A Little Saint Patrick’s Day Fun!

The festive holiday, known for the coloring everything Green – from local beer to the Chicago River, is just around the corner. To get you in the Irish spirit, here are some fun facts about Saint Patrick’s Day that you might not be aware of, plus a yummy recipe for chocolate stout cupcakes to help you celebrate!
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  • While Saint Patrick’s Day commemorates the death of Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was actually British, born to a wealthy Christian family. It wasn’t until he was kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16 that he began the journey that he is now famously remembered for – bringing Christianity to Ireland and converting the Pagan Irish to Christians.

 

  • The iconic shamrock associated with Saint Patrick’s Day was reportedly used by Saint Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity to his Pagan converts. The three leaves of the shamrock represented the three aspects of the Trinity.

 

  • Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival.

 

  • The first U.S. Saint Patrick’s Day celebration was held in Boston in 1737.

 

  • The city of Chicago has been coloring the Chicago River green since 1962 – it takes 40 tons of dye to get the river to its desired festive shade.
Now that you have some fun facts to share at your Saint Patrick’s Day festivities, why not be the life of the party and bring some delicious cupcakes as well! These Guinness-inspired treats are the perfect addition to any Irish themed gathering:

 

Chocolate Stout Cupcake Recipe
Courtesy of Dave Lieberman – The Food Network

You Will Need:

  • 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Pinch of Fine Salt
  • 1 Bottle Stout Beer (Guinness Brand Recommended)
  • 1 Stick Butter – Melted
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 8oz Package of Cream Cheese – Softened at Room Temp
  • 3/4 – 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 (One lb.) Box of Confectioner’s Sugar

To Make The Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
  4. Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between the muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12-13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft. Cool before turning out.
  5. To make the icing: In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioner’s sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.
  6. Top each cupcake with frosting and dust with cocoa powder. Enjoy!

 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!