Successful foray into Irish cooking: corned beef with cabbage, carrots and potatoes - YUM and really easy. Irish soda bread - check and also easy (go Bob's Red Mill mix). And la piece de la resistance: chocolate Guinness cupcakes with Bailey-whipped cream frosting. These were very fun to make and given they were a bit of a conglomeration, I want to preserve the recipe for posterity (and there was some Guinness and Bailey's consumed during the process, so it may be a bit fuzzy!):
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes (from Good Morning America's Website):
1 cup stout (Guinness)
16 tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
11/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
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 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Bailey Whipped Cream Frosting (adapted from Mother's Cream Pie Cream Recipe - seriously the best part!):
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
1 to 2 tablespoons of Bailey's Irish Cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
In a large bowl/mixer with a whisk attachment, mix the cream and Bailey's until frothy. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread on cooled cupcakes or use in icing bags with decorator tips.