I feel like I'm always apologizing to you folks for not blogging. *sigh* The truth is, I'm just busy. And I'm not writing, which makes me cranky. And you know what? I don't like blogging cranky.

I do like blogging cupcakes, though. And my Coconut Key-Lime Cupcakes seems to get a lot of hits on this blog! Every. Single. Week. I find someone searching for those. It's just wild.

So, here they are and then hopefully, later this week, I'll blog about our annual family reunion. I still haven't gone through the pictures yet!

First, you want to do your filling. It needs to set up in the fridge and get nice and chilly.

Key Lime Pie Filling
Will fill 48 regular cupcakes with a little more than a teaspoon each or 24 with a tablespoon/ 325° oven

4 large or extra large egg yolks
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh key lime juice (approx. 6 – 8 limes)
2 teaspoons grated lime zest

1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn light yellow.
3. Turn mixer off and add the sweetened condensed milk.
4. Turn speed to low and then add half of the lime juice.
5. Once the juice is incorporated, add the remainder of the juice and mix until blended.
6. Add the grated lime zest and stir in by hand.
7. Pour the mixture into a regular glass pie dish (or any glass dish which will fit inside a larger baking dish/pan).
8. Set dish with mixture into a larger pan. Fill larger pan half full of hot water.
9. Place in oven and bake until custard is just set in the middle, about 13 minutes.
10. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the pie dish.
11. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3-4 hours or overnight.

Now, let's move on to the cupcakes themselves, the stars of the show, the package to contain the yummy goodness of key lime filling...

Coconut Cupcakes
24 regular cupcakes / 350° oven

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon baking soda
1/4-teaspoon salt
1 cup canned coconut milk (shake can well before opening)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
5. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
6. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
7. Add about one third of the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
8. Repeat above, alternating the flour and milk, ending with the flour mixture.
9. Scoop into cupcake papers, about three-quarters full. (one ice cream scoop does really well)
10. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.**

** My oven runs hot, but even so… mine only took 13 minutes @ 325 to bake to a perfect pale golden brown. You might want to test one before baking all of them because you do not want to over-bake these - they will get very dry.

Next, while all of your cupcakes are cooling and your filling is chilling, it's time to hit the buttercream!

Coconut-Lime Buttercream Frosting
Enough to lightly frost 24 regular cupcakes

1 stick butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup canned coconut milk (shake can well before opening)
1-1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon lime juice (for an extra kick)

Optional - 1 - 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Rum (though you'll need to add a little more sugar or decrease the coconut milk for this)

1. Beat butter on high for about 30 seconds until soft.
2. Add 1 cup of sugar until incorporated.
3. Add half the milk and the remainder of the sugar and beat until incorporated.
4. Add zest; continue to add milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Note -- Here's where some alcohol can come into play. Either add a few Tablespoons of coconut rum to the mix when you're putting in the milk OR replace some of the coconut milk with the coconut rum. I can't remember which one I did... but I did not use any more than 4 Tablespoons (that I recall - it's very possible I used more because I was tasting the rum as I added... Heh.)

Now, you have filling chilling, cupcakes cooling, and frosting hanging out in the bowl. Let's toast some coconut for the pretty topping. Be careful with this part... it's burns easily!

Toasted Coconut

1. Using either sweetened or fresh grated coconut, place on tin foil lined pan in 325° oven, for about 10 minutes, tossing often to get an even golden color.

OR - this is what I did for the latest batch (and liked it much better than using the oven) --- toss some sweetened coconut into a non-stick skillet and warm over medium heat until it just starts turning golden brown. Remove and place in a ziplock back (left open to release condensation) until you use it. Save any leftover in the bag and use on other things --- I tossed a handful into some ginger teriyaki rice the other night and Oh! My! Heaven!

Finally, it's time to put together some cupcakes!

Though time-intensive, the results really are worth it.

To Assemble:

1. Using a small paring knife, go in at a 45 degree angle a scant 1/3" from the edge and cut out a circle from the top, leaving you with a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with teaspoon or so of filling. (I used a melon ball scoop, made it very simple)
3. Replace the top.
4. Frost with frosting.
5. Decorate the top with toasted coconut.

To Assemble with Coconut Rum in play:

1. Cut out your cone, as instructed above.
2. Using a spritzer bottle (seriously, I took a little old bottle of spray conditioner and cleaned the hell out of it and then filled it with rum), give the inside of the cupcake a good few sprays of rum.
3. Then, fill the cavity with filling, while singing the lime-in-the-coconut song.
4. Replace the top.
5. Spray MORE rum on it. OR if you want to get serious, get a basting brush and a small bowl of rum, brush the tops once, twice, three times with a nice rum coating. Set aside. Add a few spritzes to your mouth. Sing louder.
6. Continue until all the cupcakes are done.
7. Spray MORE rum on the tops (unless you basted them - then, they probably already have had enough. Spray it into your mouth instead). I sprayed each top about 5 times. If your spray bottle really spritzes, you might want to do less or just do it until you're sick of hearing yourself sing. I never get tired of hearing myself sing... so I did quite a bit, I'm sure.
8. Now, frost them and decorate with toasted coconut.

Take these gems to a summer BBQ or a heat-wave pool party. You'll be the talk of the town. They're refreshing and islandy and ooooh gimme more! I have to go bake these now.

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Hi, my name is Dragonfly and I'm a blogging failure.

Okay, so maybe that's a little harsh on myself. It's not that I FORGET to blog. I've actually pulled the blog screen up almost every day for the past two weeks... but then I get distracted by something shiny. Or possibly aliens have taken over my brain via HULU. <---- it's that one.

Dude. Hulu ROCKS! I am on the third season of Sliders right now and it makes working from home VERY COMFY. Just sayin'. My brain is the pink mush.

The other thing keeping me from the blog is my new boyfriend. His name is New House and we are already having relationship issues. I have discovered that being in a relationship with New House means I have soooooo many decisions to make and....

Have I told you how indecisive I can be?????

I have spent weeks and weeks on picking out lights and doorknobs and flooring and paint colors... and I'm kinda not having too much fun with New House any longer. Especially when Mr. Husband gets involved. He tends to conveniently forget conversations we've had about New House -- I've noticed these are usually involving decisions he doesn't necessarily agree with but thought it probably better not to disagree at the time... Thus he just forgets he agreed to something. Very passive-aggressive.

New House is not good for marriage. Really.

We will be signing a contract with the builder in the next week or so and then heading out to get the loan. I imagine there is umpteen deep dark VATS of stress being Fed-Ex'd my way right now. Anyone have a fairy wand to turn them into bubbly pink vats of giggle? I'd much prefer the giggle.

Other than that, things are just keepin' on. Our annual family reunion is next weekend and I have NEVER been so ready for late night Spoons playing and laughter out the wazoo. C-Boy and his kiddo are joining us this year so we are REALLY going to have a full house. The drinks of the year will be Pomegranite Margaritas and Mojitos. YUM. I have feeling the entire weekend is going to be a hangover if I'm not careful with those!

I will definitely report back on all the fun and games as we were told, "there are to be GAMES... as in "bring an extra pair of clothes for the games we are planning this year --- stuff to get us off our butts and bring on an appetite." This is all I know. No other hints. My ankles are saying, "Ummm... more hints please? Do we need to be wrapped?"

Well I am off. There are two very sweaty, VERY tan, sexy men hanging out on my father-in-law's roof and I mean to get in some eye candy before I start my afternoon!! Yes, I am shallow... but if I posted pictures you would TOTALLY understand.

Being a fan of both Twilight and Buffy... this just tickles me.

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