Thursday, May 7, 2009

Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

I made these Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes for a delayed dinner, dessert and wine viewing of Gossip Girl at Meg's the other week. They were my first foray into baking with the Baileys I purchased specifically for that purpose in the Bahamas.

As soon as I saw their perfectly domed tops coming out of the oven, I was in love. My cupcakes/muffins have never before had perfectly rounded tops. I suspect beating the egg whites into stiff peaks before folding them into the rest of the cupcake mixture, instead of just mixing in whole eggs, creates this effect. I have to admit I wish it could be done with less work, but I still will make these again one day.

The resulting cake is very moist with a pound-cake like texture and you can taste the Bailey's without feeling like an alcoholic. The frosting is a rich chocolate. I really enjoyed how the mixture of shortening and butter made the icing more of a solid, easily spreadable mass.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Thumbprint Cookies

While I slept regular, grown-up hours in the Caribbean, my sleep schedule has been all over the place since my return. Case in point, the week before last I felt inspired at 10:00p to make cookies for Administrative Professionals Day. Since I had all the ingredients handy for thumbprint cookies (a.k.a. Veronas), I went for it.

The best part is after staying up late making the cookies, I hid them at my desk all day and didn't give them to our Administrative Professionals because I didn't like how they looked. They weren't uniform and, frankly, reminded me of breasts. Finally at 4:00p I realized I had to put them out or I would be eating oh 30 cookies by myself. As usual my worries were for naught. They were a hit with my co-workers still at work and at our committee meeting that night.

I followed the recipe except I accidentally included the egg whites. The cookies probably would have been more crisp and flat without them, but the mistake didn't effect the tastiness of the cookies. The soft and buttery shortbread was perked up nicely by the strawberry jam center. I chose to omit the nuts.

I'd consider making these again, if I can be less of a perfectionist and/or can figure out a way to make the proportions better.