dough (this recipe is a nice one). If you do, definitely invite me over to help you sample your creations; there’s nothing quite like homemade croissants!

Next Post: Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Three ingredients. A few minutes. Pure Thanksgiving (or Christmas, or…anytime) deliciousness!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday and Happiness is Homemade!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup and How to Live Forever

Soup-a-licious!

I love cooking, partially for the creative aspect of it, and partially because it’s delicious (actually, that IS most of the reason!), but also because I can control the nutritional profile.  I try to avoid preservatives, so I’m big on homemade food, and often, homemade food is more nutritious than any bought in a super-market or a restaurant. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I took a restaurant favourite, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and found a way to amp up the nutrition, without losing any of the flavour. This hearty soup is great to serve on a cold evening, with some homemade bread, or to pack for lunch with a crunchy apple. Yummy AND healthy? Bring it on!

Oh, and the title? About how to live forever? Totes click bait. But kind of also true, because broccoli is suuuuuuuper-high in antioxidants, and anti-oxidants fight the free radicals that cause aging damage. Wait, is this a beauty blog? No. So enough with the anti-aging (although up with the healthy!) and let’s get on with the cooking!

This Broccoli Cheddar Soup is low fat, as we use milk instead of the usual cream. But, it’s still thick and creamy! How? The secret ingredient is dehydrated broccoli, which we use in addition to the usual fresh (or frozen) broccoli; that’s how we double the nutrition and increase the flavour, without losing any taste. I used my own dehydrated broccoli, but you could probably just replace it with greens powder if you aren’t able to find or make any; nobody will know, and you’ll all be healthier for it!

So, shall we get soup-ifying?

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

(adapted from the Food Network’s recipe for similar soup)

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 3 c. vegetable bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. broccoli
  • 3/4 c. dehydrated broccoli (or greens powder)
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated

First, we make the roux: melt the butter in a soup pot, and stir in the flour. Cook for two minutes. Whisk in milk. Fair warning, it will get lumpy, but just keep whisking and it will smooth out. Then stir in bouillon. Add bay leaves, nutmeg, salt and pepper (I leave out the salt, personally, but I prefer lower salt soups). Then add in broccoli, carrot, and dehydrated broccoli. Let it cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli can be easily pierced with a fork. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until it is the desired thickness that you like. Take soup off the burner and let it cool for 10 minutes. Then stir in cheddar cheese. (Letting the soup cool a bit before stirring in the cheese means the cheese won’t get all lumpy. Win!)

So. Cheese? In broccoli soup form? Yas! In other words, make this soup, and let me know what you think!

Next Post: Hmm. Good question. I’ve been craving carbs lately, so maybe something baked and carbalicious. Mmm…baked goods. So yum!

Vegan Coconut Apple Spice Cake

The perfect snack for a nice fall day!

Before I talk about how to make Vegan Coconut Apple Spice Cake, allow me a little blathering. I try to post a new recipe once a week, and usually on the weekend. However, this past week I’ve been recovering from some medical stuff and have been napping extra much to recover my strength. All of which is to explain why this week’s post is a few days (cough*week*cough) late! It’s also a particularly easy recipe, and vegan to boot! Whether you’re eating a plant-based diet because it’s healthy, or because it’s easy to make from pantry ingredients, I definitely recommend this recipe for some easy, healthy, and (very importantly) TASTY fall flavour!

I took my basic vegan spice cake recipe and added apples for some extra nutrients and because it’s apple season right now, here in Ontario, Canada. I also added in some coconut, just to change up the flavours a bit, and also because I had some in my pantry that I wanted to use up. And voila, Vegan Coconut Apple Spice Cake was born!

This snack cake is easy to bake, freeze, and pack for lunches. It’s also delicious sprinkled with icing sugar and served with tea, if that’s your jam. You can make it in a cake pan and serve it in wedges, bake it in a square pan and serve in square pieces, or even bake it in muffin cups for a grab and go breakfast that’s guilt-free. It’s super-versatile, in other words.

Let’s get to making this delicious snack cake!

Vegan Coconut Apple Spice Cake

  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped (I used Gala, but McIntosh would be fine too)
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. each: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/4 c. oil

Mix together wet ingredients and in a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Then add wet to dry and mix until just moistened (you’ll see some foaming action as the vinegar hits the baking soda). Do not overbeat. There WILL be lumps, and that’s ok! Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

It took me less than 15 minutes to mix up the batter for this cake and pop it in the oven, including the time to peel and chop the apples. Easy peasy apple squeezy, right? This means it’s easy to mix together on a weeknight. Or weekend. Or basically, anytime. Let there be cake!

Next Post: I’ve been making multiple batches of broccoli cheddar soup lately, so I think I’ll share my reduced fat recipe with you! It’s extra-full of vitamins and taste but lower on the fat. Guilt free yumminess, woohoo!