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About Me

Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

coconut cupcakes (from Ina Garten's 'The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook')

MAKES 18 TO 20 LARGE CUPCAKES

"When someone stops me on the street and says, "You know what I love in your store?" I know the answer is probably going to be these cupcakes. People are devoted to them. I'm not sure if it's the cupcake or the icing, but the combination is positively heavenly.

3/4 POUND unsalted butter at room temperature
2 CUPS sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 TEASPOONS pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 TEASPOONS pure almond extract
3 CUPS all-purpose flour
1 TEASPOON baking powder
1/2 TEASPOON baking soda
1/2 TEASPOON salt
1 CUP buttermilk
14 OUNCES sweetened, shredded coconut Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attach­ment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 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. Frost with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

TIP:
It is very important that the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature and that the confectioners' sugm' is sifted to ensure no lumps in the icing,
cream cheese icing
FOR 18 TO 20 LARGE CUPCAKES

1 POUND cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 POUND unsalted butter at room temperature
1 TEASPOON pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 TEASPOON pure almond extract
1 1/2 POUNDS confectioners' sugar, sifted

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

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