Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend Cooking.. "Irish Potato" Cupcakes

It is St. Patrick's day as I write this, the feast day of the patron Saint of Ireland.
And I am having a wee problem.
Which will become apparent as the post continues.

I made some vegetable soup and got some Irish Brown Bread that I made before out of the freezer.
I decided to experiment and make corned beef in the slow cooker.
I am on a slow cooker kick...what can I say.
I looked for recipes and they were all over the map.
So I decided to just go for it.

Put some roughly chopped onions and carrots and rutabaga and red potatoes in the slow cooker.
Added about 1 cup of beer.
Placed the corned beef on top of the veg.
Cooked on high for one hour, then reduced to low for another 6 hours.

The corned beef was delicious, fork tender.
The rutabaga and carrots held up well, the potatoes were a bit over cooked. Next time I would steam them with the cabbage.
The onions pretty much disappeared into the liquid, which was extremely flavorful.

I had, as tradition holds, cabbage with it, but I did not cook that in the slow cooker as I mentioned.
I cut it into about 1 inch pieces and steamed it for about 10  minutes and then finished it in a saute pan with a knob of butter.
The Irish love knobs of butter.

But the problem I referred to.
The only beer I had on hand for the cup I put in with the corned beef was a 750 ml bottle of Belgian Ale. About 8/10th of a quart.
Once I opened it, I had to finish it.
I could not waste it.
For me that is a lot of beer
I need a nap now.

I will leave you with dessert. A recipe for an "Irish Potato" Cupcake.
As you may know, an Irish Potato is a round coconut candy, covered with cinnamon to look like a potato.
This is a coconut cupcake...also topped with cinnamon and does not look quite like a potato, but I thought it was pretty good.
{update..I took a tray of them to work and my co-workers seemed to like them a good deal as well. But then, they will eat  just about anything}

Coconut Cupcakes
(adapted from cake2cake)

1 box white Duncan Hines cake mix
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 TBS. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup sour cream
                                                                                       4 large egg whites
                                                                                       2 ½ cups finely chopped sweetened coconut

Whisk together all dry ingredients. 
Process coconut in food processor to make more fine.  In another bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients and then add to the dry. Beat with mixer for 2 minutes.

Fill cupcakes pans until ½ filled (you only want cupcake to just come to top of the paper when baked) and bake 17-20 minutes at 325 degrees, until tester come out clean.

Top with  Dickinson Coconut Cream Curd   with a small icing spatula and dust with cinnamon.

Ok, the problem was, I could not find the coconut cream locally. It was too late to look further, or order online, and I was feeling pretty lazy at this point, so I bought a can of Cream Cheese Icing. {{shame}} But it tasted pretty bland, so I whipped in 8 oz. of additional cream cheese and then I was happy with it. Dust with cinnamon and they were quite nice.
But the ones at cake2cake were way cuter. 

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Too funny! You need a nap now! I love that.
    Will you stop already talking about slow cookers? If I read one more post about slow cookers I will have to buy one....!

  2. Love the beer story, but I wouldn't let that nice Duvel go to waste!

    I haven't heard of an Irish Potato candy. But I'm intrigued. And now I want to bake cupcakes and to try that coconut cream (a new ingredient for me).

    Oh, and yes, potatoes can easily overcook in the slow cooker. Sometimes I cook them almost through and then put them in the cooker for the last hour to absorb the gravy.

  3. I never heard of Irish Potato candy either. You always manage to educate me, wee Caite! Dickinson's makes a lemon curd and I know Publix carries it but have never seen a coconut curd here. Hey, wadda ya expect from Podunk?
    Those look yummy - I like the idea of cinnamon dusted onto cream cheese. Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Never heard of the Irish Potato Candy. Never saw Coconut Curd, but will definitely have to look! The cupcakes look amazing and so does your dinner! LOL about the beer!

  5. no one has heard of the Irish Potato candy!!??

    well, when I looked into it, I found it is a Philadelphia invention, so that might explain it. Here is a link to a recipe...

  6. My husband would just think he had gone to heaven with this meal, including the Irish potato candy (which neither of us had heard of either!) Those Philadelphia people have all kinds of interesting food!

  7. I'm with you on the beer - it doesn't take much to put me to sleep these days. Your cupcakes are lovely but I'm not a fan of coconut. :/

  8. I'm another one who never heard of the Irish Potato candy :)
    I am a big coconut fan, but I have never used coconut cream in a recipe...must try that soon.

  9. This was such fun to read! Irish potato candy is a new one for me, too.

  10. I like the cupcakes using a cake mix - neat.

    I have to tell you that I tried the crock pot for my corned beef dinner too. I sliced the onions and put them on top of the beef and they managed to survive in tact. I also thought my potatoes were too soft. I decided to try the cabbage on top of the corned beef the last hour of cooking. I didn't like it. The cabbage was soggy and over cooked. Next time I'll steam it and the potatoes separately as you suggested. BTW - we Germans love our bits of butter too.

  11. Your dinner looks fantastic. Fun post to read.

  12. I've been using my crock pot for years. LOVE it!

    If I decide to make these, I'll use the coconut for my husbands, and the cream cheese for mine.

    You can visit my Weekend Cooking HERE

  13. What a fab meal! I haven't heard of Irish Potato Candy either, but it looks great.

    We are just starting to get into slow cooker weather here. I haven't cooked it in the slow cooker before, but my son does love it when I cook it in the stove. I never do the vegies in with the meat. I always cook them separately.

  14. Your cupcake is way cute! Love the wee shamrock on it. It sounds good too.

    Thank you for stopping by my place and leaving your comment. Great to come by and visit with you!

    Kindly, Lorraine

  15. I didn't know that "Irish potato" was a candy :) What a coincidence, I also made coconut muffins (but mine had banana chucked in). I wonder, what is the purpose of the sour cream? And why so many egg whites and no complete eggs? Is it to make the texture lighter?

  16. Yummy!! One of my favorite meals is corned beef, cabbage and potatoes and I too am a lover of my crock pot slow cooking. I hope it is okay, but I reference your review in my review of Jodi Picoult's new book. I'll post it in a few days.

  17. Absolutely a delightful post to read. 750 ml of ale? I've never seen it. No wonder you got sleepy. :<)

  18. I love a nob of butter as well and I'm not even Irish. Of course you had to finish the beer-what else does a good cook do. The cupcakes look adorable especially with the mini-shamrock.

  19. I missed these recipes this weekend but we did enjoy a great corned beef and cabbage dinner out of the 17th.

    thanks for the recipes.

  20. GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE. that is literally how it went. one minute they were in the fridge. the next minute they were in my belly!


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