Grand Review

Well I'd heard a lot of superlatives thrown about in the descriptions of Grand Central's cupcakes so I finally dragged by lazy butt over there last night (to buy my mom a belated birthday cupcake) and ended up with the very last one. I've been on a quest for a good coconut cupcake so I was pleased to see this was the flavor of the month. Thanks to their crafty take-out method (not as cute as the boxes from Starbucks, but much more single-cake friendly) the cake made it home unharmed. After my mom made her wish and blew out the candle, we cut into the dense cake only to discover that it was much more macaroon than cupcake - which made me quite happy actually. If I'd purchased it as a macaroon I may have complained that it was too cakey, but because it was a cupcake I was delighted with its texture and flavor. I'm a bit of a macaroon snob, ever since I experienced the ultimate macaroon (at Red Fox Bakery in McMinneville, OR), but this cake was quite quite tasty. Not too sweet, and no fake coconut flavor. It was jussst right! The frosting was a little bland, just butter whipped cream. I could have gone for a light coconut buttercream. The heavy cream was a little much for me, but I ate it anyway and enjoyed every moment. So go get yourself a Grand Central coconut cupcake before they change their flavor (I hear a chocolatey one is next, yay!).
Yummy macaroon like center

nice use of a to-go cup, and Rusty considering the cupcake


Derby Cakes

Cakes (inspired by delicious derby pie)
1 yellow cake mix (one without pudding added)
5 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 c. coconut
1/3 c. bourbon whiskey – Early Times is the official Kentucky Derby whiskey
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 1/3 c. chopped pecans
8-12 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
(or butterscotch chips, or none at all)

Mix all above ingredients (except chips and nuts) in your Kitchen Aid, on high, for 5 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Place in lined cupcake tins. Bake at 350, start testing after 20 minutes.

Boozey Glaze

Approx. ¼ cup bourbon
Approx. 1 cup confectioners sugar

Mix bourbon and confectioners sugar until you have a fairly liquidy brown glaze. Spoon over cakes immediately after they are removed from the oven (while still hot in tins). Let sit for 10-20 minutes before transferring out of tins on to cooling rack. Let cool completely, until glaze has hardened into crust, before serving.

Easy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cakes

1 box devil's food cake mix (I like Pillsbury)
follow directions, substituting butter for oil
& adding a tablesoon of Godiva liquor, a tsp of cinnamon
& 3/4 of a bag milk chocolate chips (I prefer Ghiradelli), making sure there are at least 24 left over for decorating.
Bake in lined cupcake tins according to directions on box.
Frost with 2 Gs frosting and top with a chocolate chip!

(they also look nice unadorned by chips)

for the foils, I used metal red from confectionary house
they just expanded their color collection and now have
tons and tons of bright festive foils (metalic and matte)