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Coconut Cupcakes

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Coconut Cupcakes!!

These coconut cupcakes are infused with coconut cream and topped with smooth coconut buttercream frosting….YUM!!!

Coconut Cupcakes!!!

Coconut is one of my very favorite flavors.  So many people dislike it and I just can’t understand!!  Starbucks used to have the most amazing coconut mochas– discontinued due to lack of interest.  Recently, Cheesecake Factory discontinued my favorite cheesecake- coconut cream pie.  What is this world coming to?

If you like coconut, you will enjoy these cupcakes so much- they are positively bursting with coconut flavor.  Honestly, they are my new favorite cupcake, followed closely by cookie dough cupcakes.  If you don’t like coconut you should make cookie dough cupcakes.  You need cupcakes today.

Yum…..

Coconut Cupcakes!!!

Here’s how to make them: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 12 cupcakes)

Cupcakes

  • 1 ¼ cups of cake flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 egg whites and ½ egg yolk at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/3 cup cream of coconut (plus a little to brush on top)
  • 2 teaspoon water

Coconut Buttercream Icing:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter at room temperature.
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • White food coloring gel.

DIRECTIONS:

Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer combine these dry ingredients well.
  • Cut (room temp!) butter into 1 tbs pieces.
  • Add these pieces one at a time to dry ingredients while blending on low speed.
  • Mix until butter pieces are separated into small bits (no bigger than pea-sized)
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the rest of ingredients.
  • Slowly add half of liquid mixture to dry, while mixing on medium.  Mix until completely combined.
  • Slowly add the rest of the liquid and mix on high for about a minute until well combined.
  • Divide batter into 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Poke holes into tops of each cupcake and use a pastry brush to brush coconut cream on top of each cupcake.
  • Allow coconut cream to soak in while you make icing.

Coconut cupcakes!!

Icing:

  • Add all ingredients except shredded coconut into a mixing bowl and combine with a mixer on low.  Then whip on high until light and fluffy.
  • Frosting will be an off-white color because of the butter.  To make it more “coconut” colored you can add white food coloring gel to your desired shade of white.
  • Add shredded coconut and blend well.
  • Scoop icing on top of each cupcake using a cookie scoop.  Evenly divide icing among the 12 cupcakes.
  • Press coconut on top and sides of entire scoop of frosting.
  • Enjoy!

Coconut Cupcakes!!!

My thoughts:  There are so many fun little cupcake stores out there.  I’ve been trying them out and picking my favorites.  I’ve come to the conclusion that made-from-scratch cupcakes have more potential than boxed mixes.  Potential for both good and bad.  I’ve had some terrible cupcakes and some absolutely heavenly ones.  I’ve decided that I need to be brave and venture into developing my own from-scratch recipes for cupcakes.  This was my 1st attempt and I was really excited they turned out well!  If you need a QUICK coconut cupcake recipe, use a white cake mix with some coconut flavoring and this coconut buttercream.  Here’s to new adventures in life!  Enjoy!!  ~r

Coconut Cupcakes!!!
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Coconut Caramel Cupcakes

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Caramel Coconut Cupcakes
Half-n-half coconut and caramel cupcakes topped with coconut buttercream and melted caramel sauce…yum…!

I was in the baking aisle of my grocery store the other day (of course!) and I saw these:

Cupcake DividerI was understandably intrigued….two flavors in one cupcake….?  This has to be better than just one lonely flavor…..?  Plus they weren’t very expensive.  I had to try them!  So I stood in front of the cake mixes pondering the possibilities… caramel sounded good…but with what?  Coconut!!!  Like those yummy Girl Scout cookies….

I grabbed two cake mixes, some caramels and some coconut.  Ready to go.  Note the two cake mixes.  If you want two flavors you need two mixes, which means that this recipe makes a TON of cupcakes.  48 to be exact.  I made 24 full size cupcakes and then used the rest of the batter making minis for a different recipe idea.  You could make the full 48 and freeze half without the toppings too- just thaw and frost when you need them!

Here’s the recipe.  Makes and frosts 48 cupcakes. (printer-friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 boxed caramel cake mix (with water, oil and eggs to make according to package)
  • 1 boxed white cake mix (with water, oil and eggs to make according to package)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (divided)
  • 4 teaspoons of coconut flavoring (divided)
  • 32 Kraft caramel candies (unwrapped)
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) salted butter (divided)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Make both cake mixes according to box instructions
  • Add 3/4 cup of shredded coconut to the white cake mix along with 2 teaspoons of the coconut flavoring.  Mix well.
  • Place the rest of the shredded coconut on a small cookie sheet in oven for 10-12 minutes until toasted and browned.  Set aside to cool and use for topping at the end.
  • Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan and set batter dividers into center of cups. (get 12….I got 6 and it took longer than I wanted it to!!)
  • Gently spoon batter on each side of divider and tap pan to settle batter into bottom of cup.

Cupcake batter divider!

  • Once batter is evenly spooned in on both sides, just pull divider straight up and out, leaving a half caramel/ half coconut cupcake!  (so fun!!!)
  • Bake at 350F degrees according to times on boxed mix, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking, make your caramel sauce:

  • Place 32 Kraft caramels, sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) of salted butter into a saucepan and heat it on high, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth (takes about 5-6 minutes).  Set aside.
  • Make buttercream frosting by adding 2 sticks of salted butter, 2 sticks of unsalted butter, powdered sugar and remaining 2 teaspoons of coconut flavoring to a large mixing bowl and beating it until it is light and fluffy.
  • Cool cupcakes completely.
  • Mix caramel sauce (reheat a bit if it has started to harden) and dip the tops of each cupcake in the sauce.

Dipping cupcakes in caramel

  • Allow caramel sauce to harden and cool completely (or it will melt your buttercream!)
  • Place coconut buttercream in a large zip top bag that has been fitted with a piping tip in one corner.
  • Pipe frosting over top of each cupcake.
  • Sprinkle toasted coconut on top.
  • Drizzle with any remaining caramel sauce you have left….and enjoy!!!


Coconut Caramel Cupcakes!My thoughts:  Loved these cupcakes…so flavorful and fun!  The two-flavor center got lots of “wow”s and that caramel topping…yum….!  I would get 12 of the batter dividers.  It was just inconvenient to need to wash and dry them half way through.  I’m excited to try other color and flavor combinations now.  Super fun for school colors or sports team cupcakes (go Packers!!).  Hope you are inspired to try these.  I think you will really love them!  Enjoy!!!! ~r

Coconut Caramel Cupcakes

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Butter beer cupcakesMint Creme Brownie CupsBubble Gum Cupcakes!Dark Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Frosty Almond Joy Cups

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Frosty Almond Joy Cups!These adorable frozen cups are layered with chocolate, coconut and almonds.  A new twist on some favorite flavors!!  These use a mini cheesecake pan that is SO much fun, but if you want, you can make these in muffin tins lined with cupcake papers instead.  This recipe makes 12 frozen cups.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 c. of crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. whipping cream
  • About 2 cups of shredded, sweetened coconut
  • About 1 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 c. cold milk
  • 1 box (4 servings, 3.9 oz) instant coconut pudding
  • 1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip (thawed in fridge)
  • 1/4 c. Wilton’s Candy Melts (to drizzle on top as decoration)

DIRECTIONS

  • Crush Oreos into fine crumbs. (I love my KitchenAid food chopper for this job!)
  • Prepare mini cheesecake pan by placing disks into the bottom of each cup.
  • Evenly divide crust mixture into all 12 cups (I used a Mini Tart Shaper to press crumbs firmly into the bottom of each cup).
  • Place semi-sweet chocolate chips and whipping cream into a small bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
  • Spoon chocolate into a zip top bag, cut a tip off and evenly pipe chocolate into the center of each cup, on top of the crust.
  • Sprinkle about a tablespoon of coconut and slivered almonds into each cup

Almond Joy How-to

  • Mix cold milk with pudding on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in 1/2 of the Cool Whip container (the rest will be used as topping).
  • Spoon filling into a large zip top bag (and ZIP it or you might have a mess!)  Clip a corner off and pipe pudding into each cup evenly.  Try to pipe it in between the coconut and almonds so that the whole cup is filled.  I did have a little left over (which was really tasty straight out of the bag!)
  • Use a knife to smooth the tops level with the top of the pan.
  • Freeze for at least a couple of hours.
  • Allow the pan to warm just a bit before popping each dessert cup out.  Poke a finger up through the hole in the bottom of the pan and grab that Almond Joy cup by its crust.  Remove the disk from the bottom and you are ready to add topping. 
  • For topping, I just piped a little bit of the left over Cool Whip on each dessert using a decorating tip.  Then I topped it off with a little melted chocolate (Wilton’s candy melts) and a whole almond with some coconut.  You could decorate yours however you want!
  • Serve cold right away– or put them in a sealed container and freeze until you are ready to serve.

Frozen Almond Joy Cups!!My thoughts:  I love Almond Joy candy bars…I love Oreos and anything frozen….so I love these!  These were inspired by an earlier recipe, Frosty S’mores Cups.  I ran across coconut pudding in the store the other day and the wheels started turning.  I think it turned out perfectly– it’s like a coconut cream pie with Almond Joy bars mixed in. mmmmm…….!  I hope you enjoy these little treats!  

Almond Joy cups!
Do you like coconut?  We LOVE it here at Easybaked!  Click on a picture to see other recipes with this yummy ingredient:

Caramel Coconut Creme CupsCoconut Cheesecake BonbonCreamy Coconut CheesecakeLemon Drop Cookies with Coconut

German Chocolate Pie

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German Chocolate Pie This rich chocolate pie is filled with creamy chocolate and coconut, and it is SO easy to make!

My apologies to those of you who have commented or asked questions here in the past few weeks~  the holidays got the better of me this year.  I got terribly sick on Christmas day and my sweet little Casper got sick a week later.  We are both still recovering, but SO much better!  As one of my friends said, “You can tell she’s really sick when she doesn’t even want to bake!”

Poor Casper in his cone of shame!

Poor Casper in his cone of shame!

This recipe just couldn’t be easier, and easy is what I needed this week!  Our family likes to eat at a wonderful Amish restaurant called Das Dutchmen Essenhaus and they have a german chocolate pie there that is AMAZING.  It is by far my favorite pie.  I’ve been looking for recipes that come close to recreating this pie and so far I’ve had no luck duplicating it.  This recipe is worth noting though, as it is easy and really yummy.  It is sooooo rich- serve it with ice cream or whipped topping, and in small slices.

(this slice is too big!!!)

(this slice is too big!!!)

INGREDIENTS: (recipe taken from here)

  • 1 8-ounce package Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 13-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/3 cups  shredded coconut
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell (you’ll need a deep-dish)
  • whipped cream or ice cream (optional, but this is so rich, you’ll need it)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  • In a saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over medium heat.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk, coconut, eggs and sugar. Stir until blended.
  • Pour into unbaked pie shell (I used a frozen one, and the filling came all the way up to the top!)
  • Set pie on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 400 deg oven for 30 -40min.
  • Cool or serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or ice-cream.
  • Store in refrigerator.


Das Dutchmen Essenhaus German Chocolate Pie German Chocolate Pie!

My thoughts:  A simple and delicious dessert, this is a great “need something at the last minute” recipe to have on hand.  Enjoy!!!! ~r

German Chocolate Pie!Other pie recipes you might enjoy from Easybaked: (click on the image to be taken to the recipe)

Peanut butter pieFruit Loop Pie!Blackberry Tart!Chocolate Pecan Tart

Opera Creams

Opera Cream Candy These cream-filled chocolates are so smooth and rich you won’t be able to stop at just one!

I work in a genetics lab.  Every year at Christmas my co-worker Gail brings in the most wonderful candy I’ve ever eaten.  Every year I ask for the recipe and she smiles and says that she can give me the recipe but that I’d need to visit and learn the recipe from her.  Now that I’ve made it, I understand.  This is not a typical Easybaked recipe, it’s very involved.  It’s fun and challenging and oh- soooo worth the effort though!

Gail recently retired and about a week ago I visited her in her kitchen to learn how to make opera creams.

This is a recipe passed down to her from her mom, who had all kinds of thoughts about the making of this candy.  My favorite was that the recipe works best on sunny days and if it’s raining you might as well just wait to make it another day.  We had a beautiful sunny December day to make our candy on, so I’m sure she would have approved.

Lets start with the recipe– that’s the easy part.  I’m going to post it twice– once with pictures and videos and once just straight so you can read it easier.

Gail's moms recipe card

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used tempered dark chocolate bits

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup into a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.

Use a pastry brush to brush water down sides of panGail and her moms candy thermometer

  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)

Bring to 240F degreesDon't stir!!!

  • Remove from stove and add salt, butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)

Pour into a non-plastic dishCooled mixtureKnead into a soft cream

  • Work with hands until firm and creamy- it takes 20-30 minutes and this is pure craziness….here are the stages to expect:
  1. sticky caramel- fairly firm
  2. slimy/ buttery texture– almost like its falling apart
  3. sticky but workable
  4. so sticky that you literally cannot move your fingers and you are sure you will have to get the mixture surgically removed.
  5. no longer sticky- but like playdough with little crumbs falling off at the edges…keep kneading!
  6. Finally creamy and smooth- kneads together in one beautiful dough- like ball.

I filmed Gail as she went through this process.  Click HERE to see the near-miraculous transformation from sticky to creamy smooth!

  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days….yes. TWO DAYS.
  • Bring cream filling back to room temp and roll into balls.

Roll into ballsDip into chocolate...

  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.


Opera Cream CandyMy thoughts: amazingly yummy.  The cream is just like no other candy I’ve tried.  It is worth every bit if the effort it took us to make these.  I found myself cringing as people popped them whole into their mouths though…I kept thinking, “SAVOR those!!!  You’ve no idea how hard I worked on them!!!”  So hard, in fact that I took a two hour nap when I got home!

Opera cream CandyNow for the recipe in an easy-to-read format:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used dark tempered chocolate bits

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup to a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.
  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)
  • Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)
  • Work with hands until firm and creamy.
  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days.
  • Bring cream filling to room temp and roll into balls.
  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.

Opera Cream Candy

A huge “thank-you” to Gail for spending so much time teaching me her family recipe!  We had such a fun day together cooking AND trying lime phosphates while we waited for candy to cool!

Having fun while the candy cools!

Enjoy!!!!!  ~r

Other (easier!) Christmas recipe ideas from Easybaked~ Click on the image to be taken to the recipe:

Chocolate molten lava cupcakesCake balls filled with cream cheese frostingChocolate bonbonsHot Chocolate Pops!

Coconut Lemon Drop Cookies


These crunchy little cookies are full of sweet coconut and tart lemon drop flavor- yum!!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 T. (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter -room temp.
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 6 t. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 c. finely crushed cornflakes
  • yellow food coloring (to desired shade)
  • 1 c. shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c. Wilton’s candy melt in white chocolate
  • 15 lemon drops (or other lemon-flavored hard candy)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Place 1 c. shredded coconut on a small cookie sheet and place in oven for 10-15 minutes until it is dried and crunchy— not browned– just dry and crunchy.  Remove from oven and cool.
  • When coconut is cool, use your hands to crush it up  into smaller pieces, set aside.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Cream sugar and butter together, add vanilla.
  • Add lemon juice, food coloring, flour and coconut, beating until well combined.
  • Add crushed cornflakes and mix (use clean hands if you want!) until well combined.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to spoon batter onto parchment paper. Press tops down a little to make the cookie flat on top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool.
  • Crush candies in a small zip-top bag using a hammer.
  • Melt Wilton’s candy melts in a small bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments until smooth and completely melted.
  • Spoon melted white chocolate into a zip top bag, clip a corner off and drizzle over each cookie.
  • Before chocolate hardens, sprinkle generously with crushed candy.  Allow chocolate to harden and ENJOY!!

My thoughts:  These cookies were really a stretch as far as inventing goes– I was really unsure if they would be any good at all.  They are SO yummy- I’ve had 4 now…(shhh….) I took them to a Labor Day picnic and everyone loved them– especially the “crunchiness”.  Well, everyone but my Uncle Keith who hates coconut….who hates coconut?  Just seems wrong.  Anyway– if you like lemon and candy and coconut and cookies—you are gonna love these little treats!!!!  Enjoy!  -r

Seven Layer Cookie Cups

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Confession:  I’ve never had or made 7 layer bars.  But ever since I created the salted caramel cookie cup recipe, my friend Dawn (and her husband Rex!) have been asking me to try a cookie cup filled with 7 layer bar ingredients.

Now that I’ve tried them, I am in love with 7 layer bars.  The bars are very easy to make and there are tons of recipes online for them.  There are many variations of ingredients, but I made my cups with Dawn’s favorites.  The cups are a little more time consuming than plain bars– but very, very fun!  The cookie cup holds all the yummy ingredients together and adds a dense sweet layer to the typical bar recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tube of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1c. of finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 1c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4c. butterscotch chips
  • 1c. shredded coconut
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk

(yep, thats 7 ingredients!)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using clean hands, knead together graham cracker crumbs and cookie dough until all crumbs are incorporated.
  • Divide dough evenly among 12 (standard size) muffin cups.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes
  • Press centers of baked cookies in, forming a cup. I use a mini tart shaper for this and it makes it SO easy- you can use the end of a wooden spoon too, if you want.  The inside of the cookies might still be a little undercooked at this point — that is ok!
  • Layer the remaining dry ingredients in each cookie cup, saving some coconut aside.
  • Place sweetened condensed milk in a zip top bag, clip a corner and drizzle the condensed milk into each cup over and around all the ingredients.  I went to each cup twice, as the liquid seeped down into all the layers there was room for more on top.
  • Sprinkle top with shredded coconut and place back in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.  Watch for your coconut to brown on top– that is your cue to pull them out!
  • Cool completely in pan.  
  • Use a small knife to run around edge of each cup and pop it out of pan when cooled.

My thoughts:  I love them!  You could experiment with ingredient variations to this if you don’t like nuts or coconut for example. I like them as is.  Since I’d never had a 7 layer bar, I was depending on Dawn and Rex to judge the taste- they give them a thumbs up!  If you want gooey chocolate and coconut then this is YOUR dessert!  Enjoy!


Chocolate Cookies – New Zealand Style!

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Tiny, crunchy chocolate and coconut cookies with a delicious chocolate glaze- SO good!

I love food blogs- particularly ones that major in fun desserts!  One of my favorite Saturday morning activities is to read through all my favorite blogs and enjoy the photos.  This past weekend Aimee from Clever Muffin posted a recipe that I simply HAD to try.  This doesn’t happen very often, as I prefer creating to copying–but the photos of these little cookies just screamed MAKE ME!!!  So I did.

I love them– truly LOVE these cookies.  They are so light and crunchy and cocoa-y.  I will be adding these to my permanent recipe collection and making them again….soon.

These are called Afghan Biscuits.  One of the things I love about Aimee is that she’s from Australia and she calls cookies “biscuits”, powdered sugar “icing sugar”and her mom her “mum”.  I also love that the world is such a small place that I can get a recipe from a friend in Australia and here I am 3 days later eating New Zealand-ish “biscuits” in my living room.  So. Much. Fun.

Anyway, Aimee has the history of these cookies on her blog.  She says they were invented in the 1940’s, possibly as a means to send cookies to loved ones away at war in WW2.  She says they “post” (so cute!) beautifully.  I know several of you have ones you love far away from you– here’s a great idea for a cookie that keeps well in the mail.   Are you ready for the recipe???  I’m really excited to share it with you!

INGREDIENTS:

Cookies:

  • 14 T. butter -softened (I know, awkward measurement…had to convert 200 grams for you though and the alternatives were 1.76 sticks of butter OR 0.88 cups of butter….so yeah….you choose.)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 c. lightly crushed cornflakes
  • 1 c. shredded coconut

Icing:

  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 T. cocoa powder
  • Water (1-3 T.) to make a good spreading consistency.
  • Almond slivers (to garnish)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Place 1 c. shredded coconut on a small cookie sheet and place in oven for 10-15 minutes until it is dried and crunchy— not browned– just dry and crunchy.  Remove from oven and cool.
  • When coconut is cool, use your hands to crush it up  into smaller pieces, set aside.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Use an electric beater to cream sugar and butter together, add vanilla.
  • Add flour, cocoa and coconut, beating until well combined.
  • Add cornflakes and beat on low speed until just combined.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to spoon batter onto parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool before frosting.
  • Make icing by combining  powdered sugar, cocoa and water until you have a smooth glaze that doesn’t run off the edges of the cookies.
  • Top cookie with icing and one almond sliver.


My thoughts:  These are SO good.  SOOOOOOOOOO good.  Many thanks to Clever Muffin for the inspiration!  Go check out her blog– you will love it!  Enjoy!!!!!!  -r

Mango Smoothie Pops

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These creamy mango popsicles are filled with fun fruit and ice cream– a perfect summer treat!

A few weeks ago I shared a recipe from my travels to Mexico- Leche de Chocolate and this week I want to share another favorite with you.  One of my trips to Mexico involved 10 days of digging a foundation for a new church building in a little town in Sinoloa.  We used pick-axes to dig twelve 5-foot deep holes that eventually had cement footers poured into.  By noon it was over 120 degrees and one of our favorite treats was when the local kids would bring us “helados” or homemade fruit ice cream in plastic bags.  I was a little hesitant at first, but after I bit the corner off of the bag and had a taste, I was addicted!  SO refreshing and delicious!  I asked my friend Clarissa for the recipe and she graciously wrote it out for me:

I’ve made it many times since and it always makes me smile when I remember those long hot (incredibly fun!) days.

A few days ago I came across some really fun popsicle molds called Volcano Pops.  The centers of the popsicle can be filled with things and I just imagined the creamy mango pops filled with coconut, or ice cream or berries…..endless possibilities!  So I had to try them!  SO much fun!  Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of cubed fresh mango (about 2 medium mangos)
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c. sugar (use more or less depending on how sweet your fruit is)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Combine all of above ingredients in a blender (I used an Oster Smoothie MakerI got it for Christmas and I LOVE it– it makes smoothies right into a cute to-go cup.  These ingredients fit perfectly into the cup and made my clean up really easy!)
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into  popsicle molds (or into sandwich bags– then just knot the top) and freeze overnight.
  • Remove popsicles from mold (and fill if you used Volcano Pops) or clip a corner off the bag and ENJOY!

My thoughts:  Only one— the mango pop filled with vanilla bean ice cream?  Oh.  My. Word. 🙂

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Creamy Coconut Cheesecake

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Chewy layers of coconut covered in dark chocolate cheesecake make this dessert irresistible!

A few months ago I made coconut macaroons– yum. I love coconut. I kept thinking that the macaroons would be good with chocolate. I used Nestle’s new Dark Chocolate Morsels in a Triple chocolate cheesecake a few weeks ago and decided then and there that the dark chocolate cheesecake would be perfect with the coconut macaroons. I didn’t get too creative with this recipe- I just used the coconut macaroon recipe and spread it in the bottom and used the dark chocolate cheesecake recipe over the top—-fingers crossed and YUM! It worked wonderfully!

This recipe is not hard, but it is going to take you some time, so you will want to make it ahead.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Oreos (2 to 2 1/2 cups, finely crushed)
  • 1/4 c. butter (melted)
  • 2 egg whites (beaten until soft peaks form)
  • one (14oz.) bag of sweetened shredded coconut
  • one can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 (8oz.) packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1/2c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels (melted)
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 3 t. vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

  • Finely crush Oreos and mix with melted butter. Press into bottom of a 9-Inch Round Springform Pan.
  • In a medium bowl combine egg whites, coconut and sweetened condensed milk. Press this macaroon mixture gently over the top of the crust (if you are too vigorous in spreading this it will pull up your Oreo crust).
  • In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating with mixer between each egg.
  • Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.
  • Pour over coconut layer.
  • Set springform pan on a cookie sheet and allow batter to settle at room temperature for 30 minutes (this will help prevent cracks). Preheat your oven to 325 degrees at this time.
  • Bake cheesecake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. At one hour, turn oven off, crack open the oven door and allow cheesecake to sit in oven for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven and cool at room temp for 30 minutes.
  • Carefully run a sharp knife around the edge of the springform pan to loosen the edges (I found that this cheesecake tended to stick on the edges just a little because of all that gooey coconut- you might want to try a little parchment paper on the sides and bottom to make it easier.)
  • Remove edges of pan and allow cheesecake to set until it is room temperature.
  • Refrigerate overnight before serving.
  • Serve with some whipped cream or sprinkle with coconut….yum!

My thoughts: They have a cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory called Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake and I LOVE it. Originally I thought I would try to copy it exactly, but the chocolate cheesecake is SO much better than vanilla. I didn’t top this cheesecake with any fancy chocolate or drizzles because it is already SO rich…but you certainly could top this with a ganache- or even a caramel sauce. (Especially if your top cracks a bit and you want to hide that). All of my other cheesecake recipes have toppings on them if you need some topping inspiration 🙂 Enjoy! -r

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