Last Friday night was the support group meeting for Alzheimer's Idaho (local grassroots organization) and if you follow this blog you know I make the dessert for them each month.
This month I let the Peep do the talking for me. I made this little sign in Corel Draw, cut around it and attached a little bamboo skewer to the back and inserted into one of the cupcakes on the pretty tray.
The first thing to do is to color the coconut. To a quart jar add 1 tablespoon of water and then food coloring - I wanted pink so I added 3 drops of red. Shake the water and the food coloring and then add 1 cup of coconut to the water/food coloring mixture. Now cue Soul Train Shake Your Booty and shake, shake, shake.
Spread the coconut on some paper towels and set aside to dry. If you need it right away you can put on a cookie sheet and set in the oven with ONLY the oven light on - if you try and dry this with the oven on you will end up with brown coconut.
Make the vanilla cupcake mixture and fill the cupcake papers 3/4 full.
When the cupcakes are cool enough to handle but still warm, run a round nose spreader/knife like this all around the cupcakes and it will loosen the edges and the cupcakes will come out without the edges sticking to the pan.
Using this little gadget by Cuispro makes a snap out of creating the space for the filling. A good way to spend $2 and free shipping.
Using a #2A round pastry tip was the perfect size and made using this yummy French pastry cream a snap.
Once they were filled I used a large #9 pastry tip for the frosting. Using this large tip you can frost a dozen cupcakes very quickly.
Ready for the Peeps and the coconut.
Put the Peeps in first and then use the coconut to cover the white area that happens when you cut the Peeps apart. I used kitchen shears to cut the Peeps apart.
Vanilla Cupcake - This is my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, very easy and just as fast as a mix (almost) and oh so much better. Recipe is for 12 cupcakes so I doubled to make mine today.
1 1/2 cups a/p flour (I always use King Arthur)
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
2 t vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk, at room temp
Preheat oven to 350° - line your baking tin with cupcake papers. Add to a bowl the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk them together. In your mixer bowl beat the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed until fluffy, about four minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, scrape down the bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla then reduce the speed of the mixture to low; add in 1/2 the flour mixture, then all the milk, then the remaining flour mixture until it is combines.
Add the batter to the cupcake papers, 3/4 full. Bake until toothpick comes out clean 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine are ready in 18.
Loosen around the edges and transfer to a rack to completely cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting: - This recipe is enough for 24 cupcakes.
1/2 cup butter, softened
8oz cream cheese, softened
1 t vanilla - for this recipe I added a few drops of coconut extract.
4 cups powdered sugar
In your mixer combine the butter and the cream cheese until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla and turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once it is all combined then turn up the mixer and just let it run for a few minutes until you have beautiful, fluffy frosting.
French Pastry Cream: This is the stuff you find in a hoity-toity bakery where the goods cost as much as a trip to the movies! My hubby loves custard and he loves this pastry cream. For the best results you need to make it a day ahead and the flavors meld and it just has a much richer flavor. The recipe makes a lot and I have put the left over in the freezer, hoping it will keep and be good to use in between layers of a cake for Easter. I will come back and leave a post to say if it worked or not.
French Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean or 1t vanilla paste
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 ounces of cornstarch
If you are using the vanilla bean, put the bean in the milk and heat the milk and then turn off the heat and let the milk cool. If you are using the vanilla paste just add the paste to the whole milk and whisk to combine.
Beat the egg yolks, sugar and the cornstarch with your mixer until it has thickened. Pour the egg mixture into the milk and vanilla and whisk to combine and then slowly heat while CONSTANTLY stirring with a whisk, just when you think nothing is happening it will be to a boiling point and start to thicken - take it off the heat (you don't want it to burn) and continue whisking. Once it has thickened cover with plastic wrap so that a skin will not be created. Place in the fridge - preferably for a day before using.
This is great in between cake layers, cupcakes, pastries, etc.
Easter cupcake papers, Walmart
Cuisipro Cupcake Corer, Cuisipro Cupcake Corer
Graphic boarder on sign, The Graphics Fairy
Graphic boarder on sign, The Graphics Fairy
Font on sign, Great Vibes
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