Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Coconut Cupcakes

Happy New Year. I had a few friends over last night to ring in the new year in style, I made us some snacks, there was roasted red pepper and olive hummus, with veggies; guacamole and tortilla chips; Lemonade to drink, we had some sparkling grape juice at midnight; lemon cherry cheesecake and the oh so fabulous, you are going to want to rush right out to the store to buy the ingredients if you don't already have them coconut cupcakes. Seriously they should come with a warning label that says CRACK! Because they are seriously addictive. I looked at a few recipes and decided to wing it based on what I had on hand. Mainly because after 3 trips to the grocery store, I didn't want to make another.  This morning my best friend and I ate cupcakes and honeydew for breakfast, what a great way to start a new year, good food and even better friends. Here is what you need for the cupcakes:

1 3/4 cup flour (I like unbleached all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup Sugar ( I use Florida Crystals and I think they are sweeter, so you might want a little extra sugar if using a different brand)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of coconut milk ( I used So Delicious Unsweetened coconut milk)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with papers. Whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar. Add in the rest of ingredients and mix to combine. Do not over mix. Divide the mixture evenly between the papers and bake for about 18 minutes or until they smell heavenly and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

For the frosting. You need a little more effort. I had made candies for my family for Christmas presents this year. My grandmother used to be the one to do this, but she passed away a few years ago and this year I thought it would be a fun way to bring a little piece of her to the holidays. I didn't have any of her recipes and I wanted the candy to be a little healthier. The only problem was that more than one of the things I wanted to make took Sweetened Condensed Milk, which is not vegan and impossible to find. So I looked up a recipe. It seemed easy enough, only it didn't tell me that it would take 2 hours to make it. After making my caramels and using all of my sweetened condensed milk I almost gave up on our traditional coconut balls, as they too take sweetened condensed milk. But I did a little more web surfing and found this page. The directions were painless and it only took about 5 minutes. I will be using this recipe again, every time I want sweetened condensed milk and don't care if its a bit coconutty. So for the icing you need:

Sweetened condensed milk (use the recipe tagged above)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup powdered sugar

 Start by putting the powdered sugar, coconut and pecans in a bowl. While stirring it the mixture add in the sweetened condensed milk until it reaches a frosting like texture, if you use all your milk and don't have enough a little coconut milk can be used to thin it further, if making the coconut balls, you want the mixture thick though really thick stiff enough to hold shape when covered in chocolate.

I let the frosting sit at room temperature, while the cupcakes are baking and cooling. Once the cupcakes are cooled. Frost them. I also rolled the frosted cupcakes in very fine unsweetened coconut to make them prettier. Enjoy.

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