Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some of my very favorite St. Patrick’s Day treats that I’ve made throughout the years.

Have a wonderful weekend and a happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!

~Enjoy~
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Irish Cream Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

Irish Cream Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

Irish Cream Cupcakes

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups Irish Cream
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons milk
2/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cupcake tins or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In another medium bowl or measuring cup, combine Irish Cream, water and milk; mix well.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat well. Alternately add the flour mixture and Irish Cream mixture to the butter mixture. Beat for approximately 2 minutes.

Spoon batter into cupcake tins, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Frost cooled cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting; if desired. (recipe below)

Makes approximately 30 cupcakes.



Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Irish Cream
3-4 drops green food coloring
decorative sprinkles

Directions:
Cream butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar; mix until completely combined. Add Irish Cream and food coloring; beat until well combined. If necessary, add more Irish Cream to thin or more powdered sugar to thicken frosting to desired texture.

Frost cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with decorative sprinkles.



Pistachio Cake

Pistachio Cake

6 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
8 tablespoons water
1 (18-1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix
2 (1 ounce) packages Fat-Free Sugar-Free Jell-O Instant Pistachio Pudding & Pie Filling Mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan.

Combine Ener-G Egg Replacer and the 8 tablespoons of water in a small glass or bowl. Mix well.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mixes, water, oil, and the egg mixture.
Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared tube pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Yields 12 servings.



Homemade Irish Cream

Homemade Irish Cream

Homemade Irish Cream

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, or 14 ounces of homemade sweetened condensed milk (recipe below)
1 1/2 cups Irish whiskey
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high power for about 20-30 seconds.
Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Shake well before using.

Makes approximately 25.4 fluid ounces.



Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cup cold water
1 1⁄3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
In a medium bowl, stir milk into cold water. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir in sugar & vanilla extract. Refrigerate and cool before using.

Yields approximately 1 and 1/3 cups.



Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients, alternating with milk, and mix until just blended.

Drop batter by tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 6-7 minutes, until cakes spring back when touched. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 2 minutes. Transfer cakes to wire racks to cool completely.

Match cakes in pairs so tops and bottoms are similar in shape. Spread bottoms with Mint Cream Filling, recipe below, and cover with top.

Makes 18 whoopie pies.



Mint Cream Filling

6 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
4-5 drops green food coloring
3-4 tablespoons milk

In a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, mint extract, food coloring, and milk. Mix until smooth. Spread on the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.



Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Irish Cream
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and egg together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and Irish Cream; mix until combined.

Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture and blend well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets 1 1/2 inches apart. Flatten with the bottom of a glass coated with non-stick cooking spray.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Red Velvet and Strawberry Mini Cakes

Red Velvet and Strawberry Mini Cakes

Red Velvet and Strawberry Mini Cakes

Happy Valentine’s Day!! I hope you are all enjoying your day, whether you’re spending it with a loved one, or treating yourself to something special.

Today, I thought I would share with you the special treat I made for my sweetie this year – Red Velvet and Strawberry Mini Cakes. I love how cute these little cakes look, with their layer of red velvet and layer of pink strawberry cake. I purposely decided against frosting the entire cake, so the red and pink colors could stand out.

These mini cakes do take a bit of time to prepare and assemble, but they are definitely worth all the hard work. I did however find myself running out of time, and I had to cheat a bit and use a boxed cake mix for the strawberry layer, but I don’t think my guy will mind.

I was able to sneak a small taste while I was assembling these pretty little cakes, so I can tell you that they are incredibly delicious and incredibly rich. This is one Valentine’s Day dessert that is sure to get my sweetie’s taste buds dancing.

~Enjoy~
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Red Velvet and Strawberry Mini Cakes

Strawberry Cake:
1 (18.25 oz) box strawberry cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one large cookie sheet or sheet pan.
Blend cake mix, water, oil and eggs in large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Remove pan to wire rack and cool completely.

Red Velvet Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1 ounce red food coloring

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one large cookie sheet or sheet pan.
In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a glass measuring cup, combine milk and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and water.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture; beat until combined. Stir in food coloring until color is evenly distributed. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Remove pan to wire rack and cool completely.

Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk.

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each addition.
Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk; continue beating.
Add the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar, one at a time.
Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of milk, until desired consistency is reached.

Chocolate Glaze
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Directions:
Combine butter, milk and cocoa powder in a small saucepan; bring to a boil stirring constantly. When mixture begins to boil, remove from heat. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Stir in vanilla and corn syrup.
Let glaze cool slightly before drizzling over dessert.

Assemble the mini cakes:
With a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut circles from cooled strawberry and red velvet cakes.
Place red velvet cake circles on a sheet of parchment or wax paper.
Spread top of red velvet cake circle with buttercream frosting.
Place strawberry cake circles on top of frosting, pressing down slightly.
Spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting on top of strawberry cake circles.
Drizzle chocolate glaze over top of mini cakes.

Makes approximately 15 mini cakes.

Mango Upside Down Cake

Mango Upside Down Cake

Mango Upside Down Cake

I think Spring must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. We still have about a foot of snow piled up outside, and our temperatures have only been in the high 20′s to low 30′s. So if anyone sees Spring, and it looks confused and doesn’t seem to know where it should be heading next, could you please direct it to Alaska? :)

Since Spring seems to be taking the scenic route up to our neck of the woods, I’m just going to sit back, close my eyes, and envision I’m in a warmer climate while munching on a piece of this Mango Upside Down Cake. Every bite of this delicious cake makes me feel like I’ve been transported to an island in the tropics – as long as I don’t open my eyes and look out my window.

~Enjoy~
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Mango Upside Down Cake

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 (10 ounce) package frozen mango chunks
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.

Place mango chunks in a colander and rinse under cold water; drain.

In a small bowl, combine the 3 tbsp. melted butter and brown sugar. Pour over parchment paper in baking dish. Arrange mango chunks over brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the 5 tbsp. softened butter and granulated sugar together until creamy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; mix until smooth. Gradually add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Smooth batter over mango chunks.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Place pan on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto serving plate. Peel off parchment paper. Let cake cool a bit longer, then cut into squares and serve.

(To print this recipe, click on the ‘Print & PDF’ button below)

Lemon Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Lemon Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Lemon Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Now that all the holiday goodies have been consumed, I’m finally feeling in the mood to bake again. I decided to start off 2013 with this delicious Lemon Chocolate Chip Pound Cake.

If you haven’t paired Lemon and chocolate together in a baked good such as this, you’re really missing out. Lemon and chocolate are a great flavor combination. The tartness of the lemon balances the sweetness of the chocolate beautifully, as demonstrated in this moist and very yummy cake.

I love the convenience of the True Lemon products, and I always keep some in my pantry, so I used some in this recipe. If you don’t have True Lemon however, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of lemon juice for the 1 1/2 teaspoons of True Lemon and the 6 tablespoons of water listed in the ingredients.

~Enjoy~
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Lemon Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons True Lemon
6 tablespoons water
1/4 cup milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and blend until well combined. Add True Lemon and water; mix well. Add in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and let cool completely.

Gingerbread Pudding Poke Cake

Gingerbread Pudding Poke Cake

Gingerbread Pudding Poke Cake

We’ve been having beautiful Fall weather for the past week or so, with clear blue skies and bright sunshine. The temperature could be a little warmer, it’s only 13 degrees out right now, but since there is no snow on the ground, I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.

One of the things I really enjoy about this time of year, is all the new seasonal baking items that show up in the grocery stores – like pumpkin spice flavored coffee, and seasonal pudding mix flavors such as pumpkin spice and gingerbread. I’ve been lucky enough to find the pumpkin spice flavored pudding mix in the stores here over the last couple of years, and have used it to make some wonderful desserts like these Pumpkin Spice Tartlets and these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Brownies, but this is the first year that I’ve been able to locate the gingerbread flavor. Unfortunately, there were only two boxes of gingerbread pudding mix left on the grocery store shelf by the time I got to them, but at least I got some.

I decided to use the first of my two boxes of gingerbread flavored pudding mix in this Gingerbread Pudding Poke Cake. I wanted to make something that would really put the gingerbread flavor at the forefront. (I wanted the flavor to standout and not get lost among other flavors)

I started by making a simple vanilla cake from scratch, and then I poked holes throughout the baked cake and poured the gingerbread pudding into the holes and over the cake to “frost” it. The cake turned out absolutely delicious, and the gingerbread pudding is awesome. I just hope the grocery stores here will get some more of the pudding in stock, so I can add some more boxes to my pantry.

Now, what should I do with my second box of pudding??

~Enjoy~




Gingerbread Pudding Poke Cake

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 (3.4 ounce) package gingerbread instant pudding mix
2 cups cold milk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour one 9-inch square baking pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add vanilla and egg; beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients and 3/4 cup milk alternately to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven and poke holes at once down through cake to pan with round handle of wooden spoon. (Holes should be at 1-inch intervals)

After the holes are made, combine pudding mix and the 2 cups of milk in a large bowl. Beat with a wire whisk for 1 minute. Quickly, before pudding thickens, pour about half of the thin pudding evenly over warm cake and into holes. (This will make stripes in cake). Allow remaining pudding to thicken slightly; then spoon over the top to “frost” the cake.

Chill cake in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Store any leftover cake in refrigerator.

Makes: 9 servings

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