As Sarita absently massages Craig’s neck, her free hand waves at two trays of cupcakes frosted in the beige buttercream. “Cupcakes?”
“Dirty Girl Scout Cupcakes.” At their blank looks, he elaborates. “They’re made with Kahlúa, crème de menthe and Bailey’s.”
Nibbling at the other half of her cake pop, Samantha peeks
into the fridge. “Good lord, Craig.”
Now, first things first: I was a little, um, ambitious when I included this particular dessert in Definitely, Maybe, Yours with that description. Most iterations of these yummy minty cupcakes don’t include all three liqueurs, and I discovered why: how would you do it without all the flavors getting lost in each other?
Well, in the end, you’d manage it by flavoring the cakes with the mint liqueur, stuffing them with Kahlúa buttercream, and frosting them with Bailey’s buttercream. But Angela and I decided when we put our version together that we didn’t really want to go messing around with stuffing cupcakes. So we stripped down and simplified, and the end result is not exactly the way Craig did it in my book. Still pretty delicious, though, especially if you like mint, so I hope you can forgive me.
Dirty Girl Scout Cupcakes
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
2 cups flour, all-purpose
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Crème de Menthe (start with 1 tsp)
Bailey’s Irish Cream (start with 1 tsp)
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Crème de Menthe (start with 1 tsp)
Bailey’s (start with 1 tsp)
4 tablespoons whole milk (or less – adjust to preference)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 180 Celsius).
Using a medium bowl, whisk together your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until it is well blended. If you feel frisky, you can sift it all together, but as I think I have mentioned before, I don’t have a sifter, so just whisk it well. I suppose you could also pass it through a fine-mesh strainer. Honestly, the whisking works just fine though.
In a larger bowl, use an electric mixer set to medium speed to beat your butter until it is creamy. When it’s nice and soft, start adding the sugar into the bowl in a slow stream. Beat butter and sugar until combined and the resulting mix is fluffy and light (remember to scrape the bowl down as you go – no waste!). Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each one, and then start adding your vanilla and your liqueurs.
You should add your liqueurs to taste, but please, please remember that if you add too much, you’ll have to start adding in extra flour to make up for the extra liquid. So be very careful. We used about a teaspoon and a half of the Bailey’s, and, um, this much of the Crème de Menthe.
Start slowly adding the flour mix from your first bowl and now beat at low speed. Get all the flour in and get everything only just combined. Sprinkle in more flour if things look too liquid. When you’re satisfied, beat on medium speed about half a minute more, then fold in the chocolate chips (the real mint enthusiasts will use chopped up Andes bits).
Take your regular size muffin tin and line the cups with cute paper linings. Spoon the cake batter in, don’t fill more than 2/3 full – they will, and I promise you this, rise.
Pop the cakes into the oven. We did them for 20 minutes, but they ended up a very tiny bit dry, so we probably should have gone for 18. Start at 18, and check them. When you poke a toothpick in, it should come out clean.
When the cupcakes are done, let them rest in the tin for a few minutes, then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Do not frost until they are completely cool.
For the frosting, get out yet another bowl and beat your second allotment of butter to the creamy stage, at medium speed. Add in the powdered sugar, a teaspoon or two of each liqueur, and mix it on low speed until it’s all blended well, then start adding your milk a tablespoon at a time until you’ve got the frosting consistency the way you like it (we liked ours fluffy). You can add a bit more liqueur into the mix in lieu of milk, but you do need to have at least a little milk in there.
When your cupcakes are cool, frost them with the buttercream using your preferred method. We thought about piping, but in the end decided spreading it on worked well enough for us.
We ended up with thirty cupcakes, and just enough buttercream to cover them all with a respectable layer of minty goodness.
Definitely, Maybe, Yours by Lissa Reed debuts on August 11th, 2015, and is available for pre-order from Interlude Press.