Hoping you had a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Christmas!  It came and went!  But, I'm still celebrating because there are still CUPCAKES!!!

These are coconut cupcakes and they are delicious!  The cake, the frosting, everything!  They're from Ina, you know, the Barefoot Contessa.  Don't you wish you lived right next door to Ina?  I'd like to live right in between Ina and the Pioneer Woman with maybe Martha the next block over....I don't clean enough for Martha to live next door.

I trust Ina....and this recipe is no exception.  I've made them several times and make the recipe exactly as she writes it.  No tweaking, no modifying....it's perfect.
Here is the recipe for the coconut cupcakes and the frosting in their original perfect state from Ina. (I did use large eggs instead of XL, but that was all I had on hand.)

{Just to give you an idea of how good it is.....the frosting starts like this:
....with 3 sticks of butter and a pound of cream cheese. Yep, it's good.}

For the holly, I planned to make fondant, but December 25th kept getting closer and closer.  I saw marzipan on the grocery store shelf and decided to give it a try.

You guys....it was EASY!!!  Marzipan is basically ground almonds and sugar.  Inside the box, it comes wrapped in a tube.
I divided it and used my AmeriColor Gel Paste food coloring in Super Red and Leaf Green to color it.  (I put my hands in baggies while kneading in the color because I didn't have any gloves....and we were going to a Christmas party and I didn't want to scare anyone with red & green hands.)
To shape the holly berries, I just pinched off pieces of the colored marzipan and rolled it into balls.  For the leaves, I rolled out the marzipan and used a tiny maple leaf cutter. Then with a paring knife, made the leaves a little more pointy.  I used the knife to make veins in the leaves as well.
Once formed, the marzipan can be left out at room temperature.
I do hope you had a HOLLY jolly Christmas. We did...and this picture about sums it up...
{Have a favorite from your holiday baking? Or a favorite from someone else? Feel free to leave a link in the comments.}
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