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Live, Laugh and Learn with Lillyan: Basket of Sweets

by Lillyan Baker

Easter time is always my favorite time of the year. I think Texas hill country wildflowers, a sunny Sunday morning and my mom’s coconut cake. Since my mom won’t share her coconut cake recipe with me, I thought I would do the second best thing and enjoy a batch of coconut macaroons toasted just enough to make your fingers stick together. For the lovers of desserts that are not too sweet, whip up a basket of brown sugar pound cake cupcakes with browned-butter frosting for your guests to enjoy after hours of  Easter egg hunting. Pastels and pastries to you and yours this Easter Sunday!

Bits of Coconut

Coconut Macaroons

  • 3  large egg whites
  • 1/2  c  sugar
  • 1/2  tsp  pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4  tsp  kosher salt
  • 1  14-oz. package sweetened shredded coconut
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Vigorously whisk together the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until glossy, foamy, and the sugar is mostly almost dissolved. Fold in the coconut, stirring until evenly combined.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the batter in mounds (about 2 tablespoons each) 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes; let cool completely. The macaroons will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

Recipe from RealSimple.com.

For the lovers of the not so sweet.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake Cupcakes with Browned-Butter Frosting

BrownSugar Pound Cake Ingredients

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Browned-Butter Frosting Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add buttermilk.

2. Reduce speed to low. Mix remaining wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each full.

What's in Your Easter Basket?

3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.

4. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind.

5. Add sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk; stir until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add the remaining tablespoon milk, a little at a time, until consistency is spreadable. Let cool 5 minutes. Use immediately.

Recipe from MarthaStewart.com.


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