While I do admit to having caught a bit of the Bieber fever, that ain’t what I’m talking about today.
Yesterday I had the privilege of hosting a baby shower for a dear friend from junior high who is expecting her first baby later this summer. And although I primarily saw this event as a great way to get some gal pals together for fun and celebration, I also saw it as a prime opportunity to hit the kitchen. I decided on two desserts: chocolate chip cookie dough brownies with chocolate ganache on the top, and for something less dense and rich, coconut cupcakes with (an attempted) pineapple cream cheese frosting.
I got the brownie recipe off Bakerella’s website (who, by the way, I follow religiously.) They were super easy to make and SOO GOOD, especially if you love that rich chocolatey taste.
I made the brownies ahead of time to ensure they’d be totally cool before I poured the ganache.
I then moved onto my coconut cupcakes that were supposed to magically manifest from some of these key ingredients…
I got the recipe from the Barefoot Contessa off the Food Network website. I followed the recipe exactly, with one exception: I doubled the coconut that the recipe asked for. That’s right, I really wanted to make these COCONUT cupcakes.
I baked them for 22 minutes in my oven, set at the temperature outlined in the recipe but on convection heat. I learned from past cupcake experiences to fill up the liners just a little over halfway with batter since they rise considerably once baked, so that you’re not left with rounded muffin tops. Under normal circumstances I love muffin tops, (heck, I have them around my midsection, and we know how valued they are thanks to Seinfeld), but when I’m making cupcakes that are to have frosting, I typically like the cake to rise to be level with the top of the liner. It just makes it easier for me to pipe on frosting. With this recipe though, I filled up the liners with more batter, as I didn’t suspect them to rise as much. I think my guesstimation skills were decent.
On to the icing, that was an interesting time. My plan was to take an existing cream cheese icing recipe I had, and pineapplefy it up to a pineapple cream cheese icing (my take on the pina colada.) I took some canned pineapple slices, pureed it up, and put the pulpy mixture into the whipped cream cheese and icing sugar mixture. My downfall: that pineapple puree had WAYYY too much liquid and I think I ended up adding literally five times the amount of icing sugar the recipe called for, just to try to get my icing to thicken up. In the end, the icing ended up being regular cream cheese icing, since the additional sugar totally wiped out any pineapple taste I had put in originally. It was still good, but not my original intent.
I had dumped pretty much an entire bag full of icing sugar into that mixer and though it thickened up, it was still too runny to pipe. So I stuck the icing into the fridge for a couple of hours and it helped a lot. I was pretty happy with the end result.
The cupcake recipe made way more cupcakes than expected (I got a little over 36 cupcakes; I think it was boosted from the additional shredded coconut I added). With extra cupcakes to spare and extra ganache leftover from the brownies, the use for these two were obvious:
So the cupcakes have been eaten and sent home with friends, the brownies are consumed; all in all I considered my time in the kitchen well spent.
So thanks again for getting preggers, Becca, and lemme know if you decide to have anymore kids so I can host another shower. There’s a new cheesecake recipe I wanna try.
Now if only I can figure out what to do with all that leftover icing.