February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I love all holidays…including Valentine's Day. I’m a believer of telling your friends and family that you love them every day, but I see no reason why there can’t be a day of the year designated for over the top gestures of love and friendship…plus…everything is pink. I have my box of Hello Kitty valentines filled out and ready to distribute at work today (I’m such a grown up) and a delicious pasta dinner for one planned for this evening to be followed by the GLEE Valentine’s Day episode & a tall glass of chocolate milk. Exciting plans, I know J

I actually celebrated Valentine’s Day early this year since the 14th is on a Tuesday. The Boy and I decided to make gifts for each other. Since I’ve been in a super crafty mood lately, I had tons of fun with this plan. I also got to use this as an excuse to find another cupcake recipe to test out. The Boy loves coconut & his favorite candy bar is an Almond Joy…challenge accepted…

Almond Joy Cupcakes:
Here’s What You Need:
For the Cupcakes…
1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
¼ cup of Canola Oil
¼ cup of Apple Sauce
3 egg whites
1 1/3 cup Lite Coconut Milk
¼ tsp Coconut Extract

For the topping...
1 can Whipped Vanilla frosting
¼ tsp Almond Extract
Sweetened shredded coconut
Chopped almonds

Here’s How to Bake Them:
Preheat the oven to 350
Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners
In a large bowl, add cake mix, oil, applesauce, egg whites, coconut milk, & coconut extract
Mix until smooth
Evenly divide batter into each cupcake cup
Bake in oven for 22-25 minutes (test with toothpick. When it comes out clean, cupcakes are ready)
When cupcakes are cool enough to touch, move onto baking rack and allow to cool completely

Scoop your frosting into a bowl and add almond extract
Mix until creamy
Pipe frosting onto cupcakes starting around the edges and working towards the center
Top cupcakes with coconut/almond mixture

Tip: Next time, I think I’ll use a bit more coconut extract in the cake batter. If I presented these on Cupcake Wars, Florian would be the first to point out that the flavor wasn’t strong enough J

I used a combination of recipes to make my Almond Joy cupcakes. Some day I’m going to be a good enough baker to break free of the boxed mixes and create my own recipes. Until then, I’ll continue reading as many baking blogs as I have time to and using other recipes as my starting point. I’ve found tons of great baking blogs. I usually START HERE and explore until I find what I’m looking for.

By the way…The Boy rocked the homemade Valentine’s Day present.
He wrote The Story of Justin & Kim…Mad Libs style. How awesome is that? There are 5 stories in Volume 1. I’m already looking forward to Volume 2 J  

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