Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ashley's Monthly Bake Sale - January

My monthly bake sales have become something I really look forward to. I've been fortunate to find some recipes that have been real homeruns. January's recipe is one of those. I adore Ina Garten, & I had previously used her Outrageous Brownie recipe for one of my bake sales. I had remembered watching an episode of Barefoot Contessa where she made coconut cupcakes that were gorgeous. Now let me tell you right off the bat that I hate coconut...I hate the flavor & I hate the texture. Buuuut the girls at work all said that they love the stuff, so I wanted to make a coconut cupcake for them & went right away to Ina's recipe. In true Ina fashion, it did not disappoint. I love, love, love these cupcakes! Me, little Miss "I hate coconut," thought they were sooooo good! All my girls loved them too. They don't look nearly as beautiful as Ina's did, but the taste completely makes up for it.

Ina Garten's Coconut Cupcakes

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, 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 flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
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 5 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 almond 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. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner 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.
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 and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.
Makes about 2 dozen.

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