Irish car bomb cupcakes 

Your favorite St. Patrick's Day shot in cake form

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Ah, the Irish car bomb: Is it a harmless St. Patrick's Day shot or is it an invitation to get punched by the bartender? (Depends on what kind of Irish bar you're in. If there are more than three women, you're probably safe.) Hate it or love it, the foamy combo of Guinness stout, Jameson Irish whiskey and Baileys Irish Cream goes down easy and works fast to explode your inhibitions and your liver.

These "buns" (as an expatriate friend tells me cupcakes are called in Ireland) may not have quite as immediate an effect, but don't worry, they're plenty boozy. The recipe makes use of some shortcuts because, let's face it, it's more about the buzz than proving your gourmet-cooking cred. Who has time to clean the KitchenAid on St. Patrick's Day?

 

So here's to you, drunk baker: May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, enough coins for another pint, and a cupcake close at hand.

IRISH CAR BOMB CUPCAKES

Chocolate-Guinness cupcakes:
1 box chocolate cake mix (any type that promises "fudgy" or "super moist")
eggs and oil as directed on box
1 tall can Guinness stout
Prepare the cupcakes as directed on the back of the box, but use Guinness instead of water; one can should provide more than enough. (For the cupcakes, anyway.) While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the filling.

Whiskey-Nutella filling:
5 ounces mascarpone (or half sour cream, half cream cheese)
6 ounces Nutella
3 ounces Jameson Irish whiskey
Blend together with an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon until just combined. (If you use a mixer, rinse off the beaters now. Don't forget to lick them first.)

Using a small, sharp paring knife, cut a cone-shaped divot out of each cupcake, then spoon in the whiskey-Nutella-mascarpone filling. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect; it will be covered with frosting. Maybe have a tiny shot of whiskey and/or the leftover Guinness about now.

Baileys Irish Cream frosting:
1 stick of butter (4 ounces)
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of Baileys Irish Cream
Beat the butter with a hand mixer until it's fluffy, then add the sugar gradually, a tablespoon at a time. (Or, you know what, fuck it; forget that and just use canned frosting. It won't taste quite as good, but it'll be good enough for drunk snacks.) Beat in the Baileys gradually, a tablespoon or so at a time.

Pack the frosting into a 1-gallon Ziploc and snip off one corner. Use this ad hoc piping bag to squirt frosting straight down onto the cupcakes, sort of the same way you serve frozen yogurt into a dish: It will spread out to the edges and leave a point on top. If you're fancy, dust a tiny pinch of instant espresso over each frosted cupcake. Sláinte!

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