Coconut-Almond Owl Cupcakes

Coconut-Almond Owl Cupcakes

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Coconut-Almond Cupcakes:

1 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup packed shredded coconut

3/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites, room temperature

1 tsp Almond extract

1.2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup half & half

Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1- 8oz. package cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon cream

1/2 tsp. Almond extract

Decorations:

butter rum hard candies

semi sweet chocolate chips

whole cashews

sliced almonds

Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to combine. In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade add the coconut and process until very fine. Whisk coconut into the flour mixture.

With a electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating in until well combined. Mix in vanilla and almond extract. Add flour in alternating additions in three batches with the half & half. Blend until just combined.

Line muffin pans with about 20 paper liners. Fill each with batter 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes clean when inserted in the center. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

Combine all ingredients and beat until fluffy.

Assembly:

Frost each cupcake. Place two butter rum candies on cake for eyes. Dip a chocolate chip in the frosting and place in the center of each hard candy for the eyes. Place the cashew between the eyes , widest end being the top between eyes. Using the sliced almonds arrange on face as illustrated in the picture.

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