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Frosting for the Cause: Pinch Hitting

Luck O’ the Irish Cupcakes

I am happy to help Paula out and  “pinch-hit”.  I didn’t know when, so I waited to put up the post.  I also want to acknowledge my mom and her fight with skin cancer.  She has had lots of moles taken unfortunately off her face, but never complains.

These cupcakes are again in honour of my Grandma as I associate St. Patrick’s Day with her because of her birthday, and thanks to my mom for helping me to make a first batch over March Break!

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I looove cupcakes.  I am always trying out new shops, watching TLC for DC Cupcakes, just to get my fix in.  So I was excited to make these in time for St Patrick’s Day.  I will send a batch with the ganache over to Sunnybrook Hospital’s Oncology Floor (now that my post is up, coming this week!).

 

The finished product

Recipe from Bonita (@Boneats) from Boneats.ca -Chocolate Guinness and Irish Cream Cupcakes (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Makes about 20-24

Cake:

1 cup Guinness, foam removed

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup sour cream

 

For the ganache filling:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used 70% cacao)

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced

2 teaspoons Bailey’s Irish cream

 

For the Bailey’s buttercream:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

4 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish cream

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large, separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.With your mixer on low, slowly add in the Guinness. Don’t panic when it curdles. It will all come together again when you add in the flour and sour cream.

Now slowly add in a third of the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Mix in half of the sour cream. Repeat again by alternating between the dry ingredients and the sour cream, finishing with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined; do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the lined cupcake tins, about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes and allow to cool in their tins on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from their tins and cool completely on the racks.

To the make the ganache filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream on medium-low until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. Add the butter and Irish cream and stir until combined.

Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to spoon into the cupcakes, about the consistency of pudding. Meanwhile, use a small teaspoon to scoop out the centres of the cooled cupcakes—aim for about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way in depth. Reserve the scooped out cake (so you can munch on it yourself!). Spoon the ganache into each cupcake and set aside until ready to frost.

To make the buttercream: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, for about 5 minutes. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Slowly drizzle in the Irish cream and mix until the buttercream starts to come together and look thick. If it looks too thick, add a bit of milk or cream.

Ice and decorate the cupcakes (if you want to pipe the buttercream, I’d suggest doubling the recipe of the buttercream). Enjoy!

 

 

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Frosting For the Cause: Chocolate Chip and Double Chip Vanilla Iced Cookies

I heard about Frosting for the Cause, like many people, through Twitter.  I had decided that I wanted to do more baking and cooking in the new year, and had seen a post with the hashtag #frostingforthecause.  A little searching later, and I was signed up!  I have enjoyed reading all the posts and learning some great recipes in the first three months and look forward to more! Thank you so much to Paula for organising the website and coming up with the idea.

 

The finished product, all 200!

 

 

I was a fortunate person that Cancer did not really strike my family until just recently.   My aunt has now had both a partial and full mastectomy, the second after being in remission.  She is doing well and we are hoping that it goes back into remission.  Around the same time as her first bout, my grandmother discovered she had bowel cancer.  She died during an operation to remove the cancer, within months of being diagnosed.  It was such a quick tragedy, it hit all of us hard.  I asked to be in March because of her birthday.  My grandmother baked annually at Christmas with my cousin, and gave more to charity than anyone else I know.  She would have loved to help with this event.

During the day, I am a high school teacher, so when I first signed up I thought that maybe my students could get involved.  Community service is part of the Ontario curriculum and I hoped that they would understand it can involve more than just volunteering.  Two of my Family Studies teachers on board who loved the idea (because unfortunately, Cancer touches us all) and the students happily made cookies.  They got a little creative with their decorating, but used pink for Breast Cancer and grey for Brain Cancer (my uncle died of latter the same year as my grandmother).  We donated 200 cookies to a local hospice, Evergreen Hospice , who were very happy to have them for their drop-in meetings.  The students were more than happy to do something to help others and gave up their cookies with no complaints!

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Thanks to Shalan Bishop for the recipes)

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine/butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 3/4  cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Combine butter, white sugar and brown sugar.  Beat until the mixture is creamy.
  • Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside for a minute.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips (and nuts).
  • Drop the cookie mixture by the tablespoonful on an ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield:  3 dozen 2 1/4″ cookies.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine/butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°.  Grease cookie sheets.
  • Cream together the margarine, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth.
  • Add in the eggs and vanilla, mix well.
  • In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder.  Add the baking soda and salt to this mixture.  Set aside.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips (and nuts).
  • Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place them onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing.

Yield:  3 dozen cookies.

Vanilla Icing

Ingredients:

3 cups confectioners sugar

1/3 cup of butter, softened
1 ½  teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons milk

**add a few drops of food coloring for other flavours**

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, beat butter and confectioners sugar until smooth and blended.
  • Stir in vanilla and milk and beat until you reach the right consistency.
  • Stir in a few drops of food coloring until you reach your desired color.

Many thanks to Shalan Bishop, Head of Family Studies and Social Sciences, and Amanda Todd-Mierzynski and their classes for making the cookies and being supportive of this event.

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