Monday, August 18, 2014

Let's Bake: Coconut Cupcakes!

Why hello there!  Once again it's been months and months between posts.  That's about to change though.  I'm making the move for baking to be more in the spotlight. :)

I've decided to bake my way through the Martha Stewart Cupcake Book.  I've tried a number of them already but I usually just make my favorites.  So I'm designating my future Sundays to baking.  (mostly because that way I can bring them in to the office for some free taste-testing subjects)
I love baking and my favorite pastime is listening to old records while I bake.  I usually listen to my old REM records but Sunday it was the 27th anniversary of New Order's Substance being released.  So that was the soundtrack... I can't believe I've been singing along to these songs for 27 years! But let's not dwell on being old! haha :)

the obligatory Instagram photo
So the first flavor for my new endeavor was the Coconut Cupcakes.  I can't believe I've never tried this one before considering my love of coconut.  While I stuck to the cupcake recipe I did do different frosting.   

And we're off!

my new Le Creuset mixing bowl -
it was a bit of a splurge but it is my birthday month 

So, I have to admit that I made this recipe twice.  The first time, I had taken out 2 sticks of butter to let get to room temperature and once it was ready I threw both sticks into the bowl and never looked back.

Until of course, these babies weren't cooking properly!  At first I thought it was our stupid convection oven.  (Side Note: I hate this oven!  but I'll save that rant for another time! lol)  They were taking for ever to cook and they weren't rising either.  Finally they were done and they just looked wrong as they were cooling.  I took a bite and they were so buttery.  That's when I remembered that I never measured the butter again. ARG!  I was bringing these into work and this batch just wasn't going to cut it. (I have a reputation to uphold after all!)

So around 11pm Sunday night I started over.  And oh was it so worth it!

the 2nd batch baking up just like they should

I even tried my hand at toasting coconut for the first time.  

toasted coconut for garnish 

cooling coconut cupcakes

So by the time the 2nd batch was done and cooled it was after 1am.  I debated about just making the frosting and being done with it.  But I really do think that they taste better when you make the frosting closer to when you're going to serve them.  So I covered them up and set the alarm for 5.30am.

And boy did that alarm come early!  Funny though how it's so easy to get up that early when it's something you want to do.  So I sleepily got the butter out of the fridge so it could warm up and sat down on the sofa... Luckily my BFF is on East Coast time and so I got to text back and forth with her to start my day.  And she sent me the cutest video of her and her two youngest asking for cupcakes!  It was the perfect way to wake up:)

For the frosting I just made a simple Butter Cream and substituted Almond extract for vanilla.  Next time I try these, I'm going to try adding some coconut extract instead.  The almond was good but just a tad overpowering I think.

And Voila!

Coconut Cupcake with Almond Butter Cream
with Toasted Coconut for garnish

I packed 'em up and headed into work... I got thumbs up all around and our Stage Manager took the last one so he could bring it home to his wife :)  I love it when everyone enjoys the homemade baked sunshine! Such a good feeling :)

I've got 174 more cupcakes to go!  In the words of Barney Stinson - Challenge accepted!

Till we bake again!!