Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate, Guinness and Baileys, together, for dessert. Sign me up!

It wasn’t hard to pin this tipsy dessert down as a must-have for my Sunday Bake Fest the week before St. Patrick’s Day. It combined all of my favorite things into one deliciously festive dessert. I found this recipe on Nook and Pantry. I honestly don’t have much to add about today’s recipe other than it’s fantastic! The cupcakes are incredibly moist and pick up the chocolate tones of the stout perfectly. Top it off with cream cheese frosting with some Baileys zing and green sprinkles and you have a treat fit for St. Patrick himself!

I was all excited to bring these in to work, until I realized that my employer would probably frown upon bringing booze-infused baked goods to work on a Monday morning … not that we all couldn’t totally use them. However, your party-going friends will probably be much more receptive!


Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 bottle or 1 1/2 cup Guinness

8 ounces (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preheat oven 350 F and line cupcake pan with paper cups. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add one egg, beat until evenly mixed and fluffy. Add the second egg and vanilla. Beat again until fluffy.

Beat in sour cream. Slowly pour in Guinness with the mixer still running.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 F for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the Baileys. Mix until smooth.

Frost your cupcakes!

Top with green sprinkles if you’re feeling real crazy!

St. Patrick’s Day: South Side

Top o’ the mornin’ to you! (Fortunately, this written blog post can’t capture my terrible attempt at accents, so just pretend that it sounds really Irish!)

Next Saturday is St. Patrick’s day, but as a good Illinois alumnus, I know that St. Patrick’s Day need not be celebrated exclusively on March 17. During my college days, I was part of the Illinois tradition of UnOfficial, which means that I got to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day twice, for four years! Awesome? I know. Unfortunately, those days are over and starting a Friday at 6 A.M. with a beer is no longer an option with this thing called a job. However, that does not mean that I can’t celebrate this holiday twice, anyway!

Since I kissed Champaign goodbye, I’ve made Chicago my new home. Lucky for me, Chicago knows how to celebrate St. Patty’s Day pretty darn well. Turns out there are a lot of Irish people here or something? So I wanted to share with you some of Chicago’s festivities, so you can make the most of the holiday as well! I’ve split up the festivities by turf, and conveniently, by weekend. This week: the South Side. Be sure to check back next Friday for North Side activities!

South Side St. Patrick’s Day 

This weekend, I’ll be staying on my side town and heading down to the South Side Irish St. Patricks Day Parade. I remember going with my dad and brother to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Springfield, IL, when I was a kid. I remember being amazed by the level of enthusiasm and spirit that surrounded me. It was exactly at that moment that I realized that St. Patrick’s Day was right up my ally. I always loved an excuse to dress up in bright colors with sparkly face paint and lots of necklaces, so I knew I’d fit right in. So when I found out how epic the South Side Irish parade is supposed to be, I just knew I had to be there! The South Side Irish parade was shut down in 2009 because it became too much for the neighborhood to handle. This year is the first year that it will return to the streets to represent all of its Irish pride! I’m excited to be a part of its return! Let me know if you’ll be there, and we can celebrate together!

When: Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Western Ave – 103rd Street to 115th Street
Cost: Free

Happy early St. Patrick’s Day!



Shamrockin’ Hair Clip

The beginning-of-the-year holiday lull has really amplified my excitement for the otherwise uneventful St. Patrick’s Day. Well, that and the fact that I recently learned that Chicago dyes the river green, which I think is SO cool! So for either reason, I’m super excited about this year’s Irish festivities!

A couple weeks ago, I shared a video on how to crochet a shamrock. This is a super easy project, and you can do so many cute things with the shamrock when you’re done. What I wanted to share with you today was a hair clip I made with one these little things.

Shamrock Hair Clip

1 crocheted shamrock (tutorial)
1 hair clip (you can buy a whole bag at a craft store like JoAnn Fabric’s for under $3)
green glitter
craft wire
Elmer’s glue
hairspray (optional)

Start by applying a thin coat of glue onto the hair clip and top with an even coat of glitter. Let the glue dry (I suggest overnight to be safe). Once the glue has dried, it’s a good idea to spray with a coat of hairspray to keep the glitter in place.

Use a small piece of wire to attach the shamrock to the clip.

Rock it. (Please excuse my windblown hair. I recommend wearing it with your hair down instead, but my hair was in no state to be worn down at the moment.)


Crochet Shamrock

I wanted to share a fun little crochet project I just learned. It’s a cute little shamrock that’s pretty simple to make. I have shared crochet projects before, which I’m sure you know I love, but I feel like my instructions are hard when they’re typed out instead of demonstrated. So I built a little makeshift camera rig and got to work. I’ve never made a crochet video before, so I’m sorry if I got out of the shot sometimes. I tried really hard I promise! I hope you guys find this helpful!

I got the idea from Pinterest and the directions from Skip to my Lou. I plan to stitch my into garland like this.

If you are familiar with crochet instructions, here are the steps:

Chain 4. Join with slip stitch to make a ring.

Petals: Chain 3, tc, dc, tc, ch 3, slip stitch in ring. (Repeat 3x)

Stem: Chain 6, skip 1, sc into remaining 4.