Enjoy St. Patrick's Day or any day with these desserts and savories made with Guinness beer or Irish whiskey.

Don’t you just love it when St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday? So far, the weather is going to be perfect for most of the day with projected p.m. showers. The crowds will start descending on Thursday night and the party is on until Sunday!

I used to never miss a St. Paddy’s Day downtown, but I must confess that I now prefer to stay home and celebrate by preparing my favorite Irish foods and watching the parade from the comfort of my own living room while I sip on Irish coffee.

In honor of the day, I’m joining in on the celebration with “boozy" recipes. Most of my favorite savory recipes have wine in the ingredient list, and we make some delicious cakes that contain bourbon and rum. Since we’re all a little Irish this time of year, I focused on recipes that contain Irish whiskey and/or Guinness beer as an ingredient.

Go for bangers

One of the recipes I’m sharing, Dublin Coddle, is Irish comfort food. The recipe is a lot like our beef stew, but it uses Irish bangers in the place of the beef and is flavored with Guinness beer. Bangers are popular in England and Ireland. Irish bangers contain bread crumbs and a blend of spices that are different from the spices we typically have in our sausage. Like our sausages, recipes vary as to ingredients. I used Irish bangers from Fresh Market. I checked with Smith Brothers and they have Cumberland sausage, which is very close in flavor to Irish bangers. Bratwurst would be the next closest thing and if you want some delicious brats, then a trip to the Butcher Block in Bloomingdale is well worth the drive, but call before you go to make sure he has them in stock. The Coddle can be made several days in advance and heated up for serving after a long day at the parade.

Why whiskey?

The other recipes contain Irish whiskey. For anyone who might not be familiar with Irish whiskey, it is similar in taste to scotch without the hint of smokiness that is the trademark of all good scotch. Irish whiskeys are governed by some  specific guidelines. To be labeled Irish whiskey, it is required to be made in Ireland, aged in wooden barrels and contain malted barley, which can be mixed with other grains. Bushmills, Jameson and Tullamore DEW are the better-known Irish whiskeys in this area. A couple of the recipes have Bailey’s Irish Cream in them. I’ve included a recipe to make your own Irish cream as well.

Alcohol caution

I feel compelled to destroy common myth that all the alcohol evaporates when you cook with it. There is always at least a trace of alcohol left. How much depends on how long you cook it and whether it is stirred while cooking. The percentages are low enough that you can’t get drunk from eating it, but if you have friends who are sensitive to alcohol, you might want to let them know it is in the dish.

Whether you’re going downtown or having friends over for a quiet celebration, these recipes are sure to please. They can all be made in advance and won’t interfere with the celebrations. I hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day (weekend) and be sure to drink a glass of green beer for me while I’m watching from afar.

Teri Bell is co-owner of Miss Sophie’s Marketplace at the Mighty Eighth in Pooler. Go to www.sophiesmarketplace.com.

 

Guinness Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Icing

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup Guinness beer

2 sticks butter

2 cups sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup sour cream

2 large eggs

2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Icing Ingredients:

2 sticks butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

3 tablespoons Irish whiskey

Drizzle Ingredients: (optional)

2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream

2 tablespoons sugar

Cake Directions:

1. Preheat Oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine beer and butter and cook on low heat until butter dissolves. Once butter is melted, slowly whisk in sugar, cocoa and espresso until they have completely dissolved. Set mixture aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Chocolate mixture should be no warmer than room temperature.

3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, mix together sour cream, vanilla, and eggs until combined. Slowly blend in the room temperature chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture one cup at a time, mixing only until incorporated well. Do not over mix.

5. Pour cupcake mixture into the prepared cupcake lines to about ¾ full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick insert into the middle comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Frosting Directions: Cream butter in medium size bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Add milk and mix thoroughly. Add Irish whiskey one tablespoon at a time and combine thoroughly. Spread on cooled cupcakes.

Bailey's Drizzle Directions: Combine the Bailey's and sugar in a saucepan and cook on medium until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and drizzle over cupcakes. (This mixture will harden, so make it after you have iced your cupcakes.)

 

Boozy Irish Whiskey Cakes

I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker website. I refuse to use a prepared cake mix in the restaurant, except for this recipe. This recipe wouldn’t be the same without this delicious cake mix. To make it super simple, leave off the drizzle. The cake is great by itself!

Cake Ingredients:

2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee or instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist butter recipe yellow cake mix

1 stick butter, softened

3 eggs

2/3 cup water

¼ cup Irish whiskey

Irish Whiskey Butter Sauce Ingredients:

¼ cup Irish whiskey

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup water

1 stick butter, cut into pieces

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Spray 12 mini Bundt cake pans or 1 standard sized Bundt pan with cooking spray.

2. In small microwavable bowl, stir coffee powder and whiskey with whisk until combined. Microwave on high about 10 seconds or just until warm; set aside.

3. In large bowl, beat cake mix, ½ cup butter, the eggs, 2/3 cup water and ¼ cup whiskey with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Add coffee mixture. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among cake pans.

4. Bake 20 minutes (longer if using a Bundt pan) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove cakes from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely.

5. In small heavy saucepan, mix sauce ingredients. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. To serve, place cakes on dessert plates; drizzle with sauce.

 

Dublin Coddle

Ingredients:

5 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces

1 pound Irish bangers, Cumberland sausage or Bratwurst

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 bottle Guinness beer

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 large onions, cut into slices

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

3 bay leaves

Fresh cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups beef broth

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.

2. Heat a large, oven-proof Dutch oven over high heat. Add in the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon to drain on paper towels. Leave the grease in the Dutch oven.

3. Brown the sausages in the bacon grease. No need to cook all the way through. Remove to plate. When cool enough to handle. Slice into 1-inch pieces.

4. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the flour into the bacon and sausage grease. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Then remove from heat completely.

5. Whisk in the bottle of Guinness.

6. Place half of the potatoes in the gravy, followed by half of the onions, half of the garlic, half of the bacon, half of the sausages, half of the parsley, the bay leaves, salt and black pepper. Repeat layers with the remaining ingredients.

7. Pour broth over the whole thing. Cover and bake in preheated oven for at least 2 hours.

 

Irish Cream

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups Irish whiskey

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

2 teaspoons instant coffee

1½ cups heavy cream

Directions:

1. In a blender, combine the whiskey, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate syrup and instant coffee, and blend on high speed until combined.

2. Place the whiskey mixture in a bowl and stir in the cream until smooth. Store the Irish cream in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled over ice.