For the past couple of years, I’ve done this thing at work where I try to make special cupcakes for everyone on my team’s birthday. They pick a flavor off of my menu and get a half-dozen to take home, and the rest of the batch is for everyone to enjoy. This was really easy when I was on a six-person team, slightly more difficult when we kept adding on new people and eventually got into the double digits – and on top of that, they ALL have summer birthdays. Seriously. I think there’s maybe one November, but June, July, and August are teeming with coworker birthdays.
This shouldn’t really matter since I switched projects in April and am again on a much smaller team, but none of the people on my new team like sweets. Besides, after three-plus years on the old team, I kinda still liked them, so I try to keep up.
Try is the operative word. I’m currently between two and three months behind. Whoops.
These, for example, were for a June birthday. And this coworker does not order from my menu. I’m not even sure she looks at it. She gives me a list of flavors that she likes and my job is to make magic happen. If I were a bad friend, I’d pick two flavors that don’t remotely go together. But I’m not a bad friend, and she is an excellent friend who deserves magic cupcakes (maybe even more than once a year), so she gets Bailey’s and chocolate instead of peanut butter and orange. And she also gets the added bonus of feeling like she’s having a drink at work – Lord knows we all need that sometimes.
These are now on the menu for good – they’re such a fun departure from a standard cupcake. Dense, rich, and creamy, one at a time is all you’ll need, but you’ll definitely be back for more. And you’ll be sending silent thank yous to my coworker for inspiring a new addition to the repertoire for the second year in a row.
- 1½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I used chocolate animal crackers; Oreos or chocolate graham crackers work well, too)
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1½ lbs cream cheese (three 8 ounce packages), room temperature
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream or other Irish Cream liqueur
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 18 cupcake wells with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter with the cookie crumbs. Divide crumbs between cupcake tins. Use the bottom of a glass to press down firmly (each liner should have ¼-1/2 inch crust).
- Bake for ten minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about two minutes.
- Beat in eggs one at a time until each is incorporated.
- On low speed, beat in the sour cream and Bailey’s until incorporated.
- Remove about one cup of the batter and set aside.
- Sift cocoa powder into the large bowl and beat on low speed until incorporated.
- Fill liners about ⅔ full of the chocolate batter. Dollop a bit of the white batter onto each cupcake and use a toothpick to create a marble effect.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until tops are set. Cool completely in pans, then refrigerate. Serve chilled, garnished with espresso beans or chocolate shavings.
Source: Adapted from AllRecipes