Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Coconut Cupcakes

It has been ages since I wrote on this blog, mainly because I have not been working for 2 weeks. Now, though, I just found out I start my new job this Monday so I decided to get busy in the kitchen and enjoy the time off.

Josh's office has been craving sweets and I was craving cupcakes so I decided to try a recipe I have wanted to test for a long time. Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame, makes amazing food and I love everything that she creates. Her coconut cupcakes were no exception. I scored rave reviews with these, even though I will admit to using storebought frosting in a pinch. I topped the cupcakes with Duncan Hines white fluffy frosting and then sprinkled them with toasted coconut. They were sweet and moist and fantastic. Try them out...

Ina's Coconut Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Line 16 muffin cups with paper baking cups, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and set oven racks at top and lower middle levels.
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 1 minute after each.
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 the coconut.
Fill each muffin cup almost full with batter. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 11 to 14 minutes on the top and lower-middle racks of oven, then reverse the positions of the two cupcake pans (putting the one from the top on the lower middle rack and vice versa), and bake another 11 to 14 minutes or until the cupcake tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.


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