Monday, February 28, 2011

{Recipe} Coconut Cupcakes

Coconut cupcakes topped + toasted shredded coconuts = YUMMY! I made these cupcakes for my Mother-in-law just about a month ago. It was kind of hard coming up with a flavor she would like. All she said was "surprise me". Then I remembered that she liked coconuts and she would make coconut pies a lot. Then the light bulb came on and I created  a coconut cupcake recipe and got busy. She LOVED them. I really loved the toasted coconut topping. It really can be enjoyed by itself as a tasty snack :-)

Go ahead and give them a try and tell me what you think.


2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk or coconut milk (depending on how much coconut flavor you want)

For the frosting:

1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3  to 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Coconut Topping: 

1 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread coconut flakes in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, 5 to 7 minutes; set aside to cool. 
Reduce oven temp to 325 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 - 8 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and coconut extracts and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 22 - 28 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day Heart Blondies

Blondies.....One word - Yummy! In case you have never heard of them, these brown sugar sweets are the "blonde" version of the chocolate brownie. Therefore, you get "blondie". I have always loved these and for the longest time, I would never make them. I would always have my friend's mom make some or buy some when ever I could find them. You can't just go to the store or bakery here and plan on buying blondies. It will most certainly be a time when you just come across them and your eyes get big wanting to buy them all!

These blondies are SO easy to make and are DELISH! There are so many possibilities for different variations as well. I have made them with pecans in the batter, chocolate chips, and I have even seen some made with shredded coconut baked in them. I wanted to make something heart shaped a few days ago and thought why not make some blondies?! So here is my version of the recipe. I hope you enjoy!

2 Cups Unbleached All-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 whole eggs (room temp)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. (325 if using a dark non-stick pan)

Sift Flour. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat until melted. Let cool for about 4-5 min. Crack eggs into a bowl and beat with whisk until blended well. Combine butter, vanilla and eggs, stirring with a wire whisk. Pour butter mixture over flour mixture; stir just until moistened.

Spoon batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray; smooth top with spatula. (I use my nonstick cookie sheet - I like the thinness and amount of blondies I can get out of this size);  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 48 squares.

Top with some vanilla or butter pecan ice cream for an extra special treat!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

{Freebie} Superbowl Team Printable Tags

Are you guys ready for the Superbowl? Greenbay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. It is going down this Sunday! I want to have a get together here at our home, but not quite sure if that is going to happen. If it does, it will be VERY last minute. I have to work all this week (my full-time job) and on Saturday all my co-workers including myself have to go away all day long for DSS training. Wahoo! So much fun *in my most sarcastic voice*

I did want to create a free printable for you to use during your parties. There is one for the Steelers and one for the Packers. I hope you all have loads of fun and find lots of creative ways on using them!


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