Guinness Cupcakes

Photo by LG Patterson

The Irish love cupcakes because, well, everyone loves cupcakes. This stout beer adds a rich, smooth flavor for this chocolate dessert. The dark, stout Guinness adds a rich texture when combined with the dark cocoa, making it a smooth, rich dessert cupcake that makes my taste buds sing an Irish drinking song. And you can only purchase Guinness Extra Stout in six bottle packs, so you have five bottles left after this recipe that you must drink while you bake — obviously. And look how cute the bottle cap looks on top as a garnish.

The best part of this cupcake? It’s deceptively easy, with the rich chocolate flavors smoothly cooled by the vanilla bean buttercream icing. Yes, it is rich, but this is the type of cupcake that you would bake on a day when calories don’t count. And if you don’t like a strong chocolate flavor, I wouldn’t recommend it as a recipe for a very vanilla person; the chocolate is almost overwhelmingly rich. But for your Oktoberfest celebrations, I give you the perfect Irish compliment for a very German holiday.

Guinness Cupcakes

  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing

  • 1 stick salted butter – room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 tablespoons very cold milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 24 liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Beat in eggs gradually, adding one at a time. Mix in the sour cream gently. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Guinness mixture. Fill tins 2/3 full, and bake for 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle but still soft and springy to the touch. Cool 10 minutes before removing from tins. For the icing, cream the butter and shortening in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mix thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been well combined, begin adding the very, very cold milk one tablespoon at a time. Combine well after each addition until you reach your desired consistency.

[Originally posted here]


Beer cornbread

To liven up a Southern buffet, sneak in this cornbread with a little something extra. For the beer, we suggest the Rye Pale Ale from Broadway Brewery. Or if you can’t make it downtown, half a bottle of any pale ale you have will do. A word of caution, however: this cornbread does not keep very well or for very long, so make sure you put it in a tupperware or airtight container after it cools if you’re attempting to keep it for even a couple of hours. The air reacts to some of the ingredients in a way that it becomes very hard very quickly. But otherwise, it’s a delicious cornbread that would pair very well with a Southern cup of chili or a homestyle soup. The beer is a very light touch and hardly noticeable, but a fun addition in flavor.


Beer cornbread

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup Rye Pale Ale beer
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 cake pan. Combine dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the milk, eggs and beer. With a spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Be careful not to over mix. Pour the batter into prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares or triangles.

[Originally posted here]

Georgia peach muffins

Well, if you don’t know by now that I’m a Mizzou fan, I really don’t know what you’ve been reading all this time. The boyfriend and I attended a marvelous tailgate for the first game of the season, which was Mizzou versus Southeastern Louisiana State. I was under the impression that this was a burgers, brats, chips and Bud Light kind of tailgate, but as soon as I arrived I was handed a delicious Hurricane cocktail and escorted to crab dip and shrimp fry being prepared in the parking lot. My brownies seemed very inadequate in comparison.

So, for the Mizzou versus Georgia game last weekend, I had to break out the big baking guns. The night before, the boyfriend and I peeled, pitted and sliced 7 large peaches for two peach recipes for the next day, but the peach muffin recipe is a keeper. Based on a recipe from, I give you the greatest peach muffin recipe ever.

Georgia Peach Muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 16 muffin cups, or place 16 cupcake liners. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, eggs, and sugar. Stir the oil mixture into the flour mixture just until moist. Fold in the peaches. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle cinnamon and chopped pecans over top of batter. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Note: I also made a quick vanilla glaze to drizzle over the top of the muffins when still warm. With the glaze, it made it more of a dessert and less of a muffin, if that is your desired effect with this muffins.

Apple Cupcakes


Photo by LG Patterson

For a lighter, gentler cupcake, ditch the heavy frosting and cream cheese and indulge with this sweet and satisfying apple cupcake.

The boyfriend loves this recipe, and it’s the type of cupcake that you can eat and not feel guilty about afterwards. It’s a light, airy, springy cupcake that is easily eaten but still has a strong apple flavor. I attempted grating the apples, but it just didn’t work as I had planned. So roll up your sleeves and peel, core, slice and dice three Granny Smith apples for a cupcake worth the wait and prep time.

Talk about apples to apples for Inside Columbia magazine’s September issue.

Apple Cupcakes

Yield 1 dozen

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 9 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • Optional: ½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave for one minute. Allow to cool slightly while you peel and coarsely grate apples. When melted, add the flour and sugar into the bowl. Blend together the eggs, vanilla and milk with a fork before adding to the bowl. Using a wire whisk, lightly whisk everything together until barely combined. Add in the diced apple and gently combine. Fill the tins ¾ full. Bake for 12 minutes, or until firm but springy to the touch. Sprinkled powered sugar over top when warm for a sweeter treat.

[Originally posted here]

Baked bruschetta

Photo by L.G. Patterson

Well, in case you haven’t heard, I accepted a job offer from Inside Columbia magazine as their editorial assistant in July. I had been working there as an editorial intern for a little over two months, and the at-the-time editorial assistant was moving to New Orleans to be with her boyfriend and start a Southern adventure. Thankfully for me, Inside Columbia is a lifestyle publication that focuses on food and wine — and when I pitched back to school recipes on my first day of work as an intern for the August issue, I wasn’t quite aware that I was starting a new section: Recipes, in our back of book department.

But, to get to the point: I’m baking and getting paid to do it now. This is the first of three recipes included in the August issue, baked bruschetta. It’s a salty, savory appetizer that can be made the night before and is both easy and delicious.

Baked Bruschetta
Serves 4 to 5 people

For the kid at heart, try a sophisticated but oh-so-simple bruschetta recipe to tide you over until dinnertime. Want to make it the night before? Mix up the spread and refrigerate it overnight in an airtight container.

1 loaf Italian or French bread
½ cup Italian salad dressing
1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tomato (seeded and chopped)
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon black pepper
Optional: additional mozzarella cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bread into thin slices. Combine rest of ingredients in a bowl, mixing gently but completely. Spread mixture over slices of bread on a foil-lined cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle an additional ½ cup shredded mozzarella over all slices. Bake slices for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts. Serve fresh from the oven.

[Originally posted here]

Marathon Cookies

Photo by L.G. Patterson

The first time I made marathon cookies was when my good friend Derek had just finished the St. Jude’s Marathon in Memphis. He was completed exhausted, of course, but wanted me to bake him something. I was happy to oblige since he ran for such a good cause (St. Jude’s is one of my family’s favorite charities), but I didn’t quite know what to do. I wanted a sweet, crunchy but still protein-rich cookie to help him recover with a smile. Thus, marathon cookies were born.

I think you’ll enjoy these easy, after-school cookies as much as Derek did. Maybe even more.


Marathon Cookies
Yields about 3 dozen large cookies

The chocolate and walnut combination in these delicious cookies will satisfy any crunchy craving.

2½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup margarine
½ cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Cream together margarine and butter in a large bowl, and then add sugars. Blend well; beat in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to mixture. Slowly add chocolate chips and walnuts. Form into 1-inch balls (about a tablespoon of dough), evenly spaced on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly for 2 minutes, then cool completely on a cookie rack.

Walnuts pack a punch in these snacks — high in protein, minerals, vitamin e, antioxidants and omega-3s.

[Originally posted here]

Jiffy Cake

Dennis Strohl’s name is written in my great-grandfather’s handwriting on this cake’s recipe card, and we’ve made this cake every Spring that I can remember. The cake is a perfect, light treat, and takes only a jiffy to make as my great grandma Frink would stay. Yesterday, I had about half an hour between shopping with my mother and dinner with my Father, and I took to the challenge of really making this cake fast. I’m happy to report I have ten minutes to spare, just enough time to do the accompanying two quarts of strawberries.

I promise, you’re going to love it. And don’t mind the picture, I happened to make a pecan pie for Easter as well and will post that recipe next week. And if you love the bowl, it’s my mom’s new scarlet Fiestaware dishes that I’m sort-of obsessed with.




Jiffy Cake

  • 2 cups cake or regular flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cut softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Sift dry ingredients; I do this by stirring rapidly with a fork for about a minute. Place in a bowl. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Beat vigorously for two minutes (about 300 strokes). Bake in a 11 x 7 x 1 1/2″ greased pan. Bake for 35 minutes in a moderate oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit.


  • 2 quarts of strawberries-ish, according to my mom
  • 3/4 cup of sugar

Wash and cut off the stem of the strawberries. Place in a bowl and add 3/4 cup of sugar gradually. Stir in the sugar, and the mash the strawberries with a potato masher. Keep refrigerated, and we serve with a dollop of cool whip.