Tie onesie cookies and coconut cake

full set with onesie feature

full set with onesie feature

Celebrating the arrival of little boys with soft blues is a party theme favorite for me. This set was for a “sip and see” shower to welcome the arrival of baby John. I made favor cookies, tied up in cellophane bags with silver-gray ribbon and a coconut rose design cake, incorporating that soft blue into the buttercream roses.

large cake

 The cake was finished with a dash of toasted coconut. I tucked that same coconut into the layers for some extra crunch.

two bottles and hearts

For the bottle cookies, I wanted to use that deep yellow of early fall and the signature baby boy blue. The hearts are little extras with a “J” for the tiny guest of honor. I stenciled polka dots in gold pearl then piped over the pattern with a classic cursive “J,” just like we used to practice in 4th grade.

lots o cookies 

The tie onesie cookies were inspired by professional photos my friend had done of her son, born in June. His summertime sleepy newborn shots featured a sacked out bundle of person wearing only a diaper and a “little man” tie. I was sold.

heart in basket

The coconut cake was a crowd favorite from a previous bridal shower (first comes love….) This time, I amped it up a bit just by adding the blue. The recipe appears below. 

partial cake

Triple Coconut Cake

(adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, Baking Illustrated)

1 large egg plus 5 large egg whites
3/4 cup cream of coconut (found in drink mix aisle of grocery store for pina coladas)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, softened but still cool
2 cups packed sweetened shredded coconut

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease two 9 inch round cake pans with shortening and dust with flour (or use baking spray) and place parchment rounds in the bottom of the pans.
  1. Beat whole egg and egg whites in a large measuring cup with fork to combine.  Add cream of coconut, water, vanilla and coconut extracts.  Beat with fork until thoroughly combined.
  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on lowest speed until combined, about 30 seconds.  With mixer still running on lowest speed, add butter 1 piece at a time, then beat until mixture resembles coarse meal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
  1. With mixer still running, add half of egg mixture.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds.  With mixer still running, add remaining egg mixture in steady stream (this should take about 15 seconds).  Stop mixer and scrape bowl with spatula, then beat at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds (batter will be thick).
  1. Divide batter between cake pans and level with offset or rubber spatula.  Bake until deep golden brown, cake pulls away from sides of pans, and toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes (rotate cakes after about 20 minutes).  Do not turn off oven.
  1. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks about 10 minutes, then loosen cakes from sides of pans and invert cakes onto racks (remove parchment paper from tops), and then re-invert; cool to room temperature.

TO TOAST THE COCONUT:  While cakes are cooling, spread shredded coconut on rimmed baking sheet, toast in oven until shreds are a mix of golden brown and white, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times.  Cool to room temperature.

 TO FROST THE CAKE:  When the cakes are cool, cut each layer in half with a serrated knife (for a total of 4 layers).  When frosting the cake, sprinkle some toasted coconut between each layer.  When the cake is completely frosted, decorate the cake as desired with the remaining toasted coconut.

Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream

(adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook)

4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

  1. In the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the egg whites and sugar.  Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees F).
  1. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat the egg white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks.  Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 3 minutes.
  1. Switch to the paddle attachment.  With the mixture on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more).  Beat in salt and extracts.  Stir with a rubber spatula until the frosting is smooth.
    trays of cookies

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