Another successful St. Patrick’s Day

Being Irish, my family is very big on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. We celebrate every year by having family and friends over for corned beef, potatoes and cabbage. The bar is all set up serving green margaritas and shots of Irish whiskey. Everyone brings a dish with them to share. It’s always a really great time with plenty of delicious food. I try to cook up something each year to accompany the corned beef. This year I was set on doing dessert and although I was really tight on time, I was able to finish everything just in time to enjoy the food and friends.

This year I decided to do my traditional cheesecake with a St. Paddy’s Day twist and I found a recipe for chocolate mint cupcakes. And if you know me at all, you know I love mint! These cupcakes looked so good and so I had to make them. The recipe is pretty long and so I’ll share the link with all of you to check out and get the recipe from.

I found the recipe on another blog called Annie’s Eats.

I would have liked a little more time to work on these so I could make them look better, but I was pretty much frosting them as people began to arrive. They involve making a moist, delicious chocolate cupcake. Then you fill the cupcakes with a chocolate filling which I found to be really smooth and not too sweet. I did not add creme de menthe to the filling. I left the minty part to the frosting, which I also colored green. The frosting was nice and buttery. I added this recipe to my recipe binder to make again in the future.

The cheesecake recipe is one I have had for a long time. When I started baking on my own, a patient who goes to the medical office my mother works at gave her this recipe and my mother brought it home to me. I’ve used it ever since for plain cheesecake. It’s so simple and so good. Sometimes I will add some lemon zest and lemon juice, but for the party, I kept it original.

For the graham cracker crust:

1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs

1/4 c sugar

1/3 c butter, melted

For the cheesecake filling:

12 oz cream cheese, softened

8 oz sour cream

3/4 c sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. For the graham crackers, I got out the meat mallet and a strong ziploc bag. Make sure you get some fine crumbs before starting your crust.

In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix well. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of an ungreased pie pan or springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before adding cheesecake mixture. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined. To make this cheesecake more festive, I took a little bit of the cheesecake batter and put it in a separate bowl to color. Add a few drops of green food coloring and mix well.

Pour the uncolored mixture over the cooled graham cracker crust. In spoonfuls, drop the green cheesecake mixture in different places into the plain cheesecake batter. Using a knife, swirl the green batter into the rest of the batter. This will give it a nice swirl effect when the cheesecake bakes.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. When the center of the cheesecake just slightly jiggles, the cheesecake is done. If the cheesecake begins to crack, you’ve overcooked it. I would suggest making this the day before you plan to serve it. That way it can sit in the refrigerator overnight and the cheesecake can come together as it chills.

Both desserts disappeared fast and the corned beef was awesome as always. I’ll have to post the corned beef recipe sometime. It is not something that should be passed up! Enjoy and Happy (late) St. Patrick’s Day!

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