1998. I am 15. I am in the back of a dusty blue minivan hurtling along the craggy and barren west coast of the Hawaiian island of Maui, and I am weeping. I am weeping at the first lush and vigorous strains of the Riverdance soundtrack. It is inexplicable (and hilarious, even then). I may have just spent the summer reading The Mists of Avalon. I may be irrepressibly desirous of finding a selfhood that rings true—an identity that fits. I am, you see, a redheaded, impossibly fair-skinned Jew living on a tropical island. I do not, exactly, fit in. But this? Fiddles and dancing and moss and mist and moors and redheads? This I can do. And so, I wept.
I have yet to visit Ireland, and my family is far more Russian shtetl than Irish potato farm, but the illusion—a kind of psychic, past-life affinity—endured. In the years that followed, I became obsessed with British pre-Raphaelite visions of moony, supine redheads, powerless in the face of their own verdant ease. I listened to Loreena McKennitt sing wan Celtic poems whilst burning incense and writing poetry of longing for my own, someday-arriving, Lancelot. And, even on Maui, I sought out pastures that looked the way I imagined Ireland’s did.
To help you celebrate the rest of this festive holiday, we collected dozens of simple recipes to have a nice dinner feast, including pieces, cookies, cupcakes, pancakes and more. We’re getting hungry already so let’s get cooking, OK?- JASON GROSS
If you don’t have two muffin tins, bake these cupcakes in batches.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
¼ cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey
Instant-espresso powder, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the cupcakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Pour water over espresso powder; let cool.
Combine espresso with milk.
Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with espresso-milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (batter may look broken).
Fill 15 cups (of two 12-cup muffin tins) three-quarters full.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.
Let cool; turn out cupcakes from tins.
Make the frosting: Whisk together cream and confectioners’ sugar until medium peaks form.
Add whiskey; whisk until slightly stiff peaks form.
Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting; dust with espresso powder.
I think I’ve finally perfected the recipe… which is good because St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday!
[EDIT: Name change due to the insensitivity of the original title “car bomb” - “slammer” is the most common substitution I’ve found. Call ‘em a slammer and enjoy your cupcakes (and beverage) guilt free]
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 full cup Guinness Beer
1 half shot Jameson whiskey
1-1 and ½ cup flour (add until desired batter thickness)
1/3 cup oil
Mix and bake at 350 for ~14 mins. Hollow out (I use piping cap to make the holes then a knife to hollow them out).
2/3 can condensed milk
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2-3 shots Jameson whiskey
Melt the chips and milk on the stove at a med high heat just until smooth. Cool for ~5-10 mins in a different bowl then start folding in the whiskey. Don’t let it get too runny. Pipe into the cake hollows when fully cool.
1 tub frosting
1-2 shots Bailey’s
1 stick butter (soft, not melted)
2-3 cups confectionery sugar (add until stiff)
Mix together until a stiff frosting is achieved.
Whiskey Detail Frosting
½ stick butter (soft, not melted)
1-3 cups confectionery sugar
Green food dye
1-3 shots whiskey
Start with the butter then add sugar and whiskey alternating until you have a stiff enough frosting and enough to make your clovers. Add green food dye until satisfied with the color. Pipe into 3 leaf clover shapes!
Want to mark this St. Patrick’s Day with something beyond the usual corned beef and cabbage (which aren’t so traditionally Irish anyway)? Why not mix up your menu with a tasty tray of blaas?
Not blaa as in boring. Blaa is actually the name of a treasured bread from the town of Waterford, Ireland, where up to 12,000 fresh blaas are eaten daily. This soft, doughy white roll — with either a soft or crusty top — has a chewy texture that makes it a perfect vehicle for butter.