Chocolate-covered coconut candy is tucked inside each of these morsels. The ganache frosting is complemented by coarse sugar and chocolate-covered cherries. —Sandy Ploy, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
- 1 package (10 to 12 ounces) vanilla or white chips
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup baking cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 packages (1.9 ounces each) chocolate-covered coconut candy bars
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon shortening
- 24 maraschino cherries, well drained
- 3-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- For ganache, place vanilla chips and butter in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chip mixture; whisk until smooth. Stir in extract. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- In a large bowl, beat the pie filling, buttermilk and eggs until well blended. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into pie filling mixture until blended.
- Fill 24 paper-lined muffin cups one-third full. Cut candy bars in half; place half of a candy bar in center of each cupcake. Cover each with 2 tablespoonfuls batter.
- Bake at 375° for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip cherries in chocolate mixture; allow excess to drip off. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set.
- Remove ganache from refrigerator; gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until frosting is light and fluffy. Pipe over cupcakes; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Garnish with chocolate-dipped cherries. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Cherry Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2009, p161
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