Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm Back...With Cupcakes!

     I know, I know...pick yourself up off your chair.  It's been a while.  Over a year.  Is it strange that I enjoy reading other people's blogs, but feel like it's silly to write about our life because no one will think it's worth reading?  Anyway, I've found myself on a little "kick" lately.  About 6 months ago, I was eating at a local restaurant that had a TV and there was a show on that had me, and my family, entranced.  It was "Cupcake Wars".  We sat there for an hour and watched the whole show.  It's on the Food Network, and unfortunately, we don't have that channel at our house.  So, I was on the search to find those episodes.  I found the episodes on YouTube and was so excited to see most of the first 5 seasons.  So, I made a little plan with myself...I only watch the show when I'm on my treadmill.  Each show is 42 minutes long and it's just the right amount of time for a decent workout.  I'm able to walk about 2.25-2.5 miles each episode.  I look forward to it every night! 
     Naturally, it's also inspired me to make some cupcakes.  I came across a cupcake cookbook a few weeks ago while at Barnes & Noble.  It's written by the gals that are on another Food Network show called DC Cupcakes.  I found a few of those episodes on YouTube as well.  Anyway, I've been baking ever since!

     So, I've decided to make all the cupcakes in this book and give you a little review of how it goes.

I got all the ingredients together.  The eggs, butter, and milk were at room temperature...  I used homemade Madagascar vanilla.  I sifted the flour and added it to the creamed butter and sugar.  It looked great.

Then, I gently folded in the coconuts. 

I immedately noticed that there was quite a bit of batter.  The recipe said that it made 12 standard cupcakes.  I planned to make 2 batches for a couple of events that were coming up...  As I began to fill the cups, I knew that there was going to be way more than 12.  I was able to make 21 cupcakes.  I filled them 2/3 full and put them in the oven. 
My oven has a bake setting as well as a convection bake setting.  I had put it on bake because sometimes the fan that spins during the convection setting can make baked goods cook faster on one side.  The recipe said 18 minutes, but I ended up leaving these in the oven for 25 minutes!  I checked them at 18 and they were still  liquid.  I put them in 2 more minutes at a time and pulled them out when they were perfect.  They looked great.  I had the ingredients for another batch so I went ahead and put those in the oven.  I switched it to convection oven and these were done in about 20 minutes.  They all looked awesome! 

I made the cream cheese frosting and then got to work on the fun part.  After I frosted each one, I covered it in sweetened coconut.  I think they turned out beautiful. 

Here's what they look like in the book... 
The Peanut Gallery's Review:  Several members of my family are not big fans of coconut.  I knew this and made a few of the cupcakes without the coconut on top...just cream cheese frosting. 
The cakes were wonderful.  There was a slight coconut flavor, but not overpowering.  They were wonderfully moist.  The frosting was wonderful.  I put a little extra on some of them, and was a little light on the others so the family could choose what they like.  Roger liked them with the light amount of frosting.  Zack liked them with the heavier amount of frosting.  I liked them all!  Yum!

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