So I'm sitting in the dentist's chair. He's whizzing away with his evil, high-speed dentistry tools, and his assistant is sucking the very life out of my mouth with her heinous mouth sucker-tube, and it sounds like the tarmac at JFK, all noise and blowing and ear-piercing din, and the dentist starts talking to me.
"Tooth," I hear. Then "don't... because... or... important."
I want to laugh, I really do.
He continues: "Careful... this... food... risky."
When he turns off the machinery, I begin: "Um, how long have you been practicing dentistry?"
And I know the answer, or can at least guess, because he's a wizened old guy who has clearly been around the oral block more than a few times, and he replies, "Thirty-six years. Why?"
And I want to answer: "Because after thirty-six years you should know that no patient could possibly hear you when you've got her mouth jacked open like the hood of a Hummer and your torture tools are cranked up to 11."
But I don't. Instead, I say: "Just curious."
He then powers up again and continues muttering inaudibly.
Which leads me to this: I know, intellectually, that my older son doesn't love coconut; he has made this very clear in the decade since we've known each other.
But sometimes we, and I include myself here, go against all logic. We do things common sense dictates we shouldn't. Like make kid-friendly cupcakes in a flavor our kids don't like. Or talk to people who can't hear us.
Unlike my dentist, though, I prevailed with the cupcakes. They were a smashing success.
Was it the cream cheese icing?
Recipe for Coconut Cream Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
My friend Jacque brought me several wonderful devil's food cupcakes last week, and she then lent me her Martha Stewart Cupcakes book. The coconut cupcake recipe in there held this admonition: "Be sure to buy only unsweetened coconut milk, not the sweeter varieties (such as Coco Lopez) used to make mixed drinks."
I defied you, Martha Stewart. In about 12 different ways.
Makes 11 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup almond meal
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 whole egg + 1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup Coco Lopez, or other brand of cream of coconut (not unsweetened coconut milk)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 11 holes of a cupcake tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the almond meal and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides. With the mixer running, slowly add the whole egg and egg white down the side of the bowl, then add the two extracts. Continue beating, stopping to scrape the sides once or twice. Batter may look curdled; that's okay.
Add half the flour mixture; beat. Add the cream of coconut; beat. Add the remaining flour, and beat on medium high until the batter looks light and completely smooth, about 1 minute.
Scoop the batter into the paper cupcake liners. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool completely. And I do mean completely. Then frost.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
1-1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and cream cheese until very light and soft. Add the powdered sugar and coconut cream, and continue beating until frosting looks smooth, light, and luxurious. Refrigerate if not using immediately. (Bring to room temperature and re-beat before using.)