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Sep 27 2011

Happy First Blogiversary To Me!

sparkler

Happy blogiversary to me! Happy blogiversary to me!
Happy blogiversary, dear poet in the pantry… Happy blogiversary to me!

One year ago today, I had this overwhelming urge to re-enter the blogosphere and thus, poet in the pantry was born. Has a year gone by already? Amazing!

So much has happened since this blog’s inception:

  • The format of this blog itself changed from random, local musings to a more focused food blog in December, when I embraced my inner baker and let her loose.
  • I completed my last year of college and finally graduated with my BA in English in May! Woohoo!
  • I planted my first fruit and vegetable container garden. AND it’s still (mostly) alive!
  • 6 years of sporadic (and then chronic, rapidly-intensifying) back pain peaked with a disectomy in May.
  • The whole summer was, subsequently, spent convalescing while trying to focus on the blog more. It was a difficult balance to maintain and quite the experience learning how to work with the limitations my body has put on me.
  • My daughter started first grade in August. I can’t believe she’s old enough to spend whole days at school!
  • I finally get to spend some one-on-one time with my little guy! He’s a wildly-imaginative, lovey-dovey little boy who really blossoms when his sister isn’t around.
  • I broke my foot. Again. More learning to work with limitations and figuring out how to keep them from holding me back.
  • After a 4 1/2-year hiatus as a stay-at-home mom, I’m trying to rejoin the work force. Another chapter of my life will be opening soon.
  • And, of course, I’ve baked. And baked. And baked. A lot.
one samoa cupcake

Lots of ups and downs, but I’ve made it! One year later and I’m still here. I haven’t managed to fall off a building–yet. That’s near-miraculous, with the luck I’ve had lately. And my complete lack of balance and grace. Maybe I should go knock on some wood…

Out of this experiment have come some of the most amazing people you could ever hope to meet! I had my first blogger meet-up in February at Dorie Greenspan’s CookieBar NYC pop-up. I participated in #BHF11PP, the event of the year–and I didn’t even have to leave my bed to be a part of it! I connected with Kate at Food Babbles, who is now my partner in crime for First on the First. I joined the muffin madness with An of Baker Street‘s Muffin Monday. And the list keeps growing. Thank you, all, for a wonderful year! I can’t wait to see what the next one brings!

four samoa cupcakes

What kind of party would this be without cake? So I’m bringing these delicious Samoa Cupcakes to the table. They have to be THE BEST dessert I have made. Ever. Which is so reassuring after my mishap on Friday with trying to make Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake. I answered a very important phone call at a critical moment and burned the caramel. Only I didn’t discover its…overdoneness…until after the first bite. Oops. At least it looked pretty.

These cupcakes, however, were raved over. Many times. They are a winner and you simply MUST make them. Then put a candle on top, light it, and sing a song for poet in the pantry. You can pretend you’re here at my party, celebrating with me!

Here’s to year two!

tiers of samoa cupcakes

Samoa Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 33
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 2 cups organic sugar
  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large cage free eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coconut flavored coffee
Coconut Caramel Topping
  • 1 cup (16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake tins with paper cups and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine dry ingredients for the cupcakes: sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Turn the machine on and let it spin on low a few turns to blend it all together.
  3. Add to the dry ingredients: eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Beat for until just combined, then turn the machine on low and slowly add the coffee. Mix until just combined. This will be a very thin batter, but don't worry--it works out okay.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, fill cupcake liners about halfway. I ended up with 33 cupcakes from my batch, so be prepared for a lot of them.
  5. Bake on the middle rack (up to 2 cupcake pans at a time) for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake!
  6. Cool for 10 minutes in the cupcake pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Coconut Caramel Toppping
  1. Wash and dry the mixing bowl for your stand mixer. Set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add to it the dark brown sugar and salt, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil.
  4. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then add the milk. This will bubble up quite a bit, so back away and once the bubbling ceases, stir in the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture returns to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Transfer to the mixing bowl for the stand mixer and set aside to cool about 45 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, toast the coconut. You can either spread it out on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, stirring periodically to ensure none of it burns, or in a cast iron pan on the stove, stirring constantly. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  8. Once the caramel has cooled, mix in ¾ cup of the toasted coconut.
  9. Add powdered sugar and beat on medium speed for 10 minutes. Warning: this does not get to be a thick frosting you would pipe out, but more like a thick glaze. This is okay.
Assembly
  1. Put the chocolate chips in a zip top bag, leaving the top open, and then put the bag in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute, squish contents around a bit, then microwave for another minute at 50% power.
  2. Spread topping on top of cupcakes.
  3. Snip a small portion of the corner off the bottom of the zip top bag with the melted chocolate chips and make wavy lines across the tops of the cupcakes with it.
  4. Sprinkle reserved toasted coconut over the tops of the cupcakes.
  5. Store, covered, up to 3 days at room temperature.

 

About the author

Carrie @ poet in the pantry

Carrie is a home baker and amateur photographer who dabbles in writing and poetry.

29 comments

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  1. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray

    Happy Blogiversary! These look like the perfect way to celebrate!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I can’t think of a better way to celebrate! Thanks!

  2. Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook

    Happy Blogiversary! You’ve had quite the year! Cupcakes look delicious!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! They taste great, too!

  3. Barbie

    Happy birthday to your Blog! :)

    The cupcakes look tasty, I’ll be including that on my baking list :D

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      They are a must bake, for sure! Thanks!

  4. JenniferA

    Happy anniversary! Best wishes for your ongoing recovery too. Also, Samoas are my favorite Girl Scout cookie so I must have these! :)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      They’re my favorite, too! :) Thanks!

  5. Tanya

    Congrats Carrie! Happy Blogiversary ~ here’s to many more to come!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! :)

  6. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    Happy Blogiversary!!!! And those cupcakes look awesome, by the way. :)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! They ARE awesome. :)

  7. Terra

    Awww, Yay! Happy Blogaversary:-) How fun, we are celebrating our blogaversary the same week! So happy I met you, here is to many more years! Hugs, Terra

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      That is so cool! Here’s to many more years for BOTH of us! :)

  8. Jo and Sue

    Congratulations! Happy Blog-aversary :) These cupcakes look delicious! Any suggestions as to what we could sub for the Tropical Coconut Coffee? We live in the boonies and don’t have access to such a wonderful sounding concoction.

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! The original recipe called for just plain regular coffee, so you could try that. I was just trying to kick up the coconut flavor a bit with my version. Let me know how it works out!

  9. Carrie

    Congratulations, Carrie! Happy Blogiversary!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you so much! :)

  10. Donna

    You’ve only been doing this a year?! Wow! I’m impressed. Keep up the good work, good luck to you in the next year, and congrats on one under your belt. (And my daughter started 1st grade this year too. Where does the time go?)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! It’s a labor of love. :) And yes, I can’t believe my kiddo’s in 1st grade and reading already! Too fast, too fast.

  11. Jessica @ bake me away!

    Happy Blogday to you! Glad your year was packed with lots of fun stuff to counteract some of the not-so-fun things. Those cupcakes look and sound delicious!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thanks! You need to make them–they’re fantastic! Yup, there’s been a lot of good in the last year, despite the bad.

  12. Cindy B.

    Happy Blogiversary! Cupcake look delicious!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! They are delicious–you should make them! :)

  13. carolineadobo

    Congratulations on your first blogiversay.Cupcakes to celebrate, yum!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thanks! Yeah, muffins didn’t quite seem celebratory enough. ;)

  14. Sunny Hernandez (@foryourpiesonly)

    Ack! I am so sorry I missed this special day for you! Darn you new job, getting in the way of important things like this :)

    Happy One Year little bloggie. I am so glad we’ve connected and I look forward to your banter and baking for years to come!

  15. Linda Jordan

    I have an obsession with Samoa cupcakes that they sell for $4.00 each at the bakery. Since I am too cheap to spend that much each time I get a craving, I was thrilled that your website popped up. I was sold on your recipe when you said it was the best thing you ever baked–ever! My problem (besides the cheap thing): what is Island Coconut Coffee? I’m not much of a coffee drinker, and maybe you can buy ICC somewhere in Michigan, but I’ve never seen it. Any ideas for a substitution? I do have coconut flavoring in my bakery stash if that might help. Linda

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      So glad I could help! :) $4/cupcake is steep! Island Coconut Coffee is a Keurig coffee flavor that’s out during the summer. If you can’t find coconut-flavored coffee, then I would try using plain coffee plus 1 tsp of coconut flavor and see how that goes. Good luck!

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