Cherry Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

Chocolate-covered coconut candy is tucked inside each of these moist morsels. The ganache frosting is complemented by coarse sugar and chocolate-covered cherries.

Yield

24 servings

Ingredients

1 (10 to 12 ounce) package vanilla or white chips
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated (white) sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 (1.9 ounce) packages chocolate-covered coconut candy bars
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
24 maraschino cherries, well drained
3 1/4 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
2 tablespoons coarse sugar

Directions

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.

Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Prepare muffin pans by placing 24 paper baking cups in the cavities or by coating the cavities with Pan Release or baking spray with flour.

In a large bowl, beat the pie filling, buttermilk and eggs until well blended. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into pie filling mixture until blended. Fill baking 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 for 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire cooling 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 wax 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.

Estimated Time

Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Bake Time: 20 minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving: 426 calories, 16 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 255 mg sodium, 67 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

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