(makes 12 cupcakes; per the original recipe, do not double…make two separate batches if you need more)
•8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
•2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt 70% cacao)
•1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa
•3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•3/4 teaspoon baking powder
•2 large eggs
•3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) sugar
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/2 teaspoon table salt
•1/2 cup (4 oz) sour cream
(makes 2 cups)
•8 ounces cream cheese, cold
•5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
•2 teaspoons vanilla
•2 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (measure, then sift into bowl)
•2.5 tsp Bailey’s Irish Cream, to taste
1.Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.
2.Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.
3.Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine
4.Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined; then sift in remaining flour mixture and whisk batter until it is homogenous and thick.
5.Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
6.Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.
7.Have the cream cheese cold and the butter at room temperature. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until blended. Add sugar one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency. If frosting is too stiff, beat for few seconds longer. Do not overbeat. If desired, stir in additional flavoring to taste.
8.To finish, use a piping bag to frost cupcakes. Garnish each with a candy shamrock.
Tips: While the simple green fondant shamrocks of Sprinkles are super cute (below), I couldn’t find any and certainly didn’t want to make my own on a weeknight. So, I picked up Wilton Candy Shamrocks at Michael’s (on a 40% off sale, of course!) for just over $1.