Saturday, September 3, 2016

Coconut Cupcakes


Coconut Cupcakes

I made these for a friend's birthday and used Ina Garten's recipe because she has never steered me wrong before. I love everything about these from the shredded coconut, to the cream cheese frosting, to the almond extract in the batter and the frosting.

Cupcakes
-3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
-2 cups sugar
-5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
-1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
-3 cups flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 cup buttermilk
-14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:-1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
-3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
-1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Snickers Rice Krispie Bars


Snickers Rice Krispie Bars

-1/2 stick butter
-5 cups mini marshmallows
-5½ cups rice krispie cereal
-½ cup peanuts
-11 oz caramels (unwrapped) or caramel bits
-3 TBS heavy cream
-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt butter over medium low heat in a large sauce pan. Add in marshmallows and stir together untill the marshmallows are completely melted. Pour in rice krispie cereal and stir together untill the cereal is completely coated. Pour cereal mixture into a greased 9x13 in pan and press down evenly.
Sprinkle peanuts evenly over the top of the rice krispie treats.
Combine caramels and heavy cream in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir until caramel is melted and smooth. Pour caramel evenly over the top of rice krispie treats.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments (for about 90 seconds total), stirring after each interval until smooth. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly.Let chocolate set completely, cut and serve.

Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad


Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad
For mine, I diced an avocado and stirred it into the salad just before serving, but my hubby doesn't like avocado so the salad isn't pictured with it.

-1/4 cup lime juice
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 Tbsp sugar or honey
-2 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp cayenne
-1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
-2 cups mango, diced
-1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
-1/2 red onion, diced
-1/2 red bell pepper, diced
-2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Whisk together lime zest and juice, olive oil, sugar/ honey, cumin, salt and cayenne. Toss with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or chill until serving.

Mango Curry Quinoa Salad


Mango Curry Quinoa Salad

-4 Tbsp olive oil
-4 Tbsp lemon juice
-4 Tbsp yogurt
-1 Tbsp sugar or honey
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cayenne
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
-2 cups mango, diced
-1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
-3 scallions, sliced
-2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, yogurt, sugar/ honey, salt, cayenne and garlic. Toss dressing with the remaining ingredients, serve immediately or chill until serving.