I thought I knew almost everything about my Mom, especially when it came to what she likes to eat. I got a big surprise though the other day when I asked her what her favorite kind of cake was and she answered “Coconut”. I said “Huh?”. This was news to me. I don’t even remember seeing her eat a piece. Ever.
Coconut is usually one of my LEAST favorite things to eat. Now I don’t mind the flavor so much. In fact, I have been known to enjoy many Pina Coladas in a row on occasion, but to actually eat coconut in little shreds and all that… blech.
But I knew I had to make my Mom her favorite kind of cake for Mother’s Day. It’s what any good daughter who likes to bake would do.
I remembered that Ina Garten had a Coconut Cupcake recipe that looked pretty good in her Barefoot Contessa Cookbook so I decided to go with that. You know, Ina has not let me down yet. Most of her recipes are basic and simple but have something different about them that delivers incredibly good versions of well known favorites. Love her, love her, love her.
And of course I love my Mom. So, Happy Mother’s Day to mine and all the other Mom’s out there.
Please check out Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcake recipe here and make them, like, tonight. It gets five star ratings and the word “heavenly” is used to describe these in her cookbook. Really, how could you go wrong?
So, maybe I can live with a little coconut in my life outside of pina coladas. I survived putting it in Bill’s Big Carrot Cake for TWD and now these cupcakes. And let me just tell you, these babies were freakin’ awesome.
I love old cookbooks. But I especially love old ones where members of some organization pooled recipes together for a fundraiser and created one of those paper cookbooks with full length plastic binders. I have a few of these that I’ve picked up from yard sales, old bookstores or stolen from my Mom. I find them really interesting to look through. I like everything from the kitchen tips to the weird outdated pictures to the recipes that call for “1 pound of lard” (mmm, tasty) to the no-nonsense instructions that can sometimes leave you scratching your head. It’s comforting to know that someone at one time thought their recipe for ____ was THE BEST and offered it up for a compilation knowing their name would be attached to it forever. It’s almost like a seal of approval that it will be edible because you know nobody would submit something that wasn’t good that would make their aquaintances go “Can you believe So and So’s “Best Ever” Something and Something?? Best Ever?? Yeah right, it was so bad I threw the whole thing in the trash”. No one wants that.
Anyway, these Cinnamon Twists came from “Jan”. I don’t know who or where she is now but she sure offered up a great recipe back in 1987. Thanks, Jan… I hope you guys reached your fundraising goal!
These are good on their own but adding decorating sugar and orange cream cheese frosting really takes them to the next level of super good.
Jan’s Cinnamon Twists
What You’ll Need for Day One:
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 cup milk, scalded (in other words, warm enough to melt butter in)
1 yeast cake or package dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup very warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cup flour
What You’ll Need for Day Two:
Melted Butter (I would melt at least three to four tablespoons to start with and go from there)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs sugar
Day One: Melt margarine in milk and cool slightly. Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Beat eggs and add sugar, salt, yeast and milk. Stir in flour or use mixer until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Day Two: Divide dough in half. Roll into rectangle (about 10×14 inches). Spread with some melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Fold dough in half, pressing edges together. Cut into strips 3/4 inch wide (using a pizza cutter makes it really easy). Place on greased cookie sheet, twisting as you do this. Let rise (covered) for three hours. Preheat oven to 325 and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and drizzle with icing.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
Enough milk to make the icing spreadable (do not make too thin)
Optional and Highly Recommended Additions:
Orange Cream Cheese Icing for dipping (any basic recipe with a little added orange extract will do)
What I DID/CHANGED/THOUGHT:
I didn’t change anything from the original dough recipe.
I doubled the cinnamon and sugar amounts.
I tried getting fancier on a few with the style of twisting and stuff, but honestly, it really didn’t work. There was something about doing too much with the dough that made them too dense. They also didn’t brown as much.
My house smelled awesome while these were baking.