And the winners are ...coconut lovers

Ingredient found in both Ag Expo & Fair champion confections

Ingredient found in both Ag Expo & Fair champion confections

July 25, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

Sometimes you know you're eating coconut. Sometimes you don't.

But both can be a winner.

Kaitlyn Corbett, 14, of Downsville, baked the grand champion of 4-H Club baked goods at the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair - for the second consecutive year - on the merits of a carrot cake that contains coconut flakes.

Coconut provided a subtle flavor in the carrot cake. Whereas the use of coconut in the open-class grand champion of baked goods was more obvious. The coconut is the first thing you see with Toasted Coconut Snowballs.

"I like to bake for my husband and he likes coconut," said Wendy Price, 38, who lives on Keedysville Road south of Hagerstown. Price got the recipe out of the magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray. Price said she usually finds the coconut milk in the international aisle at grocery stores.


Price's husband, Dale, liked the cupcakes, and it's hard to find things he likes, she said.

When looking for a good carrot cake recipe, Kaitlyn turned to a trusted source - her grandmother, Jeanie Corbett.

Jeanie Corbett won a cake competition at a Hancock Grange festival more than 30 years ago with the same recipe. Jeanie Corbett, who lives west of Hancock, said she got the recipe from a family friend.

Funkstown resident Ann Platou, who judged the 4-H competition, said the carrot cake was very moist with great flavor and texture.

"It's one of the best carrot cakes I've ever had," Platou said.

The key to the cake's moistness is the crushed pineapple, Kaitlyn Corbett said.

Kaitlyn said she decided to look for a carrot cake recipe for this year's competition because it would be something she hadn't done before. Last year she won with a butternut poundcake recipe she got from her great-grandmother Edna Divel, who lives west of Hancock.

Like Kaitlyn is now, Price was once in 4-H. That's where she got the baking bug.

Several years ago her macadamia nut cookies won grand champion of cookies at Ag Expo, she said.

Aaron Kelly of Hagerstown, who was a judge for the open-class competition, liked Price's cupcakes so much he bought them during Friday night's cake auction at the fair. He bought the last two cupcakes for $10.

Frank and Shawna Corbett bought their daughter's winning carrot cake for $350 during the auction.

The auction raised $4,412 for Washington County 4-H programs, said Beth Bubacz, extension educator for 4-H youth development. The more than 60 baked goods entries that were champions or reserve champions were sold at the auction.

Toasted Coconut Snowballs

3 cups shredded sweetened coconut

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

3 sticks (4 ounces each) unsalted butter, (1 stick melted, 2 sticks at room temperature)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons rum or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

One (7.5-ounce) jar marshmallow cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin pan.

Spread the shredded coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, shaking the baking sheet occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the granulated sugar and 1 cup of the toasted coconut.

In a small bowl, stir together the coconut milk, melted butter, eggs and rum. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, filling about three-quarters of each cup; bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat the remaining butter until creamy. Beat in half the confectioners' sugar until fluffy, then beat in the remainder. Add the marshmallow cream and beat until combined. If the mixture is too thick to pass through a squeeze-bottle nozzle, stir in a tablespoon or so of water.

Fill a squeeze bottle or pastry bag with about 2/3 cup of the marshmallow frosting. Insert the tip of the bottle into the top of each cupcake and squeeze frosting into the center. Spread frosting on the top, sides and bottom and sprinkle the cupcakes with toasted coconut.

Serves 12.

- Courtesy of Every Day with Rachael Ray, May 2007 issue

Carrot Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups grated carrots
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream eggs and sugar until smooth. Add oil and blend well. Blend in carrots, crushed pineapple, coconut and vanilla.

Into a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Then add the sifted ingredients and the nuts to the batter and mix until blended.

Pour into a well-greased and floured 10-inch tube pan and bake for 40 to 55 minutes.

- Courtesy of Kaitlyn Corbett

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