Category: coconut

Enter the Tiki Room- a Sourpuss giveaway!

************ COMMENTS CLOSED! GIVEAWAY IS OVER 5/28/13! ************

*** Thanks so much to everyone who entered! I hope to do tons more of these! ***

*** AND THE WINNER IS… ***

tikimugwinner

tikimugwinner2

______________________________________________

When I say that I’ve been excited to post this, I’m not kidding. I really have been. Crazy excited. And I know, it’s not quite warm enough yet to imagine yourself lying on a beach sipping a cocktail, but try. Because today I’m giving away a set of TWO limited edition Sourpuss Clothing Tiki mugs, and giving you a recipe for banana daquiri’s to put in those mugs.

See those mugs? Yep. That’s what one lucky winner will get. TWO OF THOSE MUGS! Namely, the two on the left. Sold separately, they’re $26.00 each. YOU COULD WIN THEM. FOR FREE. If you win, you’ll get one mug each of the first two shown in the photo above (listed from left to right as shown): one May I Be Frank tiki mug & one Aloha Zombie tiki mug.

Sourpuss Clothing LIMITED EDITION Tiki mugs! Enter the giveaway now... ends May 27th 2013.
Sourpuss Clothing LIMITED EDITION Tiki mugs! Enter the giveaway now... ends May 27th 2013.(Shown in my photos are the Headhunter tiki mug & the Tai One On tiki mug; you’ll be entering to win the other two)

Do you have an outdoor Tiki bar in the summer? Do you love Polynesian masks? Are you big into 1950′s & 1960′s Tiki culture? Do you have a wicked sense of humor? Do you love horror movies & zombies as much as the beach & the sun? Is your dream guy a weird conglomeration of Don Draper going to Hawaii with Johnny Cash & ending up with bolts in his neck à la Frankenstein? Well then, my friend, you’ve hit the jackpot today. Because you could possibly win these totally awesome mugs. Even if you aren’t into those things, you could win. But I’d hope that whoever enters actually likes the mugs, and doesn’t just like getting free shit. ‘Cause that’d suck.

See, I happen to have very weird & eclectic tastes. For example, I have a skull/sugar skull obsession (as you probably noticed back during my last Sourpuss giveaway in October). I have skulls on everything from oven mitts to plates. But then I go and buy pretty pastel pink striped tea towels, polka dot cake stands & vintage flowered tea cups. I don’t know, I’ve given up on trying to label myself. I love both vintage horror movie posters and vintage enamelware, both early 1900′s vintage mason jars and retro 1950′s kitchen stuff. It can’t be explained.

But either way, I’m totally in love with these tiki mugs!

Enter the Sourpuss Clothing & Cupcake Rehab tiki mug giveaway! Ends May 27th.

They’re awesome quality, beautifully painted & they hold almost 20 ounces of liquor drink! Specifically… banana daiquiris!

TIKI ZOMBIE BANANA DAQUIRI

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. dark rum (I use Myer’s)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 oz. banana liqueur
  • 2 oz. coconut milk
  • 2 very ripe bananas, peeled

Directions:

  1. Put rum, sugar, lime juice, banana liqueur, water, bananas, and plenty of ice into an electric blender, then purée until smooth and thick.
  2. Pour into two tall Tiki mugs, add a pineapple slice, a straw & umbrella, and sit in the sun.

Sourpuss Clothing tiki mug giveaway! Enter now... ends May 27th.

So at this point, you’re wondering what you’ve gotta do to win. Well, it’s pretty easy: there’s only ONE mandatory entry. All the others are purely bonus entries. Here’s what you’ve gotta do:

  • First, and most important, for the one mandatory entry you have to tell me something: if you were to win, what cocktail (or “mocktail”) would you drink out of them? Polynesian or Tiki cocktails would be the most obvious, but any and all ideas are welcome! And virgin cocktails are fine, too. Hell, frozen hot chocolate or Coke is fine. Whatever YOU like… tell me!
  • Secondly (the first optional entry), follow @CupcakeRehab & @SourpussBrand on Twitter. Then come on back here & comment again letting me know (giving me your Twitter name helps, but isn’t mandatory)
  • Third, pin one of these pictures from this entry on Pinterest! Any one you want, as long as you write about the giveaway in the caption. Then come on back here & tell me (again, your Pinterest names will help)
  • Finally (the last optional entry)… tell everyone in your social network about this giveaway! Copy and paste the following into a tweet or post about it on your Facebook page for an extra entry (then come back & let me know, in a separate comment)-

Aloha! I just entered to win a set of TWO limited edition tiki mugs from @SourpussBrand at @CupcakeRehab. You can too: http://cupcakerehab.com/2013/05/enter-the-tiki-room-a-sourpuss-tiki-mug-giveaway

Each comment is an entry, so obviously the more comments you have, the more entries you have, and the more chances of winning you have.

But there’s only one that’s 100% mandatory, so you’re under no obligation to complete the other three. The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on May 27th, which is exactly one week from today. At 12:00 a.m. EST on May 28th, the comments will be closed & I’ll choose a winner randomly (thanks to random.org). I’ll e-mail the winner right away, and if I don’t hear back within 24 hours, the prize goes to another randomly chosen person. Anyone & everyone is open to entering!

I’m off to go sit & sip my daiquiri while imagining that summer isn’t too far away… let the commenting begin!

Sourpuss Clothing tiki mugs: The Headhunter & Tai One On.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

And if you’re interested (or maybe if you win), Sourpuss has a ton of awesome Tiki-related stuff. Bottle openersmagnetstoothpick holdervotive candles & candle setsvalancesmini-candlesbeach towels… you can transform your entire house or patio into an island getaway. They even have dresses & heels with a Tiki theme. You can go tiki crazy!

Darkness of winter… & darkness of cupcakes?

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

-Edith Sitwell

That title makes me sound like Ozzy Osbourne or something… ‘the prince of darkness & his dark cupcakes.’ Hah.

So, we’re leaving today to go to Connecticut for a few days. Just a small weekend trip. As a matter of fact, depending on when you read this I’m probably either on the road or already there. Getting into some out-of-state trouble, stuffing our faces in out-of-state places, you know how it is. Going to gamble our money away in a casino, stopping by Mystic, no doubt, for some Mystic Pizza or Bleu Squid Bakery & Cheese Shop (which I once did a small, informal, messy review of on a previous trip). And of course, enjoying the drive there. At any rate… I won’t be home for a few days. So here’s a post to tide you over ’til mama gets back. Don’t say I never did anything for you! *wink*

I’ve been saying this over & over & over again for weeks, but it’s cold. It’s winter, of course it’s cold. And winter is time for food, comfort, and home. Who wants to be out in the elements when it’s absolutely freezing? Or when there’s snow all over the place? Wouldn’t you rather be home, eating (or making) cupcakes? I know I would. And yes- I’m aware I just told you I’m leaving my home today to go on a little vacay. But that’s different. I mean, vacations are nice reasons to leave home, and cupcakes from bakeries are lovely, but really, who doesn’t love a nice homemade baked good right out of the oven? As much as I hate winter, even I have to say that I relish the days and nights when having the oven on to bake doesn’t cause you to sweat through your t-shirt and have to wring your hair out when you’re done. Air conditioning, you say? HA! Even with the A/C on full blast, you try making more than one batch of cupcakes or try baking something for longer than 20 minutes on a day that’s over 95° degrees without feeling the heat. So yes, this time of year is good for that. And even though the shortest day of the year has passed, and the days are already (supposedly) getting longer little by little, we’re a far cry from June when the night seems to pull it’s curtain down around at 10 p.m. It gets dark pretty early, and I mean dark. And dark nights remind me of dark chocolate.

I’m not particularly a dark chocolate person; I’m actually one of those intolerable people who love white chocolate, which really isn’t chocolate at all. However in certain instances dark chocolate does indeed have it’s merits. Like in cupcakes, for example.

I feel like dark chocolate is appropriate for winter. Add a little coconut, which is unexpected in the cupcake itself, despite the topping… and you’ve got a cupcake that reminds you of both dark winter nights & the warm summery days to come. Isn’t that what coconut makes you think of? Tanning lotion, pina coladas & warm sunshine?

Or is that just me?

Maybe it’s just me.

At any rate, they’re kind of a juxtaposition of dark & light: dark chocolate & white coconut. Which is what winter is, isn’t it? Wow, I’m so deep. And on a much less deep note, really they’re a kind of cupcake version of a Mounds bar. Or, if you added some almonds somewhere, an Almond Joy. As a matter of fact, in the absence of coconut extract… or perhaps just instead of it… using almond extract in the cupcake might give you an Almond Joy-ish flavor.

DARK CHOCOLATE COCONUT CUPCAKES

Makes 16-18 cupcakes, depending on the size of your pans

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (plus more for topping, if desired)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line your muffin tins with liners, and set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa in a medium sized bowl with a whisk. In a glass measuring cup, combine the milk, egg, oil and coconut extract and mix well.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add the coconut, and stir until well-mixed.
  4. Spoon around 2 heaping tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner. Put the cupcakes into the oven and lower the temperature to 325° F. Bake 20-25 minutes, just until tops are domed and spring back when gently pressed and when a toothpick inserted in the centers come out mostly clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans 5 minutes, then allow to completely cool on a rack.
*Mine is from Watkins, you can buy it online.

Uhm. Yeah. I couldn’t find ANY of my offset spatulas, so I had to frost them with a butter knife. Not the best situation but it works. At least once the coconut is on top, you can’t see the knife marks. I’m such a pro! By the way… how does one lose three offset spatulas? No idea.

DARK CHOCOLATE SOUR CREAM FROSTING

Makes enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes, can be halved

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound plus 8 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream

Directions:

  1. Melt and cool chocolate (until just slightly warm). Beat butter until light and fluffy.
  2. With mixer on low speed, gradually add powdered sugar. Add salt, vanilla, cocoa powder and sour cream and mix until very smooth.
  3. Add chocolate and mix until just incorporated.*
*Don’t over-whip and add too much air into the frosting. The consistency should be rich and dense, like ice cream!

All in all, these were some pretty delish cupcakes. Nice, springy, moist cake and a really amazing frosting. You can use shaved coconut for a different effect, if you can get your hands on it. Also, perhaps using coconut milk and/or coconut oil in the cake would be an interesting touch.

Sources & credits: Grasslands Road cake stand, from Roux Royale in New Orleans, LA, Layer Cake Shop black cupcake liners.

Cookie jars, pink cookies, and a giveaway.

COMMENTS CLOSED & GIVEAWAY OVER!

Okay everyone… the winner is… SARAH! Comment #73 (the last comment)! Congrats Sarah! I’m e-mailing you now. Thanks everyone for entering.

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I have a kind of obsession with cupcake cookie jars. I love all cookie jars, actually, and one of my favorites- not to mention my pride & joy in this particular arena- is a vintage 1930′s Minnie/Mickey Mouse one that belonged to my great grandmother Mary (whom I’m named for, kinda sorta). But I really love ones shaped like cupcakes, for obvious reasons. I’ve got four so far: one pink & blue, one black/orange/white for Halloween, one that’s all patriotic & red/white/blue and then this, my newest addition from Sourpuss Clothing.

So… you wanna see my new addition?

HOW CUTE IS THAT. Adorable. I’ve been lusting over a cupcake cookie jar with a skull on top forever now! And one that isn’t in Halloween colors. That’s kinda hard to find, ’cause for some strange reason people associate skulls just with Halloween. Weird. Oh, and you see those super cute little pink gingham cupcake towels underneath it? Yeah, I got those too. And an apron to match! CCO. Crazy cuteness overload.

Me & Sourpuss Clothing go back a long way, back to when Cupcake Rehab was just a baby blog. They have the most unique housewares for the most unique homebodies among us. I love them. So much so, in fact, that in addition to a Cupcake Rehab sticker, Lola actually sports a Sourpuss sticker too!

So yeah, they’re pretty freakin’ awesome. And they sent me this awesome cookie jar. And when I get a new cookie jar, it makes me want to make cookies to fill it with. And what cookies would I fill it with but pink cookies!? And what’s better than cookies with M&M’s? And how about if they’re coconut M&M’s? Pretty much makes them automatically awesome. Yep, I braved the high humidity & to make cookies just to fill my new cookie jar. I’m kinda insane. But you knew that.

..

Now, you probably don’t need another cookie recipe (but I’m gonna give you one anyway). Come on. THEY’RE PINK.

PINK COCONUT M&M COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup solid vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • a dash of Wilton Rose or Christmas Red food coloring gel, or another color if desired
  • 1 small bag coconut M&M’s (for these I only used the white & brown colored ones) or regular M&M’s, or chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips… or whatever the hell you want!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F degrees. Prepare baking sheets by covering them with parchment.
  2. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat together shortening, sugars and vanilla in a seperate, larger bowl until creamy. Add egg whites, beating until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Add food coloring, mix until combined. Adjust until you get the desired color. Stir in M&M’s.
  4. Drop batter by well-rounded teaspoonful on to greased baking sheets. Add more M&M’s on top, if desired.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden on the bottoms & puffy. Cool cookies on sheets on wire rack for 2 minutes. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Side note: striped paper straws make everything, including milk, taste better. True story. Thanks Yoyo for sending me a bunch, I love them.

So maybe you didn’t need that cookie recipe.

What you do need, however, is that cookie jar. Amirite? You totally, 100%, without a shadow of a doubt need that cookie jar in your life. And I want to give it to you. I really do. ‘Cause I’m nice like that. And Sourpuss Clothing is nice, too, which is why they’re making it possible that one of you lucky dogs out there will in fact end up with a cookie jar.

You will not, sadly, get the cookies too. Those you have to make yourself. So… what do you have to do to get this cookie jar?

  • First, and most important, you have to tell me something: if you were to win this cookie jar, would you like it in aqua or pink? And why? ‘Cause it matches your mixer? Your kitchen? It’s your favorite color? Do tell.
  • Finally… tell everyone in your social network about it! Copy and paste the following into a tweet or post it on your Facebook page for an extra entry (then come back & let me know)-

I just entered to win a cupcake cookie jar from @SourpussBrand at @CupcakeRehab! And guess what? You can too: http://cupcakerehab.com/2012/06/cookie-jars-pink-cookies-and-a-giveaway

And that’s it. Super easy peasy. Two different chances to win for each of you. I’ll select a winner at midnight via random.org. This little giveaway ends at midnight on June 19th. I’ll announce the winner here and also e-mail them right away to let ‘em know the awesome news- so make sure you leave a valid e-mail address with your comments. ‘Cause I know you’ll be having trouble sleeping with excitement.

Here comes Peter Cottontail.

And he’s riding on a parade of cupcakes, apparently. Yep, you guessed it folks. We’re two weeks away from Easter, and spring is officially here… that means so is the annual Best of Easter Cupcakes Compilation!

Each holiday I post a compilation of my favorite (or the best) cupcake or dessert items that are pertinent to said holiday; I also throw in links to other things like snacks or cookies or even meals that relate as well. I started doing it last Halloween (2010). Afterwards, I’d gotten good feedback from people who said it helps them come up with ideas without having to search too much, so I kept it up. The rest is history, as they say.

So here you are. A convenient little list of pretty cakes (& other things listed at the bottom) that are perfect for spring/Easter/Passover/whatever you celebrate. I celebrate chocolate bunnies, myself. Anyway, click on each image & you’ll be brought to the recipe. Enjoy!
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And there’s more than this that I haven’t pictured here, both for the sake of time & space. If you’re interested in them, I’m listing them below. I hope this helps you guys out with some ideas! And don’t forget- there’s plenty more to come in the next week or two.

Chocolate fudge Easter egg cake pops

Chocolate hi-hat cupcakes with banana-flavored Italian meringue

Sweet noodle kugel

Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate (shape ‘em like bunnies!)

Thumbprint cookies
…………………………………….(shape ‘em like eggs & use all different colored springy jams & jellies to fill them)

Cherry filled low-sugar cupcakes
…………………………………….(great for diabetics, dieters or people who don’t like frosting.. freaks!)

Carrot cupcakes with lavender-colored cream cheese frosting

Coconut macaroons & chocolate-covered coconut macaroons

Alfajores with dulce de leche filling

One potato, two potato…

Ah, St. Patrick’s Day. It took me a while to think of what my cupcakes were going to be this year for St. Patrick’s Day. I couldn’t think of anything to top my previous years exploits: Guinness stout cupcakes, Bailey’s Irish cream cupcakes, maple-Irish whiskey frosted cupcakes & green velvet cupcakes. But I really didn’t have any awesome cupcake ideas this year. I know- crazy right? I other awesome ideas, yes, but none for cupcakes. I tortured myself, I even experimented with some things that I didn’t like at all. And then… I decided to scrap the whole thing & just make some Irish potatoes.

No, not actual potatoes. They’re candy! Little candies made from coconut & cream cheese & rolled in cinnamon. Nope, they are not cupcakes. But you know what? Screw it! I always make cupcakes! This year I’m makin’ me some pertaters! Ireland & potatoes go together like peanut butter & jelly.

The potato was introduced to Ireland as a garden crop of the gentry. By the late 17th century, it had become widespread as a supplementary rather than a principal food, as the main diet still revolved around butter, milk, and grain products. In the first two decades of the 18th century, however, it became a base food of the poor, especially in winter.[23] The expansion of the economy between 1760 and 1815 saw the potato make inroads in the diet of the people and became a staple food all the year round for farmers.[24] The large dependency on this single crop was one of the reasons why the emergence of Phytophthora infestans had such devastating effects in Ireland, and had far less effects in other European countries (which were also hit by the fungus).[25]

The potato’s spread was essential to the development of the cottier system, delivering an extremely cheap workforce, but at the cost of lower living standards. For the labourer, it was essentially a potato wage that shaped the expanding agrarian economy.[24]

In 1844, Irish newspapers carried reports concerning a disease which for two years had attacked the potato crops in America.[30] According to James Donnelly, a likely source was the eastern United States, where in 1843 and 1844 blight largely destroyed the potato crops. He suggests that ships from Baltimore, Philadelphia or New York could have brought diseased potatoes to European ports.[35] W.C. Paddock suggests that it was transported on potatoes being carried to feed passengers on clipper ships sailing from America to Ireland.[31]

Once it was introduced, it spread rapidly. By late summer and early autumn of 1845, it had spread throughout the greater part of northern and central Europe. Belgium, Holland, northern France and southern England by mid-August had all been stricken.[36]

In Ireland, the Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852.[1] It is also known, mostly outside Ireland, as the Irish Potato Famine.[2] In the Irish language it is called an Gorta Mór (IPA: [ənˠ ˈɡɔɾˠtˠə ˈmˠoːɾˠ], meaning “the Great Hunger”)[fn 1] or an Drochshaol ([ənˠ ˈdˠɾɔxˌhiːlˠ], meaning “the bad times”).

During the famine approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland,[3] causing the island’s population to fall by between 20% and 25%.[4] The proximate cause of famine was a potato disease commonly known as potato blight.[5] Although blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland – where one-third of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food – was exacerbated by a host of political, social and economic factors which remain the subject of historical debate.[6][7]

The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland.[8] Its effects permanently changed the island’s demographic, political and cultural landscape. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diaspora, the famine entered folk memory[fn 2] and became a rallying point for various nationalist movements as Ireland was then part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Modern historians regard it as a dividing line in the Irish historical narrative, referring to the preceding period of Irish history as “pre-Famine”.

The band Black 47 takes their name from the worst year of the famine, 1847. It was a very serious thing & there isn’t much to joke about. But the fact that Ireland bounced back (granted there were huge migrations to other countries as well) is a testament to their strength. Not to mention a reason to celebrate Ireland! It’s no surprise after reading that that potatoes & Ireland are so intertwined, though, is it?

My grandma always used to order them from an Irish gift company every St. Patrick’s Day. These are the ones she used to order; they’re O’Ryan’s. They’re so delicious, and unexpected. I searched around for recipes & I found one I liked at bakedbree.com. Most of the recipes are similar if not the same, so you can’t really go wrong. Really you can just mix some cream cheese, butter, coconut, vanilla & confectioner’s sugar until it’s the right consistency and go from there without a recipe if you want. They’re just like little truffles.

IRISH POTATOES (COURTESY OF BAKEDBREE.COM)

Ingredients:

  • ½ stick of butter softened
  • ½ brick of cream cheese softened (4 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Beat together butter and cream cheese. Slowly add the confectioners sugar.
  2. Add the vanilla, then the coconut and mix until combined.
  3. You may want to chill the coconut mixture a little before you roll them. I like to use a small ice cream scoop. These are really rich, so you want them to be small.
  4. Roll the coconut mixture into a ball. Then roll the coconut mixture into the cinnamon and put on a parchment lined baking sheet. Keep the finished Irish Potatoes in the fridge.

And there you have it. Totally easy, totally fun and really yummy. Great to make with kids, too. Since they have to be kept in the fridge, I decided to put them in a jar for storage. Glass keeps out odor & moisture better than plastic, anyway. Plus it doesn’t impart nasty old flavors from previous things that have been stored in it. So I used a flip-top jar to keep my potatoes nice & cold. I really suggest you get some glass jars for storage if you don’t already have them. Way better for you than plastic.

On that note, enjoy, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

“Only two things in this world are too serious to be jested on, potatoes and matrimony.”
(Irish saying)

German chocolate cupcakes & German family stories.

I’m sure by now if you’re a regular reader you know I’m part German. The German side of my family isn’t cloaked in mystery like the Irish side, and Germany kept pristine vital records (unlike the Polish/Russian sides) and those records are much easier to get than say, the Dutch, French & Belgian records or the even more mysterious “Alsace-Lorraine” family records (Alsace-Lorraine does not really exist as an actual place, therefore the records aren’t in any particular Alsace-Lorraine directory, but split between Germany & France). As you can also tell, I’m an amateur genealogist & I’ve spent the better part of the last 6-8 years doing my family history & tracing parts back to the 1100′s.

Of course, I love old pictures & all things antique & vintage so this kind of thing just feeds into that for me. Particularly the old family photos. And by old, I don’t mean like the ones you have of your grandparents in the 1940′s. I mean old as in the 1890′s.

That’s my great-grandmother, Frances “Midge” Hebrank Sonnanburg, in New York around 1896, when she was just 4 years old. You can see an older picture of her here at my other ‘German’ cupcake post. Her father’s father was Albert, a German immigrant who joined the ranks of an all-German regiment, the New York 54th Infantry a.k.a. the “Barney Black Rifles” (Schwarze Yaeger) in the Civil War. He & his family were German, from Owingen, Hohenzollern, which was for a time part of Prussia but is now Germany, specifically Baden-Württemberg. Anyway, this is the stuff that makes me tick. Me & Jay do ancestry work for fun. We’re geeks. So my family history & my ancestry mean a lot to me. Where I come from is so important, I believe in order to know where you’re going you have to know where you came from.

Okay enough with my life story/family history there. If I tell you any more, I’ll be writing for another 4 days, have severe carpal tunnel & you’ll be able to do my family tree for me. Anyway Midge loved to cook & bake, as did most of her family. There’s a story I heard my whole life about how she made a specific kind of pudding or custard; it was apparently a big hit with my grandpa & his friends. They were begging her to make it, asking & asking until finally she explained that it used an awful lot of milk, which was expensive, especially during the Depression. So whattaya know, my grandpa’s friends waited the next day for the milkman to come & then snuck around & stole everyone else in the building’s milk delivery so Midge could make the pudding. So what does this have to do with cupcakes? Well, maybe I got my baking skills from her?

Or maybe I’m hinting that everyone who asks me for cupcakes should go steal some milk & sugar & eggs first? Hey, listen- the Cupcake Wars casting department e-mailed me… I’m a very important person.

Of course, German chocolate cake, unlike Black Forest cake, is not actually German. Surprise! It’s named after the chocolatier, Sam German, who in the 1850′s created the dark chocolate for the company Baker’s Chocolate. The chocolate was therefore named for him and then, in turn, the cake, which was actually called German’s chocolate cake. But regardless, it’s synonymous with the word “German” now, and most people assume that means the country, so I’m just going to incorporate that into this post about my German family history & cupcakes. And kinda because the topping always reminds me of sauerkraut, which is decidedly German. I know that might gross you out but really… tell me it doesn’t!

Instead of using an actual recipe for German chocolate cupcakes, I just used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe plus a coconut-pecan frosting. Mmm.

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Makes about 18 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup buttermilk (room temperature)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Cream butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add 2 large eggs (one at a time) and beat each until thoroughly combined, then add chocolate & oil. Add (and alternate) flour plus baking soda with buttermilk (room temperature) plus vanilla extract.
  3. Place cupcake paper into each cup of 3 muffin pans (each pan yielding 6 muffins). Then fill each cup about ¾ full.
  4. Bake at 350° degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

COCONUT-PECAN FROSTING

Ingredients:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⅓ cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups (3-4 ounces) pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Combine egg yolks, evaporated milk, and sugar in a saucepan with a whisk. Add butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 12 minutes. After about the first 6 minutes, add the pecans.
  2. Stir in vanilla, salt, coconut. Let cool completely. Frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before using. Spoon on top of cooled cupcakes as desired.

I always avoided making these just because they seemed so complicated & messy, and also because I rarely have pecans & coconut in the house at the same time, let alone the same time as I have evaporated milk. But I did have those ingredients- mainly because of that big ass failure of a pecan pie I made last week.. and it turns out they weren’t hard or complicated to make at all! I made it all super quick, and by the time the cupcakes were cooled the frosting was ready to go too. I’d just recommend that you make the frosting first, like I did. Then pop it in the fridge & let it cool while you clean up, then mix & bake & cool your cakes. When the cupcakes have about 10 minutes left to bake, take the frosting out of the fridge. Let the cakes cool, then just assemble them & you’re done. I added an extra pecan half on top but that’s up to you. Maraschino cherries are also traditional toppings for German chocolate cake.

So there you have it. A super rich, super sticky, super decadent cupcake. Ach du lieber Himmel!


And if you haven’t entered to win the Valentine’s Day table runner yet- GO! The giveaway ends January 31st. U.S. residents only, blah blah blah fine print. Seriously, go enter, or I’ll kick your ass.

Spring has sprung.

Not 100% of course, but for the most part anyway.

I’ve done one of these little compilation posts for Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas, Valentine’s Day & St. Patrick’s Day, so here’s my springtime/Easter version. I don’t really do “Easter”, I like bunnies, baby chicks, lilies & chocolate… so I celebrate those things & call it Easter. I’m not one of those Wiccans or “Pagans” either. I’m Agnostic, but I do love me some holidays. I can’t help it. I love to decorate and bake and cook and that’s the best part of life, in my opinion. So why not celebrate everything!?

The real meaning of Easter:

Easter (Old English: Ēostre; Greek: Πάσχα, Paskha; Hebrew: פֶּסַח‎, Pesakh, “Passover“) is the central religious feast in the Christian liturgical year.[1] According to Christian scripture, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. Some Christians celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day or Easter Sunday[2] (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday), two days after Good Friday and three days after Maundy Thursday. The chronology of his death and resurrection is variously interpreted to be between AD 26 and 36, traditionally 33. Easter also refers to the season of the church year called Eastertide or the Easter Season. Traditionally the Easter Season lasted for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox.[3] Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on March 21 (even though the equinox occurs, astronomically speaking, on March 20 in most years), and the “Full Moon” is not necessarily the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies between March 22 and April 25. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar whose March 21 corresponds, during the 21st century, to April 3 in the Gregorian Calendar, in which calendar their celebration of Easter therefore varies between April 4 and May 8.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast called Easter in English is termed by the words for passover in those languages and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover.[4][5]

Relatively newer[citation needed] elements such as the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts have become part of the holiday’s modern celebrations, and those aspects are often celebrated by many Christians and non-Christians alike. There are also some Christian denominations who do not celebrate Easter.

Yeah so that last part applies to me. Delicious chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs filled with creamy fondant? Yes please. I guess, though, I more celebrate just the coming of spring itself, which is more like Ostara:

Old English Ēostre (also Ēastre) and Old High German Ôstarâ are the names of a putative Germanic goddess whose Anglo-Saxon month, Ēostur-monath, has given its name to the festival of Easter. Eostre is attested only by Bede, in his 8th century work De temporum ratione, where he states that Ēostur-monath was the equivalent to the month of April, and that feasts held in her honour during Ēostur-monath had died out by the time of his writing, replaced by the “Paschal month“. The possibility of a Common Germanic goddess called *Austrōn- was examined in detail in 19th century Germanic philology, by Jacob Grimm and others, without coming to a definite conclusion.

Linguists have identified the goddess as a Germanic form of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn, *Hausos, some scholars have debated whether or not Eostre is an invention of Bede’s, and theories connecting Eostre with records of Germanic Easter customs (including hares and eggs) have been proposed.

Notice the spelling similarities between Eostre and Easter? Hmm. Food for thought. I’ll let ya chew on that one.

So in short, I like to eat and make stuff, and that’s what holidays are all about, really. I don’t think you have to believe in a God to celebrate the coming of spring, especially after a winter where here in New York we got a whopping 60.9″ of snow total. At any rate… here are some delectable cupcake confections that celebrate this time of year, and can be adapted/used whether your celebrations are referred to as Ostara, Easter, Passover or just plain spring.

One of my favorite Easter cupcakes; lemon-vanilla cakes with a lemon-vanilla buttercream, topped with toasted coconut “nests” and Cadbury mini-eggs. Super cute and so easy! These were a humongous hit with everyone who ate them, I highly recommend trying them. Recipe here: Nest Eggs.

I grouped these two together because they’re in the same post from last Easter. The top ones are Creamsicle mini-cupcakes topped with a thick marshmallow Fluff buttercream, and the bottom ones are carrot cupcakes topped with a lavender-tinted cream cheese frosting. Check both recipes out here: Easter?
I didn’t actually make these for Easter, I made them for my grandmother’s 92nd birthday… however they’re a perfect springtime cupcake idea. A light chocolate cake topped with an Earl Grey/lemon icing and candied lemon peel garnish (which is deceptively easy). Very sophisticated & delicious. Find the recipes for the cake, icing and lemon peel here: Earl Grey with lemon “tea party” cupcakes.
Another one I didn’t make for Easter, I made them for Cupcake Rehab’s 1st birthday, but yet they would be totally appropriate for spring. Neapolitan cupcakes- vanilla cake, strawberry Kool-Aid frosting and chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Extremely delicious. Recipes: Neapolitan “happy 1st birthday Cupcake Rehab” cupcakes.
These I definitely didn’t make for Easter. But being that they’re almond cupcakes with a white chocolate buttercream, they’d be so cute with marzipan fruits or hand-rolled marzipan Easter eggs on top for Easter, wouldn’t they? This is one of my favorite cupcakes ever. Try them yourself: Frau Marilla’s Alpenblume Weiße Schokolade Kleine Kuchen!


So that’s that. If you’re not drooling by now, there’s something wrong with you. Also, I also have a recipe for chocolate hi-hat cupcakes that I made for Easter a few years back that I didn’t include above. So knock yourself out!  And If you’re looking for something more Passover-y, I have a recipe for sweet noodle kugel. I also have TONS of other cupcake and cookie recipes that can be adapted or used for this time of year, with just a little creativity.

As usual, I’ll be posting more spring-y things in the weeks to come so stay tuned... and tomorrow I’ll be guest posting over at Frosting 4 the Cause, so please come and check that out. I promise you’ll like it.