I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

December 20, 2008 at 4:15 PM | Posted in Art You Eat, cupcakes | 17 Comments

Bing Crosby, Danny Kayte, Rosemary Clooney (George Clooney’s aunt!) and Vera-Ellen.

Does it get any better than that movie to get you in the holiday spirit? Maybe Charlie Brown’s Christmas or Its A Wonderful Life. Maybe.

Curious… Whats your favorite holiday movie?

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas has always been one of my favorites. Bing Crosby, singing and dancing, Christmas, love story. It had everything a holiday-loving romantic sap like me needs. The only thing missing is a cup of hot chocolate, warm blanket and you have a perfect holiday date night. Trust me guys. You will score points.

While I was thinking of some cupcake inspiration for the December-January installment of Art You Can Eat‘s theme, Seasonal Cupcakes (Are you surprised that was my pick?), that movie popped in my head.

Don’t ask me why. I think its b/c after you’ve been wrapping Christmas gifts for 2 hours straight “winter” and “white” start looking like the same word. (Is everyone done with Xmas shopping? Not me! Yikes!) So I just ran with it. HAHA

Happy Holidays to all my readers! 2009 is almost here! Wheeee….

PS – Don’t forget to enter my Blogiversary Giveaway #3 before December 21st @ 12mid EST. Get in while the gettin’s good! Time’s running out…


White Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com, Ina Garten | photos from me!)

Makes about 12 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For cupcakes
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoons pure almond extract
1-1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For frosting
8oz cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Ghiradelli)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

fondant snowflakes (Christmas tree) and dragees (ornaments)

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes—
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 3 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 22-25 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.

[NOTES: These cupcakes don’t rise very much so you can fill the cupcake liner more than usual.]

To make frosting—
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter and melted white chocolate. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

[NOTES: I used about 4 cups confectioners’ sugar.]

To make fondant trees—
Roll out white fondant about 1/4″ and cut out various size snowflake cutters. Roll out yellow fondant about 1/4″ inch and cut out stars. Let fondant hardened on baking sheet before assembling trees.

To assemble trees, layer snowflakes on top of each other with frosting to give it some height. On the top layer dollop some frosting and prop star against it. “Glue” the dragees with a little dab of frosting. Chill tree in the frig until set.


The star is INSANELY big compared to the tree but we’ll just say that it makes it look more whimsical, m’kay? Laziness had nothing to do with it. HAHA

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Garnish with fondant tree.

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A/A-
He liked the almond-coconut “cake”. He’s not a white chocolate fan like me but still enjoyed the cream cheese frosting although he requested if I make this again to leave the white chocolate out. haha.

Wifey rating: A
The “cake” is so moist and I love the hint of almond flavoring from the extract with the coconut. I am not a big coconut fan (although the taste grows on me as I get older) so I think if you are a coconut fan you will LOVE this cupcake.

Other rating: A/A+
Family and friends raved about this cupcake but depending if they liked coconut the rating went up. I think the ultimate compliment is when ppl ask for recipe and some of them did.

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17 Comments

  1. Adorable, as usual! (I’ve watched this movie 3 times since Thanksgiving!)

  2. I have never seen the movie, but it is one of my favourite songs to croon this time of year…that one and let it snow…

  3. Those are beautiful!

    My favorite holiday movie is definitely “A Christmas Story.” LOVE that movie!

  4. Umm, girl, have you ever had a white Christmas??

    My fave is The Christmas Story — LOVE IT!!!!!

    And you are a baking goddess. I just can’t ever do what you do.

  5. Those look great, even with the jumbo star. :-)

    I’ve been meaning to make Ina’s coconut cupcake recipe. I’ve heard it’s wonderful! And white chocolate? YUM!
    ~ingrid

  6. I love White Christmas, my family watches it every year!

  7. Wow – those are the best Christmas cuppies I have seen! I think the star is perfect :)

  8. wow, they look amazing! I love the idea of leaving the fondant to dry and then stacking it. So cute and so professional looking!

  9. Love the wispy clouds in the photos. It’s perfect!

  10. Dude, I love that little tree with a star! So awesome. I definitely want something coconutty now…

  11. What pretty cupcakes! I’m afraid the fondant tree would put me into sugar overload though. :)

  12. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!
    These are magazine worthy. They are SO pretty!
    Talented cupcake queen. I am so jealous!

  13. Beautiful cupcakes, as always! I love White Christmas, we watch it probably 15 times! My favorite song is actually, “snow” when they are on the train!

  14. These look great. My fav movie is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I love it. The holidays don’t officially begin for me until I watch that movie.

  15. I actually love how the star looks, it really IS whimsical!
    I love A Christmas Story, no holiday season is complete without it!

  16. These are so festive and sweet! Wonderful work, as usual!

  17. Perfect cupcakes. Those are the coolest little trees ever. I seriously want to make them to decorate a gingerbread house. You rock!

    BTW, White Christmas is my favorite too! I have to watch it every Christmas Eve while I’m wrapping presents, or it just isn’t the same. : )

    Merry Christmas!!


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