Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ina Garten's Coconut Cupcakes

Candy table at Lisa's shower. The cupcakes are on the tiered stand. There are a ton more pretzel rods and fortune cookies below the table.
I took the picture after we already packed up the cupcakes. I was too tired to even lift the cupcake cover to take a better picture.

This was for our friend's baby shower. After tea at the Brown Palace, one of the other shower hosts came over and we made cupcakes. First we doubled the recipe and only got 26 cupcakes. We made a third batch. We decorated them with coconut and dragees.

I was so exhausted by Saturday night. I spent most of Friday night prepping and baking. I woke up early on Saturday morning to mix up the four batches of cinnamon rolls. The bf actually made the bacon and eggs to eat with the fresh bread for breakfast. I was so out of it, I shook my bottle of starbucks frap after the bf opened the bottle for me. Half of the contents of the bottle went flying. I am a little out of it. I do things and I forget that it. I think it is the side effects of my chicken pox vaccine. I feel a little sick, my arm (near the injection site) is sore, I itch all over, and my mind is all muddled.

After mixing the dough, we went to pick up a few more items at Target. Then off to tea and back for more baking. My legs were really tired. My feet hurt. I think I cut off the circulation to my feet. They were cold. The bf said that I was moaning the entire night. I asked what kind of moaning. I don't recall moaning. He made the sound for me. It sounded as if I was moaning in pain. Ouch! I do recall grabbing a pillow and sticking it under my feet to elevate them. I used to do this whenever my feet and legs ached.

Coconut Cupcakes
from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
makes 12-16

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
.5 teaspoon baking powder
.25 teaspoon baking soda
.25 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
.75 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
.75 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
.75 teaspoon pure almond extract
.5 cup buttermilk
1 7-ounce package flaked sweetened coconut, divided (I used unsweetened coconut from the bulk bin of The Sunflower Market. I find the flakes are thinner and longer. The sweetened coconut has flatter and shorter flakes that fold over. The unsweetened coconut is drier and looks nicer on the frosting.)
Cream cheese icing (recipe to follow)

Line muffin cups with paper baking cups, and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer speed to low, and add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium high 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat again briefly.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Fold in only 1 1/3 cups of the coconut.

Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup almost full with batter. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 22 to 28 minutes on the center rack, until the cupcake tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

If you bake 2 pans at once, switch them out (put the bottom pan on the top and the top on the bottom) halfway through cooking so they brown evenly.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, and then top them with cream cheese icing. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. If you want to freeze these, store them unfrosted in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. To serve unfrosted cupcakes that have been frozen, allow to thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving, then ice and serve them. Makes about 16 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Icing

2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
.5 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
.5 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
.25 teaspoon pure almond extract
2.5 cups sifted powdered sugar
Remaining coconut

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and almond extract until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in as much of the remaining sugar as needed to reach a comfortable spreading consistency.

Spread each cooled cupcake with the cream cheese icing and then top with the remaining coconut and decorate with dragees.

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