Get ready for the day when everyone is wearing silly green leprechaun hats and drinking heavily. The day when some moms will prepare snacks and desserts by adding green food coloring and over-the-top decorations like whipped cream, chocolate syrup, marshmallows, lucky charms, shamrock sprinkles and M&M’s. Others will take advantage of the opportunity to sneak some healthy ingredients into their kids’ meals by adding nutritious greens like spinach, zucchini, lime, kiwi, or avocado.
Some cooks, however, will use this holiday as an excuse to infuse their festive desserts with alcohol.
Booze and Desserts
Alcohol and desserts are great on their own, but when combined they produce incredibly indulgent desserts. However, there are two important questions on everyone’s mind – Will you get drunk if you eat too much boozed up cake and can your kids safely consume these treats?
The answer is – it depends on the amount of alcohol you add to your recipe. Adding a maximum ¼ cup of booze is perfectly safe since most of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process due to the fact that it has a lower boiling point than water. As long as you serve this type of food on special occasions only, they are perfectly safe for the whole family (and sure to make the dads especially happy!)
If you need more convincing, here is another fun fact – booze makes your desserts healthier. Studies have shown that pairing certain foods with a glass of beer or wine helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, while at the same time increasing the ‘good’ cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk for heart disease. The trick is to consume alcoholic beverages in moderation.
So, let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the best desserts infused with the Emerald Island’s favorite alcoholic beverages – Guinness beer, Baileys, whiskey, and cider.
When talking about beer, Irish have Guinness in mind. The famous dry stout has been consumed since the 1700s both in Ireland and abroad. Its burnt flavor derived from roasted, unmalted barley and the characteristic flavor make this bubbly beverage perfect for incorporating into various desserts.
If you have ever made the Guinness chocolate cake, you must know how well this frothy stout pairs with chocolate. So, how about taking things to the next level by using this combo in a cheesecake. The addition of the Guinness will change the texture of the cake, making it closer to a blend of soufflé and fudge. The final result is a moist, creamy, light and wiggly cake that melts in your mouth.
The full title of this recipe is Mile High Guinness Brownies with Guinness Buttercream Frosting, which should be enough to tell you that you are about to have brownies that are far from the ordinary. They are tall and airy (contribution of the beer bubbles), loaded with chocolate and twisted with Guinness. Moreover, they are topped with an incredible Guinness vanilla buttercream frosting and some more dark chocolate shavings!
As you might have noticed, Guinness works best with chocolate in desserts. That is probably due to the fact that the beer flavor does not stand out at all; it rather emphasizes the chocolaty flavor. In addition to the amount added to the pudding itself, the recipe makes use of some more beer thickened into a syrup, mixed with some whipped cream and placed on top of the smooth and creamy chocolate base!
Even though Guinness seems to pair wonderfully with chocolate, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for sweet treats that make use of other ingredients. These fluffed up donuts would be perfect as St. Patrick’s breakfast in bed along with a cup of warm coffee. The best part is the Irish Cream Glaze which adds up some extra decadence.
There is no alcoholic beverage that enriches desserts in the way the smooth and luscious Baileys Irish Cream does. The first creamy liqueur was produced in the 1970s and is well-loved for its traditional flavor, but also for the new flavors that are being introduced on a regular basis like mint chocolate, crème caramel, coffee, hazelnut, biscotti, vanilla-cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.
#5 B52 Mousse
The B52 mouse is inspired by the B52 cocktails and is made with Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Cointreau. The chocolate complements the flavors and colors that combine together to produce this soft, decadent dessert that looks absolutely seductive and tastes delicious. Warning: this mousse contains a ¼ cup of each liqueur, so it might be wise to keep your kids away from it. The good news is there will be more for you!
Just as Guinness makes a great fusion with chocolate, Baileys does it with coffee. Layers of lady fingers soaked in espresso and covered in mascarpone cream cheese compose this incredibly easy treat ; it will take you no more than 20 minutes to throw it together, but patience is required during the time it sits in the fridge (preferably overnight). It is totally worth it though!
The beauty of ice cream is that it can stand as a dessert by itself or serve as an ingredient or a topping in different recipes, like in this affogato, an easy and simple dessert made up of a one or two scoops of ice cream and topped with some espresso or strong hot coffee. You can replace the Baileys liqueur with Baileys coffee creamers. This recipe uses the Mudslide coffee creamer but there are 14 more flavors you can choose from.
These seven-layer cookie bars are a real explosion of flavors but are ridiculously easy to make. The base is made of chocolate cookie crumbs (try Oreo cookies), mixed with some melted butter and followed by chocolate chips, caramels, and chopped hazelnuts. Moreover, there is a topping made of sweetened condensed milk and Baileys Irish Cream which contributes additional caramelly/hazelnutty flavor and chewy texture.
Irish Whiskey Desserts
Irish whiskey is a staple in many of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, but have you considered adding it to desserts? One of the greatest Irish distillates will produce marvelous creations that will fill you up and make you slightly euphoric.
Sounds tempting, right? Puddings must have been created to save leftover quick-breads, whether regular bread, banana bread or, like in this case cinnamon swirl bread. The whiskey-flavored topping brings the flavors of the traditional pumpkin pie spice and the creaminess of the custard, whereas the pecans add crunchiness and a dose of healthiness. Ready in 10 minutes, devoured in seconds!
The simple traditional Irish soda bread is made spectacular with some whiskey-soaked raisins. The scones are a bit hard and crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside, with interchanging flavors of sweetness and mild tanginess. The best part of this delight is the salty whiskey butter that goes on top of each and every scone.
To make these incredibly simple tiny balls you need only five simple ingredients that are thrown together in just a few minutes. Bear in mind that they need to be chilled for at least two hours, but once they are completely chilled they are very quickly formed into balls (especially if you use a cookie scoop). The result is rich and decadent truffles with a whiskey kick at the end. Note: you can roll each truffle in cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, and sprinkles or dip in some melted chocolate!
Put this recipe on your list of must-have desserts for the upcoming summer! And on your list of last minute desserts. And on your list of desserts that save leftover fruits. Sweet, juicy, aromatic peaches and smoky whiskey create a fusion to die for in this extra soft cake covered with caramel syrup that thickens and sticks around the edges. Heaven!
Cider is somewhere between beer and wine in taste and manner of preparation. Like beer, it is low in alcohol, but fermentation makes it closer to wine. The best type of ciders is the Irish Craft Ciders, which are handmade by using Irish grown apples and contain no artificial ingredients or additives.
If you have some forgotten cider in the fridge that is no longer fizzy enough to be drunk, put it to use in these amazing dessert recipes. They all go with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cider versions or a mix of both.
This cake is a basic Bundt cake but made with cider in the base. The cider bubbles, combined with the leavening agents and acidity from the vinegar, make it incredibly fluffy without affecting the dense texture. The simple syrup glaze and the sparkling icing produce a super-soft treat packed with sizzling cider flavors.
Some may argue that pancakes are more breakfast than a dessert, but I beg to differ. Pancakes are an incredibly flexible comfort food which allows you to add any desired ingredient both in the batter as well as on top of the stack. Think chocolate chips, whipped cream, peanut butter, vanilla ice-cream. If this is too much for you, try healthier options like Greek yogurt, pure maple syrup, nuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Rum is another type of booze that pairs perfectly with all sorts of sweet treats. These mini donuts have cider in the batter and rum-based glaze on top. Here is something to reduce the level of guilt just a bit – they are not fried but oven-baked, so feel free to indulge.
There is no other combo like the one made with apples and cinnamon! Cider replaces milk in this recipe and it is doing an amazing job, pairing with the yeast to create a bubbly butter that rises twice as fast as usual. Another ‘experimental’ addition here are the apple slices added to the batter, which come out just a bit softened but still retaining some of their crunchiness. Pour the frosting on top of the warm rolls and watch it drip along the sides!