Samoas Inspired Cupcakes {Coconut, Caramel, & Chocolatey Goodness}

I found the recipe for this cupcake and knew I had to try it–Samoas Girl Scout Cookies are my favorite. The brown sugar cupcake recipe is excellent, as is the caramel filling (I made my own salted caramel sauce) and chocolate ganache. The coconut topping got a little too firm (I think I added too much toasted coconut–next time I’ll try a little less to keep it more runny).

I decorated some of the cupcakes with piped ganache (while it was still a little warm and liquid). The others were topped with a red fondant flower.

Notice the flour and sugar canisters in the background. I bought them from Williams Sonoma (wide mouth glass canisters) and added Stampin’ UP! Decor Elements to the front (retired Hostess set of 4–flour, sugar, coffee, and tea).

As you can see from the picture above, I formed the coconut topping into a patty and topped the cupcake. Below, I made the patty a little bigger, which was overkill in my opinion–and I really love coconut! If the topping was runnier, it would have definitely been easier to eat.

This was a test run. Now I know what I’d like to change next time I make them. My daughter’s 4th birthday party is a luau theme and this is one of the cupcakes I planned on making.

Yes, that’s right, I said ONE Of the cupcakes. Coconut is one of those ingredients people either love or hate. I’ll have a safe choice too–it will definitely involve chocolate!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I’ll be back with pictures of food and some cards tomorrow.

In case you’re wondering, this is the English Toffee Pecan Pie I made. The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s recent Pie Contest winner.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cheesecake

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This cheesecake is even more delicious than it sounds. Recipe is adapted from Pecan Pie Cheesecake in the 2009 Special Issue of Southern Favorites Taste of the South magazine. I had some pumpkin left over from another recipe and thought it would make a great addition to this cheesecake!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Pecan Pie Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Filling

  • 3-8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Note oven temperature change later in the recipe)

  1. Spray or grease bottoms and sides of a 9″ springform pan and wrap the bottom with aluminum foil (optional step but it protects against leaks in the oven.)
  2. Assemble the crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until incorporated. Press into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Prepare pecan filling: In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and set over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and syrupy, approximately 8 minutes, again stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly, 5 minutes or so. Pour the pecan  filling over the baked crust and set aside.
  4. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  5. Make the cheesecake filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese and beat until creamy. Add brown sugar, white sugar, and flour, beating until fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each addition and scraping the bowl often. Next, add whipping cream, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
  6. Pour cheesecake mixture over pecan pie filling.
  7. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees. After 1 hour, turn oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 1 more hour.
  8. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake. Do not loosen springform pan yet.
  9. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

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This really is SO good. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had cheesecake in a while, but this pumpkin pecan pie cheesecake hit the spot! The pecan filling sort of seeps into the crust, making a crunchy almost candy/cookie type crust. The cheesecake is creamy with a hint of pumpkin. It’s going to be on my Thanksgiving menu for sure! And despite all the sugar it’s not overly sweet, like pecan pie can be sometimes.

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