I look forward to the Super Bowl every year. Not because I have any interest in professional football, mind you. I couldn’t even tell you who played last night…and I actually “watched” the entire game.
Cute football players are a perk, of course. And the halftime show is always entertaining. But those things alone still aren’t enough to make me give up an entire evening to football. No, I look forward to the Super Bowl every year because it combines two of my favorite things in life: food and commercials.
Yes, I’m one of those obnoxious Super Bowl watchers who tries every appetizer on the table, talks through all of the exciting plays, and then hushes everyone when the first commercial comes on. I’ll admit it.
You see, I love commercials. It’s kind of an obsession I’m working through. And it’s not just Super Bowl commercials, either. Just ask my husband. I’m unknowingly drawn to commercials. I think maybe my true calling is in advertising.
I’m not only obsessed; I’m also knowledgeable. I know the jingles, tag lines, and slogans for every major brand out there. Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There. Open Happiness. Every Diet Needs a Little Wiggle Room. Seven Whole Grains on a Mission. I have a serious problem.
Thankfully, most people (read: single Marines) will overlook the commercial-obsessed crazy if she brings alcohol-spiked cupcakes to the party. They got their exciting plays and boozey cupcakes, and I got hours of commercials. In my mind, that’s a win-win.
Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Active time: 45 minutes
Start to finish: 3 hours
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes
For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes
1 cup stout (Guinness)
2 sticks unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
For the Bailey’s ganache filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Bailey’s Irish cream
For the Bailey’s buttercream frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
6-8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-8 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish cream
For the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the ganache filling
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a double boiler or give it a very short burst in the microwave (15-20 seconds). Add the butter and Bailey’s and stir until combined.
Set aside to let the ganache cool until it is thick enough to be piped. (You can use the refrigerator to speed the cooling process, but be sure to stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooling.) Meanwhile, cut out a portion from the center of the cupcake using the cone method (a small paring knife works best for this). Once the ganache has reached the correct consistency, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe it into the cupcakes.
For the frosting
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth. Add more if necessary until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired.