Want a Marriage Proposal? Make These Cupcakes.

1 Dec

Gurls, we all know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I started making these cupcakes a few years ago and EVERY TIME I MAKE THEM, I get a marriage proposal. Yup, they are THAT GOOD.


This recipe is actually a combination of two recipes: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes from Brown Eyed Baker and Annie’s Eats (which I found by way of Dara McBride on IrishCentral.com)

I make the Guinness cupcakes and Bailey’s Irish Cream buttercream frosting from Annie’s Eats and the Jameson Whiskey Ganache from Brown Eyed Baker.

You’ll have extra Guinness (which, naturally, you’ll need to drink) and there will be extra Jameson Ganache (which, naturally, you’ll need to eat) and there will be extra Bailey’s Irish Cream (with, naturally, you’ll need to pour a shot and enjoy). I promise, you’ll be happy making these.

So here goes….

Serving: 24 regular sized cupcakes….I usually make these “Texas sized” (jumbo cupcake liners) for St. Patrick’s Day. When I do this, I reduce the recipe by half and get 6-7 cupcakes which is the perfect amount if you are sharing with someone special or just a friend or two.

For cupcake:

1 cup of stout (Guinness)
16 tbsp unsalted butter (2 sticks of room temperature butter)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour (recipe calls for all-purpose, I like bread flour, makes them fluffy)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream (the real deal, no non-fat or light sour cream for this)

For whiskey ganache filling:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter (at room temperature)
2 tsp Irish Whiskey (Jameson)

For Bailey’s buttercream frosting:

8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
8 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream

To make cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put liners in cupcake pans. Combine the stout and butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. It doesn’t have to be cold, but you don’t want it too hot because it will scramble your eggs when you add it.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream until blended. If using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment.

Once that stout mixture has cooled, add it to the eggs and sour cream just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on a low speed until incorporated. Use a small ice cream scoop (I usually do two scoops), and divide batter equally between the liners so each is filled half way (can be a wee bit more).

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Everyone’s oven is different. Both of these gurls said 17 minutes in their recipes. My gas oven takes 20 minutes for regular size cupcakes and 28 minutes for Texas size jumbo cupcakes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make whiskey ganache filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer to a heat proof bowl. Sooooo important to chop the chocolate in small bits because you want it to melt quickly. Heat the cream until simmering and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then use a rubber spatula and stir from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter (I like to cut it up in small squares to help with melting/blending process) and the whiskey and stir until combined. Try not to pour directly in a glass and drink cause chocolate and whiskey smells sooooo good. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to pipe (usually 2-3 minutes). Go get some Wilton bags and piping tips (you can find them online, Party City, Home Goods/TJ Maxx/Marshall’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon, Target). This is an excellent tool to have on hand and helps you make fancy bakery worthy decorative icing.

To fill the cupcakes, you can use a knife to gently scoop out the center. For regular size cupcakes, I use a teaspoon measuring spoon. For Texas sized cupcakes, use a tablespoon measuring spoon. Put that yummy ganache in a piping bag and fill holes of cupcakes to the top. Once you do this, game on for eating the rest of the ganache. And, of course, all the Guinness cupcake circles.

To make Bailey’s buttercream frosting, pour a shot of Bailey’s and enjoy. Then, put the butter in the bowl and use paddle attachment (or your hand-held mixer) on medium-high speed and beat until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar until incorporated. Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth. Pour another shot of Bailey’s and enjoy.

I’ve frosted cupcakes using a knife and that’s fine. But seriously, get the piping tips and bags. Makes life easier and everyone will think the cupcakes are from a professional baker. I used the star decorating tip for these.

I always make these the same day I’m serving them. I’m sure they would be good the following day, but there are never any leftovers. Get ready for tiny cartoon hearts in the eyes of the guys that eat these and enjoy those marriage proposals, Gurls.


Wee Bit of Holiday Cheer

1 Dec

Spiked Eggnog CupcakesI enjoy cooking but absolutely ADORE baking. That is why I was so tickled when a friend of mine gave me “Intoxicated Cupcakes — 41 Tipsy Treats” by Kate Legere because we all know baking with booze is the best! img_2366.jpg

If you’ve never tried Southern Comfort’s Egg Nog, run to your local grocery store to pick some up today (it comes out around Thanksgiving and is often gone by the second week in December). It’s non-alcoholic and oh so rich, thick and yummy. To that I added some Bambarra Rum from a recent trip to Turks & Caicos and voila—yummy Spiked Eggnog Cupcakes were had.

I took these to a party at a local brewery and received some many amazing comments: “These are really delicious.” | “I love the small size, you can just pop them in your mouth.” | “Loved how these complimented the beer.”

Here’s Kate’s recipe for the cupcakes. I made them mini size for a twist. To fill the cupcake liners, I used a teaspoon measuring spoon (a knife helps scoop out the batter). Her recipe calls for a glaze that includes corn syrup. I’m not a fan of corn syrup, so I made buttercream instead.


I actually made two buttercream icings: the white one is an eggnog buttercream, the brown one is Bailey’s buttercream….cause folks I’m here to tell ya, Bailey’s and rum go very well together.

For Bailey’s Buttercream:

4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
4-6 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream

(Note: if you want to make these cupcakes “regular” size: use 8 tbsp unsalted butter, 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar and 8 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream)

Place butter in a bowl of your mixer with paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy (about a minute or two). Gradually add the powdered sugar until incorporated. I like to scrape down the sides at this point. Then add in Bailey’s until smooth. You are looking for a smooth consistency so you can pipe on top of cupcakes.

For Eggnog Buttercream:

4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
4 tbsp Eggnog

Same instructions as Bailey’s buttercream. You could add a splash of rum if you like. You could definitely taste a bit o’rum in the cupcake so I didn’t add it to buttercream so it wasn’t too rummy.

This is going to be a regular go-to recipe for me. Delicious and easy to make,  a real people pleaser and a perfect treat for the holidays.

OMG ~ I Think I Just Discovered I May Be Color Shy

18 Nov

I recently purchased a new (old) house. And with the exception of the kitchen (a dark neutral) and the powder room (a soft red), I pretty much hate all the wall colors. There is a lot of yellow going on *shivers* and, even if I didn’t hate the paint colors, there are nail holes so big they should be called craters, so  I have to spackle and repaint anyway.

Ask anyone that has ever come to visit me in one of my many abodes and they will tell you I’m not color shy (save, that dreaded yellow). I’m a big fan of every room deserves its own color and, if the entire house isn’t of one palette, oh well. I want my rooms to evoke a mood.

I’ve never been one to follow the leader and do as the masses. On the contrary, I pride myself on marching to the tune of a different drummer.

Despite needing to spackle and repaint so many rooms, I decided I needed to run out and get paint for the front door. Interestingly, this was my first endeavor into the front door painting arena. I didn’t think much about it. Although  I suppose considerable thought should be given to it as it’s the first impression guests have of your house. And the new neighbors will get a sense of who I am when they see that door color change.

Click on the door to open a wonderful article from Better Homes and Gardens to "Refresh Your Front Entry"

Click on the door to open a wonderful article from Better Homes and Gardens to “Refresh Your Front Entry”

So I did, what I thought, was the most sensible thing—I bought red paint for the front door.

Not a bad plan. After all, red doors are classic. Red doors are inviting. Red doors are the most common color for front doors.

And then it hit me—–I’m color shy when it comes to my front door.

Now, I know red is a color and some consider it a bold color so how can I say I’m color shy? Because when I looked at my Pinterest design board, I had pinned a whole bunch o’ doors that were — you guessed it — not red.

There are lime green doors and purple doors and turquoise blue doors trimmed in orange.

Clearly, I like a non-traditional door color and, yet, what did I go and do?

Went old school red.


Well…it’s only paint color and meant to be changed.

So I think the plan will be to paint it red. I rushed out to buy it after all so I might as well go for it.  Plus, red is nice for the holidays. My green Christmas wreath is going to look bitchin’ on it.

And, who knows, when spring rolls around, maybe fushia might speak to me.

Trying to figure out what color would look good on your front door? Check out this short video where Carter Oosterhouse suggests a brilliant plan for trying out different colors on your front door before committing to one.


Pin Me ~ Week Thirteen ~ from my Pretty Posies Board ~ Petals Can Brighten Your Day

27 Apr

If you live in an area where you get to enjoy the four seasons, spring is an especially important one.

After a long, cold and snowy winter, you absolutely crave the warmth and color of spring. And pretty posies are the perfect solution to get you out of the winter blues.

photo(10)I really love the look of flower market flowers. There’s something about stems of gorgeous color displayed in various buckets that makes the flowers seem really romantic.

And with the warmer temps these days, you can find lots of flower market at many farmer’s markets. Fresh fruits, veggies and flowers…what’s not to love?

It was difficult to choose from all the gorgeous colors and types of flowers but there’s something about the tulip that just says SPRING! to me.

I couldn’t resist the gorgeous coral color.   photo(11)

Once the flowers fully opened up, the inside reminded me of a piece of cheese.  Can you see it, too?

Happy Thang: The tulips in my garden are starting to grow which means I’ll have more pretty posies soon!

Pin Me ~ Week Twelve ~ from my Product Shopping Board ~ How To Glow With The Best of Them

26 Apr

Raise your hand if you love beauty products?

Aside from shoes and pretty dresses, I don’t think there is anything more gurly than beauty products. And I love them all from nail polish to lipstick, from blush to sparkly creams.

blog mist 4That’s why when I came across the Must Buys From Target pin from my Product Shopping board, I just had to hop over to Elizabeth Dehn’s Beauty Bets blog and find out what goodies she loved.

I think what initially sold me was the J.R. Watkins Body Cream. Here’s what she said, “I could brag about how great this is or I could just tell you that IT SMELLS LIKE COOKIES. I keep it on my desk, apply it to my hands and let that yummy cookie scent gets me through the afternoon slump.”

As I was in need of some hand cream for my desk, love the smell of cookies and could use something to get me through the afternoon slump, I thought this was the product for me.

At lunchtime, I headed to my nearest Target store in search of cookies cream. Turns out they were out of the cream but they did have the body oil. And, as I was in need of some totally awesome and sweet smelling after shower body oil, I thought this sounded like a win!

They didn’t have the Grapefruit Oil Mist that was mentioned in the post but, OH MY, they had something better.

Coconut Milk & Honey.blog mist 3


Lait de coco et miel. (In case you want to spiff it up).

When intially applied, you smell better than cookies. You smell heavenly.

The spray bottle makes it super easy to put on and yes, you glow, just like the darlings that walk the red carpet.

The smell eventually fades (which is good because I wouldn’t want it to interfere with my LOVELY perfume).

Your skin is soft. Oh so soft.

And you feel oh so very gurly.

Happy Thang: By the time this post goes out tonight, I will be relaxing under the stars with my Sweetheart who always smells sweet.

Well….unless he’s working in the yard…then, it’s sweaty sweet.

Oh, who am I kidding. It’s just sweaty.

Maybe they make a men’s line?


Pin Me ~ Week Eleven ~ from my Perhaps I Might Read Board ~ Hemingway’s Girl

26 Apr

Oh nuts!

You know what happens when you don’t keep up with your blogging? You lose track of dates. And, until you go back and start looking at a calendar, you won’t realize that you think you’re being so good catching up on your blogging only to figure out that you skipped an entire week! Hemingway's Girl


So this is Week Eleven’s blog post, but in reality, it should have been Week Eight. I suppose I should shift all my blogs a week, but then I’d never catch up.

At any rate, I scored me a copy of Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck. I had been thinking about possibly reading this book (thus, why it was on my “Perhaps I Might Read” board), but it was Book Addict Katie’s review that pushed me to get it.

Book Addict Katie is funny, intelligent and works in a bookstore so you know she’s got double secret, back door access, to book knowledge that the rest of us can only hope to glean from those so wisely in the know of all things books. She has a blog and you can also follow her on Twitter. She is a Dog Mom to Marshall. And for those of us that are cat owners servants, she has cats (Patches & Rory). And yes, they try to kill her, too.*

Happy Thang: It’s the weekend.

*Note: if you are not a cat servant, this might need some explaining. Those of us that are, try most days to please our kitty kitties. Otherwise, they will make us pay. And it only takes one time for you to receive “that look”** to make you shape up and do their bidding.

**That look is the one they give you as a warning. It says, do what I demand, or else…

And that’s why we all sleep with one eye open.

Pin Me ~ Week Ten ~ from my Shoes Board ~ These Boots Were Made for Country Concerts

26 Apr

What’s a girl gotta do when she wants some kickin’ Cowgirl boots for summer  Country concerts?

Go to Texas of course!

And I did.

Well, I didn’t exactly go for JUST boots. However, when I was there, I did look at many, many pairs of JUSTIN boots. Unfortunately nothing fit right. Either the toes were too crampy or the heels would slip off. I went through at least twenty pairs (some twice, you know, in case this first time was some kind of fluke).

I event tried on pairs at the Rodeo. The nice gal that was helping me suggested I try boot mules. Fashionable? Yes. Look I wanted? No.

I have several pairs of Cowgirl boots. But they are way too warm to wear in the sunshine. Last year, we went to several summer Country concerts, and a bunch of the gals were wearing cute little ankle high Cowgirl boots.

So I’ve been busy pinning mini Cowgirl boots in anticipation of finding the right pair for me.

I’ve search high and low. I contemplated buying them online but, after my experience of trying on so many pairs that didn’t fit, decided I needed to be able to see them, hold them, and put my foot in them to be sure.

I went to Texas. I went to New York City. And I found my Cowgirl boots in Jersey. Thanks DSW Shoe Warehouse!

My new boots are FAB! And I mean FAB! Love, love, love the color and the extra long point of the boot. My toes are comfortable and I can wear a sock in these so no blisters on the heels. Now bring on summer!

My Happy Thang: My Sweetheart set up our patio furniture last night. It’s Friday Night movie night which we’ll enjoy on our swing.

Stop The World ~ I Want To Get Off and Write

26 Apr


It’s been a few weeks.

Beach Day

It’s Almost Time for the Beach

I think if you ask most writers we’ll tell you that, given the opportunity, we’d write all day and night. Too bad <insert life’s demands here> gets in the way.

When I started this blog, it was supposed to be an outlet for new writing. A (hopefully) regular way to keep things fresh and write about whatever was going on in the world or about things that interested me. It was going to be for those times when I was editing/revising/revamping my novels or plays.

Being a creative type, I have lots of outlets to channel that juicy energy. Sometimes it’s writing. Sometimes it’s painting. Sometimes it’s sewing. Sometimes it’s soaking up life for future inspiration.

And so I got away from the regular course of blogging.

Then, I decided to embark on a regular blogging adventure. I created “Pin Me ~ 52 Weeks of Actually Doing Something With My Pins.” My plan was two-fold: blog at least once a week and make something happen with all those pins I have pushed against my virtual cork boards.

I’ve made some delicious recipes, tried some new nail polish and read a good book. And I was also keeping up with the blogging. Until March 14, 2013, when other stuff got in the way.

It’s nothing major. Just home improvement projects here and hockey games there. (Let’s go Devils! Even if you aren’t making the playoffs this year). And a whole bunch of other must dos.

But, alas, that is no excuse to not blog. I made that commitment and, by golly, I will stick to it. (I hope).

I’ve actually been keeping up with my weekly Pin Me stuff. I just haven’t been blogging about it. So what does that mean?

It means I have seven pins to write about and pronto because I don’t want this stretching out to ten, twenty, fifty…

So here’s what you can expect ~ seven blog pieces coming at you fast and furiously. I’ll probably stretch them out over the next few days, but if you follow my blog via email, expect to get a couple o’emails from me back-to-back. I promise once I catch up, that it will go back to once a week. I think that’s a good amount of email to receive. :]

My Happy Thang is that today is Friday! Whoo to the hoo!

PS…what do you think of the new look for the blog? I might be changing it up seasonally. We’ll see how it goes.

Not So Wordless Wednesday

20 Mar

“Writing is…. being able to take something whole and fiercely alive that exists inside you in some unknowable combination of thought, feeling, physicality, and spirit, and to then store it like a genie in tense, tiny black symbols on a calm white page. If the wrong reader comes across the words, they will remain just words. But for the right readers, your vision blooms off the page and is absorbed into their minds like smoke, where it will re-form, whole and alive, fully adapted to its new environment.”

Mary Gaitskill

Pin Me ~ Week Nine ~ from my Exercise Board

14 Mar

stretchSo my Sweetheart and I got a four-month gym membership back in January. We did this because, once the weather gets nice, we prefer to walk our furry ones and ride bicycles.

I’ve been doing the typical treadmill routine and Zumba classes which I adore! Nothing like dancing around for an hour, burning calories, and when it’s over, you say “Wait. What? How can the class be done?” That’s my kind of exercise.

I hurt my ankle a couple of weeks ago so I’ve not been so gym oriented as I would like.

So I decided to hop on over to my Exercise Board and see what I could do in the way of exercise that wouldn’t make my ankle hurt.

The description under this Pin said:  If you sit in front of keyboard all day, you should start doing an exercise called the wall slide immediately. Why? Because it helps to stretch out your neck, shoulders & back

Bingo! This was the one to try.

Opened up the video and this guy is describing what you do. Head, shoulders and butt against the wall. Arms out to the side in a “W” shape. Slowly move them up the wall.

This was going to be a breeze. Easy. No worries.

Oh. My. Gawd.

I had no idea that my shoulders, back and neck were so tight until I did this. Holy Moley. It hurt, but in that stretchy kinda of way that if I kept doing it, things were going to feel better.

If you work in front of a computer all day, you must do this exercise. ‘Nuff said.

Happy Thang: Al l the Tex-Mex I ate last weekend.