Monday, April 21, 2014

coconut nest cupcakes

I had intended to post this before Easter, but that did not happen. I am behind on most everything in my personal life. I have decided that this is going to be the year of "don't care". I will still give my best effort, but if something goes off course... "don't care". After the year wraps up, I will assess if this was a better method or if I should go back to my usual ways.

Tonight, my new "don't care" method worked like a gem when two different insane drivers were freaking out on me. I swear there is something going down with this blood moon business. The crazy driver tonight looked like he was having a stroke while providing me the one finger salute. The weather is warmer, so all his windows were open for full effect. Thankfully my two boys were fighting with each other in the backseat and had no clue what was going down to the right of our vehicle. I just waved at him in a friendly manner... don't care.

My favorite coworker is moving to Florida next month. I am in total denial that this is happening. She loves coconut, as do I. So I will bake coconut things to make our final days sweeter and keep myself in a sugar coma. No worries, I am still attempting to train for a 5K (way behind schedule).

I stumbled upon this recipe on pinterest from Browneyedbaker (adapted from Martha Stewart). You can visit that site or read the recipe below. The recipe seems like a lot of steps, but it is pretty easy. Heavenly coconut cupcakes. This would be cute for a baby shower too. If I made these again, I would double the recipe.

Coconut Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Frosting (yields 12 cupcakes)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg (room temp)
1 egg white (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (well-stirred)

Coconut Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract

1 cup toasted coconut
Assorted chocolate eggs or whopper eggs (I used Cadbury Mini eggs)

Preheat oven to 350. 12 paper liners of your choice.

I chopped up the coconut on the cutting board. But if you are fancy and have a food processor, toss it in there (much faster). You want finely ground coconut.

Whisk together, flour, coconut, baking powder and salt.

In my Grandma's Kitchen Aid Mixer, I tossed the butter and sugar till well creamed. Add the eggs and vanilla. Drop the speed to low then alternate the flour mixture and the coconut milk until well combined.

Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners. Bake 18-20 minutes (I was more on the 20 minute range). Remove and let cool in muffin tin for 10 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool completely.

Time to make the frosting! Whisk attachment on the Mixer. Whip the butter for 5 minutes, drop speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar. Once everything is well combined add the 2 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of coconut extract (I found mine at SuperTarget).

Time to toast the coconut topping. I just tossed one cup of sweetened coconut in a small frying pan and toasted it about 5-7 minutes on medium, stirring constantly. It smells so good, like heaven. While the freshly toasted coconut is cooling in a shallow plate, frost the 12 cupcakes. You want to create a "well" on the inside of the frosting, so build the frosting walls high. Frost all the cupcakes, make sure they are equal. Then roll the sides of the frosting in the toasted coconut. Toss in some eggs/jelly beans/whoppers and you are done.

Stores well in an airtight container for a few days (if you can wait that long to eat them all)!

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