I spent St. Patrick’s Day my junior year of college in Dublin. I drank whiskey for the first time while hiding behind trees in St. Stephen's Green, then walked buzzed down Grafton street and spent the evening getting Guinness and Irish kisses in the Temple Bar area.
While I can’t say I fit all of that into these cupcakes, they come pretty damn close. Guinness in the cake, whiskey in the filling, Baileys in the frosting. I put on some Corrs for added ambience. And the kisses came from my husband, who was very supportive of this recipe.
“Do you mind drinking up the Guinness I don’t use and then later eating it in a cupcake?”
These cupcakes have lots of parts, so in that way they are complicated, but it’s hard to go wrong, so it’s worth it. In fact, if you took all of the ingredients, dumped them in a bowl, and stirred, you could probably just eat that with a spoon and be reasonably satisfied. But if you follow the recipe, you end up with spongy chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate ganache filling and buttercream frosting. Make a little Irish coffee on the side, sit back, and be thankful for St. Patrick. And whiskey, of course.
My CSA tends to give me foods I have never heard of, and if it is a sweet enough fruit or vegetable, I usually find adding some whiskey, sugar, eggs, butter, and flour can create something delicious. Last week it was husk cherry tomatoes, which seem to be a cross between a cherry and tomato, slightly sweet but not tart, all wrapped up in a little paper-thin packaging.
How cute. But one does one do with these things? Upside down cake seemed like a good option, and one recipe called for rum, so that kind of sealed the deal. Because a direct substitution for rum is whiskey. And—shocking—I happened to have some bourbon on hand.
This recipe takes boozy brunch to another delicious level. It’s the classic French toast recipe with a little whiskey kick to both the eggs and the syrup. A special nod to my dad who took a year off of college to drive around the country and worked the winter at a farm in Vermont where they made maple syrup.
You will need:
Bread (stale is fine – French toast was invented to save “lost bread” to eat the next day. I used miche bread, which has a nice, full flavor)
Eggs (about 2 eggs for 3 large slices of bread)
Dash of milk
Whiskey (not optional)
Small pat of butter
Pure maple syrup
To that age-old question of whether bacon belongs in chocolate chip cookies, I say yes. Yes it does.
For a food pairing to go with Whistle Pig rye, I was – naturally – trying to find a recipe for bacon cookies. I came across one that was oatmeal, raisin, and bacon from Bon Appétit. But why would one use raisins when chocolate exists?
Once you start looking, there are a surprising amount of bacon chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, but most require a half cup of bacon fat. If that makes you go “yum,” well that’s interesting. I only like to see my baking fat in certain forms, like butter.
And I liked the oatmeal idea. So I went with the first recipe, substituted chocolate for the raisins, and substituted 3 tablespoons of bourbon for the vanilla.
The result? Bacon bourbon oatmeal chocolate cookies. A nice pairing with Whistle Pig. A nice pairing with life.
I made some yummy whiskey dessert discoveries in the past couple of weeks that added delightful variations to this year’s Thanksgiving whiskey treats.
Discovery #1: Chocolate Whiskey Sauce
The original version of the eggnog tart had a coffee caramel sauce. And that was fine. But then I found a creamy and delicious chocolate sauce that paired even better and is easy enough to make that it is worth having on hand always. Spoon ready in the other hand.