Many people like sweet, delicious baked goods. Many also enjoy a tasty adult beverage. This week I set out on a mission to combine these two worlds in the form of wonderful booze pastries.
I actually started thinking of this a few months ago while I was in the shower (I’ll explain later.) With the holidays coming up, I figured I’d better start thinking of things to bake for the family while they’re here. Plus, the results of my experiments wouldn’t go to waste (nor would I end up eating them all myself) since Chuck could just take them to work the next day. Guys will eat anything, right?
As it turns out, booze pastries are quite popular and there are a plethora of recipes on the internet. (Buzzfeed does a good job of collecting some of the best.) The first one that caught my eye was these Boozy Baked Donuts on WonkyWonderful, and asked Chuck to bring back a couple cans of Guinness and some Bailey’s so we could make this happen. Now, we don’t have a donut-shaped baking pan since space on the boat is limited, so I just made boozy baked muffins instead. Other than having to bake them a few minutes longer, I’d say they turned out pretty good!
That glaze was pretty amazing. Speaking of glaze, my dear fiance has a habit of buying everything in bulk sizes (see also: that time he bought four bunches of green onions that I didn’t know what to do with.) So naturally, when I asked him to buy a bottle of Bailey’s, he came back with the giant 1.75 liter economy-sized bottle that will get your whole family drunk. Great! I love Irish cream, but now that we have so much, I felt obligated to find more recipes that included it. Sounds like it’s time for some Dirty Girl Scout Cookies!
I made some modifications here. I’m not a huge mint fan (Andes mints are great, candy canes not so much) so to tone it down I left out the junior mints and creme de menthe from the glaze, using a second shot of Kahlua and a splash of mint extract instead. Also, I may have just straight-up dunked the cookies in the glaze rather than drizzling it, in an effort to make them more like the real thing. The verdict? This is definitely a keeper for Christmastime. Chuck reported that his coworkers just sat around and ate cookies all afternoon. Luckily none of them were flying that day, because as I found out alcohol does not actually cook out of food. (Thank you, Washington State University, for conducting this study and actually doing something useful. Love, a UW alum.)
I decided to step it up a notch and move on to cupcakes, specifically these White Russian cupcakes by Paint Chips & Frosting.
These took a little bit more work, but with three different kinds of liquor the end result was quite good. I made a few discoveries here:
-The whisk attachment for an immersion blender is NOT an acceptable substitute for a hand mixer.
-We need better mixing bowls (the ones we have are way too shallow. Good for storing on the boat, bad for mixing things. I got sugar everywhere!)
-One can indeed get drunk off of cake batter. Chuck came home from work and promptly started eating the batter as soon as my back was turned, and the next thing I heard was “whoa, I’m feeling a bit woozy! What’s in these things?!”
-The buttercream part of the recipe can easily be cut in half, if you’re not into a ton of frosting. I did this, and still had enough to cover the cupcakes. By the way, this frosting was a hit with the guys. (Him: “Let me know when you’re done, so I can eat the frosting.” Me: “Dude, it’s butter and sugar.” Him: “Can you get me a spoon?”)
Last night, I decided for the grand finale I would make these Three Irish Men cupcakes, recipe courtesy of the Improv Kitchen. We didn’t have any Jameson whiskey, so on Chuck’s recommendation I subbed in bourbon, making this a recipe for “Two Irish Men and a Drunk Southerner” instead.
This was fantastic! Guinness actually makes an excellent ingredient in booze pastries, as it doesn’t make them overly sweet (my only objection to the White Russian cupcakes – delicious, but very sugary.) I did have some trouble with the ganache. The recipe says it will set in about 20 minutes, but it took almost an hour in the fridge to get it the right consistency. I don’t know if that had to do with using bourbon instead of whiskey, or if I’d unknowingly screwed something else up. Not a huge deal, it still turned out okay. Also, that cream cheese frosting is the best. I’d committed the novice error of not checking my ingredients before starting the recipe, so discovered at the last second that I only had half the powdered sugar I needed. As a result the frosting was super runny, so I had to add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch to firm it up. It worked, and the frosting was not too sweet! Like, I kind of just wanted to eat the entire bowl. Anyway, the combination of the three flavors went together nicely.
So that was my booze pastry adventure. The funny thing is, I haven’t even tried the original recipe that inspired all this in the first place.
Okay, so a Philosophy soap bottle may not be the most reliable. But on the other hand, don’t pina colada cupcakes sound amazing? I did buy all the ingredients, so maybe I’ll give it a shot this weekend. On Sunday night, so that Chuck can take the rest into work on Monday. Happy Friday! 🙂