Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

The first graders in Joshies school have their Easter egg hunt tomorrow. He wants me to come be one of the volunteer moms who hides eggs and acts all gleeful to be in a crowd of moms I don’t know. *Sobs* The child is young. He hasn’t yet learned that his mother is a total introvert, with social anxiety issues to boot. While I COULD go do this, and use it as a handy excuse to have a drink later, I think I prefer to go to the Easter egg hunt, cheer him on from the back of the mass of people and then quietly slink off to wait for school to end and Spring break to start. Though Spring break brings with it its own reasons to have a bottle of booze handy.

I already have his first Spring break snackie all ready with these blondies (Did ya see that smooth segue there? Huh, huh, huh?). Generally speaking, I prefer chocolaty brownie type bars, but every once in a while I get a wild hair and want to play with something else.ย  One of my favorite brownie recipes are these caramel pecan brownies. They are so easy and what you get from that easiness is an outstanding brownie; chewy, chocolaty and gooey. In other words, right up my alley. But the idea had been flitting around in my head to see what else I could do with the basic recipe. I know some people like their chocolate a little more muted and these should please those people immensely. But you know what? The rest of you will love them too. I know I do. These are simple as can be since they use cake mix (yes, cake mix. Quit rolling your eyes; they’ll stick that way.) and bagged caramels. I’ve learned in my many years of life (many, many years) that things don’t always have to be fancy to be delicious. These turned out really well. They are almost candylike in their texture; chewy, but not hard to chew, gooey, with just enough chocolate in them. Plus, the toasted coconut and pecans add a nice crunch and flavor to them. Cut these in fairly small bars. They are pretty rich.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk (you can sub half and half it you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup toasted coconut (350 oven, single layer in a baking dish for about ten minutes; stir once during toasting)
  • 21 ounces (give or take) caramel candy (I used Kraft; it takes about a bag and a half), unwrapped (I assume you know to unwrap them, but I have to be careful here ๐Ÿ˜› )
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or half and half (yes, this is supposed to be in here twice)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 baking pan with foil; lightly grease the foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, melted butter and extracts. Use a spoon to mix just until combined. It’s ok if there are still some lumps in the batter.
  3. Use your hands (lightly grease or flour them; it helps) to spread/press about half the batter into the prepared pan. It may take a touch more than half; that’s fine. Bake at 350 for five minutes.
  4. While it’s baking, in a medium bowl, combine the caramels and the 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Then continue to microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until the caramels are melted. It’s again ok if there are small lumps and it’s not perfectly smooth. You just want a more or less smooth caramel mixture, but a few lumps won’t hurt.
  5. Pour half the caramel sauce on top of the partially baked crust. be careful spreading it since the crust isn’t cooked all the way and will tear if you’re not gentle. Top this with the toasted coconut, pecans and half the chocolate chips. Then pour the rest of the caramel sauce over the top.
  6. Mix the other half of the chocolate chips with the remaining batter, then spoon dollops of the batter over the top of the caramel. it’s not going to cover it all; that’s cool. Just try to evenly space the dollops over the top.
  7. Put the pan bake in the 350 oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top it browned and the caramel is bubbly.
  8. Let cool in the pan at LEAST a couple of hours (overnight in a cool place is best), then use the foil to lift the blondies out onto a cutting board. If they start to sag in the middle, they aren’t cool enough yet.. Peel off the foil, then cut the blondies into serving size pieces.

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Revamped Morning Glory Muffins

Revamped Morning Glory Muffins

Revamped Morning Glory Muffins

It’s no secret that I don’t like carrots. I whine about it every time I post a recipe that uses carrots in it, I make mention of it on my personal page in facebook every time my husbands dares to want carrots with dinner, I moan when my youngest child eats carrots dipped in ketchup (don’t ask). Carrots are just…icky. They’re fibrous and hard to chew and don’t have a ton of flavor unless they are roasted (which is one of the few ways I willingly eat them). Did I mention that I think they’re icky.

Except when they aren’t.

These muffins are a definite case of they aren’t yucky. I mean, I know a bunch of you have already heard of Morning Glory Muffins. They’re pretty much a breakfast standard, and can be found in a bunch of home style cookbooks. But let’s keep one thing in mind, please.

This is me. I don’t do ANYTHING normally. That includes making these muffins. I wanted to ramp up the flavor a bit, add a bit more to make these interesting enough that even the kids wouldn’t scoff over having a muffin full of fruits and vegetables. I think I succeeded. These have all the nutrition of the original muffins, but with a blast of flavor that comes from a small amount of dark chocolate, some dried apricots and a fair amount of orange zest, along with some other minor changes I made. These aren’t the prettiest of muffins, since you have a boatload of fruits and veggies with just enough batter to bind them together, but darn, they taste good. I scarfed one down hot from the oven and it was heavenly. Moist, tender, with crunch from the toasted nuts and coconut as well as the carrots and the varied flavors of everything else in there, all finished with gooey chocolate.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Revamped Morning Glory Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/2 cup raisins (make sure you use good ones, not dried shriveled ones)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted*
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (or dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two 12 cup muffin tins with liners. Alternately, grease them well.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add in the carrots and orange zest and stir to combine.
  3. Dump in the raisins, coconut, pecans, apricots and dark chocolate. Stir well.
  4. Make a well in the center and dump in the oil, eggs, vanilla and crushed pineapple. Stir just until combined. Don’t overbeat or you’ll end up with tough muffins full of holes.
  5. Fill each muffin cup 2/3’s full of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are a golden brown color. Let rest in the tin for a bout 2 minutes, then use a butter knife or spoon to get them out to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  6. These are a great breakfast and/or an after school snack you can feel ok giving the kiddos. Drizzle with some honey and butter for a real treat!
  7. * To toast the coconut and nuts, simply place in a single layer in a baking pan in a 350 oven and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Watch carefully; both nuts and coconut can go from nicely browned to burnt very quickly.

Coconut Hot Chocolate With Almond Fluff Whipped Cream

Coconut Hot Chocolate With Almond Fluff Cream

Coconut Hot Chocolate With Almond Fluff Cream



I’m one of those weirdos who loves Winter. I love the coziness, the enforced family time (helpful for seeing ones kids when they’re teens. They simply can’t get away in the Winter. Buahahahahaaaa!), the foods (mmm, soups and stews), the clothes. I mean, what woman doesn’t love cozy fluffy sweaters, right?

But one thing I don’t care for is extreme cold. I grew up in Chicago, so it’s not like I didn’t get used to it back in the day. But I’ve been in Kentucky for 26 years now (yes, longer than some of you have been alive, lol) and my body has acclimated to the temps here. I think I would probably just whimper and die in Chicago now. The last few years though, our part of Kentucky has been getting some pretty frigid cold fronts coming through that are very reminiscent of my growing up days. One is expected to hit tonight putting the temp down to about 1 degree with wind chills of about 15 below. Time to get the outdoor cats locked in the garage with the kerosene heater to make sure they stay safe and warm. Time to keep the wood burning fire going. On a side note from that, I have to laugh every time we need to start a fire because it kills my husband that I can get a fire going with a stick and some paper and he can barely get one going with a blow torch, a gas can and 3 full grown trees. I keep teasing him that I’m going to steal his man card.

One thing I love when it’s cold is any excuse to make a hot, soothing drink. Sometimes I like them spiked, but more often than not, I just like drinks that are booze free and creamy. Creamy and I are bff’s from way back.

Now, I’m not usually a fan of The Food Network. I tend to turn a cynical eye towards many of the people who have shows on that channel or recipes online. But I do buy the Winter issues of their magazine since, well, I buy the Winter issues of pretty much every Winter food magazine published. Because soups, stews, cozy food. Enough said.ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  So, in the March 2012 issue (yes, it’s taken me this long to get to it), there was the “He Made, She Made” column where two of their cooks make recipes based on a certain food or theme. It was Bobby Flay up against Anne Burrell, making hot chocolate. I’ve had Bobby Flay’s recipe cut out from the magazine since then. I don’t even remember what Anne Burrells was, so it must not have excited me that much. But Bobby’s had a can of coconut milk in it. The words coconut milk are a siren call for me. I have been known to have to open an extra can of coconut milk when making curries because I eat too much of it straight from the can. Yes, yes I do like hardened arteries. Why do you ask?

So, this drink was wonderful. I’m one who can never decide if I want whipped cream or marshmallows on top of hot chocolate. With this, I get both because you combine whipped cream with marshmallow fluff. WooT! I was happy! Plus, you get hot chocolate. With coconut milk. Really; do I need to say more? The only thing I did differently here was to up the amounts of extracts. I like more intense flavors. ๐Ÿ™‚
You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚
Mrs. Cupcake, who wants to be swimming in a vat of coconut milk.

Coconut Hot Chocolate With Almond Fluff Whipped Cream

  • Fluff whipped cream-
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff (store the rest in the fridge for another time… or just eat it straight from the jar. I won’t tell)
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto or sub with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Hot chocolate-
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 can coconut milk (NOT coconut cream.)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used more; I admit it.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut for garnish (to me, this is definitely optional. I don’t want hot chocolate with texture ๐Ÿ˜› )
  1. Make the whipped cream and set aside- Combine the topping ingredients in a medium bowl. You can use either your stand mixer with the whisk or a hand mixer at medium speed, though I suggest starting at low so you don’t wear the splattering cream. Whip until it forms nice soft, fluffy peaks.
  2. Combine the coconut milk and the whole milk in a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Add in the cocoa powder, brown sugar (your best bet is to combine the cocoa with the sugar to help avoid the cocoa lumping up), chocolate chips, vanilla extract and salt.
  3. Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking the whole time, until the chocolate is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Pour into cups and top with a dollop of the whipped topping, then some of the toasted coconut if you’re using it.

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Coconut Lime Pound Cake

Coconut Lime Pound Cake

Coconut Lime Pound Cake

I was thisclose to getting my Autumn on and deluging you with Pumpkin, Apple and Maple recipes because…well, pumpkin. Pumpkin, apple and maple…oh my, pumpkin and apple and maple, oh my. You know you just said that sing song “Wizard Of Oz” style. Admit it.

But then, one night, while I was NOT sitting and watching Rocky II for the third time in as many weeks (I’m not a Stallone fan normally, but dayum, he was hot in that movie ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and looking through one of the 9000 cooking magazines I have, I saw this recipe. There was no way I could pass it up and definitely no way I could wait until the politically correct blogger time of early Summer or Spring to make this. I absolutely love the combo of coconut and lime and tend to use it often. I also love pound cake with a passion usually saved for Cheetos and Ho-Hos before they changed the recipe.

This is totally worth putting off Fall baking for a few days. Worth it enough that I wish I had gotten it out of the house and sent it to work with my husband because it’s evil as it stares it me and taunts me to eat just one more slice. The lime and coconut flavors blend so beautifully with neither overpowering the other. This has the quintessential pound cake crumb; moist, dense and tender with the bottom (what was the top in the pan) being crispy and crunchy like a good pound cake should be. I didn’t make any drastic changes from the cookbook/magazine recipe. I used lime juice in the glaze instead of just milk and I added zest in the cake batter because all it used originally was the juice and that was NOT acceptable. Must…have…zest. Also, I used a fair amount more vanilla extract. It also called for coconut in the cake and I don’t care for that, so buh-bye it went. Otherwise, still pretty much like the book.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Coconut Lime Pound Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup solid shortening, room temp
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut (not coconut milk; cream of coconut can be found with the cocktail mixers)
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • zest from one lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Lime Glaze-
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • toasted coconut for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray made for baking (Bakers Joy or Wiltons) or grease and lightly flour the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and extracts until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lime zest. In a measuring cup, combine the cream of coconut, lime juice and water.
  4. Alternately add the flour mixture, then the coconut mixture to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour (flour, coconut, flour, coconut, flour), beating just until combined after each addition.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan; smooth the top.
  6. Bake at 325 for 65 to 75 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for ten minutes, then slide a knife around the edge of the cake and carefully turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
  7. When cool,ย  glaze the cake. To make the cake, simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over the cake. Garnish with toasted coconut.

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Chewy Coconut Blondies

Chewy Coconut Blondies

Chewy Coconut Blondies




A few months back I started a bottle of homemade vanilla extract. All the “recipes” one can find say to let it age for about 6 weeks. Well, mine has aged about 4 months now. I’ve always been an overachiever :-p I opened it today and took a whiff. It was, without a doubt, one of the most amazing scented things I had ever smelled. Better than chocolate, better than baking lasagna, better even than my husband after he has been doing he man work in the yard. It immediately started to perfume the whole kitchen and I’m pretty sure if it hadn’t been simply 80 proof vanilla vodka infused with a ton of vanilla beans (I used vanilla vodka just to up the ante and used far more than the amount of beans usually suggested), I would have upended it into my mouth. It is sheer vanilla heaven.

So since I had this wonderful extract, I needed to find the perfect way to use it. My mind went through shortbread to cheesecake to a vanilla shake. Then I thought of snickerdoodle cookies, sugar cookies and so on and so forth. I wanted something that would highlight that floral vanilla flavor without being overwhelmed by other ingredients or overwhelming them since this is one intense vanilla

The other day, Food52 posted a recipe for Blondies. Now I love a good Blondie anyway…. that subtle flavor, the melty chips, the chewy edges; whats not to like? They are even one of the rare cases where I am fine using nuts.

But, being me, I had to change it some. Not much mind you, but some. I added toasted coconut, extra chocolate chips & extra vanilla, as well as a small amount of coconut extract plus used dark brown sugar instead of light to give it a deeper flavor.These turned out wonderfully. They have slightly crispy, slightly chewy edges, tat wonderful coconut/chocolate flavor that I personally love, the crisp topping of chopped pecans. Just all around delicious enough that it is going to take some major willpower for me to not over indulge in these. Willpower or possibly the National Guard standing over the plate with an M-16 pointed in my direction.

You know the drill…

Chewy Coconut Blondies

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter that has been melted and then cooled to room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted at 350 until light golden brown (stir often)
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil and then grease or spray the foil.
  2. Toast your pecans at 350 for ten minutes or until they are a nice toasty brown. transfer to a plate to cool quicker.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and the brown sugar. Whisk well to combine. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract and coconut extract
  5. Fold in the toasted coconut, chocolate chips and pecans. I actually sprinkled the pecans on top because I like the way it looks that way, but either way works.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes. The top should be somewhat shiny and crinkled looking. Cool on a rack in the pan until they are room temp. Lift the brownies out to a cutting board using the foil as handles and cut into small squares. Or big ones. That’s cool too.

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White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars




For a few years now, there has been a recipe floating around the ‘net for lemon brownies. They have, in their various incarnations, been pinned about 4 bazillion times and remade probably as much. There is, at this point, no way to dig and find out who did it first. So, now you’re thinking, “so you made those lemon brownies even though they are all over the internet?! I’m disappointed in you, Janet!”

Surely, you jest? ( “I don’t jest and don’t call me Shirley!” Sorry… I was channeling one of my fathers old jokes.) Me? Me?! Repeat what has been repeatedย  ad nauseam? Not happ’nin. So what did I do, you ask? Please tell me you were asking or about to. Otherwise, kittens will cry.

I…wait for it…changed it up. A lot. You’d NEVER expect that out of me, now would you?! I took the original recipe and kind of turned it on it’s head. It’s no longer lemon. It’s Lime. With coconut flavor… and chunks of Lindt White Coconut Bar. This is…so…good. The bar is slightly chewy and then you get a somewhat melted in bite of White Chocolate Coconut bar along with the tang of lime in the bar and in the glaze. Did I mention that these are fantastic?

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring (in the same area in the store as the vanilla extract)
  • 2 3.5 ounce Lindt Excellence White Coconut bars, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour to toss the chocolate in
  • Glaze-
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • milk if needed to thin glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square pan with non stick foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, flour and salt until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest and the flavorings. Pour into the flour mixture and beat well for about two minutes on medium speed. The mixture will look really thin and even might look somewhat curdled. You didn’t mess up; it’s fine.
  4. Gently, fold in the chopped chocolate. Pour into the prepared pan
  5. Bake at 350 for between 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out barely clean.
  6. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
  7. When cool, combine all the glaze ingredients and spoon over the bars. When the glaze has had a while to firm up (refrigerate if you want o hasten this) lift the bars by the foil and lay out on a cutting board.ย  Cut into desired size squares…or rectangles or if you cut as badly as I do, something resembling a hexagon on steroids.
  8. So far as I can tell thus far, these are good at room temp or straight from the fridge. Haven’t tried frozen.

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Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Coconut Tres Leches Cakes

Coconut Tres Leches Cakes



It’s been an interesting few weeks. The weather practically nationwide has been astonishingly cold. We even got noticeable snow (like 6 inches) of snow here in Kentucky. More mass chaos world wide, politics still suck donkey toes and I STILL haven’t won the lottery. Go figure. Plus, I had surgery and surgery when you’re an old fogey like me is just not quite as easy as when you’re a young pup.

Today was the first day I had cooked since having the surgery. I stood and wobbled over the stove making dinner as my field of vision got smaller and smaller and things got gray while I tried not to pass out lol…. I have this really really bad habit of overdoing things.

I did finally manage to make the cake I mentioned wanting to make a few days ago on my facebook page. Wow, that sentence was awkward grammatically. Sorry… moving on… cake, facebook, yada yada… I said days ago that I was gong to make a Tres Leches Cake. Well, here it is. This was my first time ever having Tres Leche cake and I’m going to be 100% honest with you….. I know this cake is a favorite dessert of many people and quite a popular recipe with many variations if you google it. But…. it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I am, of course, still posting it, because it isn’t always about what I like. Sure, most of what I blog about I enjoy but sometimes I will post things that I didn’t care for just because I know some of you WILL enjoy it. This was a nice moist cake and the way I flavored it, it was wonderfully flavored. But the whole sauce soaked into cake thing didn’t work for me. But again, I know some of you will love this…. soft cake, creamy coconut flavored sauce, and not difficult to make.

The original recipe for this came from Bon Appetit. I made only minor changes, those being the use of coconut extract and coconut milk as well as the lime zest.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Coconut Tres Leche Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13×9 inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and lime zest.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add in the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating just to blend after each one. Beat in the 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring.
  5. Alternately add in the flour and the 1/2 cup half and half,ย  starting with and ending with the flour (flour, half and half, flour, half and half, flour), beating well after each addition.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Lower heat to 325 and continue to bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched on top.
  7. While cake is baking, in a large measuring cup, combine the coconut milk, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavoring.
  8. Cool the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then poke holes all over it with a wooden skewer or fork.ย  Slowly pour about half of the cream topping over the cake, smoothing it to get it down in the holes. Let that soak in for a few minutes, then pour about half of what is left on it, again letting it soak in. The rest can be used to pour over individual slices of cake (or just eaten with a spoon…hey, i said I liked the topping! ๐Ÿ˜› )
  9. Serve the cake with extra topping poured over it, if desired.

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Coconut Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cookies

 

Coconut Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cookies

Coconut Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cookies


I think we’ve all learned by now that I like the combination of chocolate and coconut. I don’t think I realized it myself until I started this blog. But now, when I look back through the blog and see the recipes for different treats with that flavor combo, like Mounds Bar Brownies or Chocolate Bundt Cake With A Creamy Coconut Filling orrrrrr Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies or ๐Ÿ˜› Samoa Wanna Be Cookies, it makes me realize that umm, yeah, I guess I use that combo a lot. But my family hasn’t killed me yet and they are actually some of my more popular postshere so it seems I’m not the only one who likes it. That of course means I feel perfectly safe posting yet another hehe.

These cookies, like practically everything else I make, started out somewhat different. The original recipe comes from The Gourmet Cookbook I actually wasn’t that thrilled with thatย  cookbook. I only found two recipes in the book that interested me enough to try them and their Truffle Cookies was one of them. On a side note however, if you can get a hold of a copy of Gourmet Todayย  grab a copy. I personally found about 25 recipes in there that I tabbed, which for me, was enough to make it worth buying from Amazon. Just got it in the mail today actually and I’m looking forward to making some recipes from it.

But, as I was saying, the recipe was somewhat different when I saw it in the book. I didn’t make a ton of changes to it but enough to make the flavor profile of it quite a bit different. The original was just a plain chocolate truffle cookie and while there’s nothing wrong with that lol, I am, as we know, incapable of keeping a recipe the same. So I went to that favorite of mine… chocolate coconut. I love Almond Joy candy bars so I also threw in some sliced toasted almonds. I’ve mentioned before that while I like coconut, I won’t use it unless it is toasted. I just don’t like the texture of it untoasted. But if you don’t mind it, feel free to omit the toasting of the coconut and almonds. But I highly suggest doing it. It adds a nutty crunchiness to the cookies. If you want to try the cookies the way the book wrote it, just omit the coconut and almonds altogether as well as the coconut extract.

You know the drill…

Coconut Chocolate Fudge Truffle Cookies

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced thin
  • 1 12 ounce package semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • 3 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small baking dish, combine the coconut and the almonds. Toast at 350, stirring once during cooking, until both are light golden brown. Don’t overcook. Nothing worse than the smell of scorched coconut. Don’t ask me how I know this *whistles innocently* Go ahead and shut off the oven after that because the dough has to chill.
  2. Melt together the unsweetened chocolate, butter and one cup of the chocolate chips in a small heavy bottomed saucepan, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and the coconut almond mixture.
  4. Beat together the sugar, extracts and eggs. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and beat until well blended, then add the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
  5. Chill the dough in the fridge in a covered bowl for about two hours or until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 350. Using your lightly dampened hands, roll the dough into small (about 1 inch) balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 350 until puffy and set, about 11 minutes. They will still be soft in the center
  8. Cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes, then remove to a rack to finish cooling.
  9. Hide from the family and eat them all yourself because you love them and want to save them from overeating.

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Toasted Coconut Key Lime Pie Fudge

Toasted Coconut Key Lime Pie Fudge

Toasted Coconut Key Lime Pie Fudge


Last post I made was an ode to Autumn because our weather had been so unseasonably cool and wet. Now however August is back with a vengeance. It’s hot as Hades out there and extremely humid. So my mind is back to thinking of Summery foods. And what is more Summery than key lime pie? Why, key lime pie made into fudge with some tropical coconut flavors thrown in there for good measure, of course.

On another note, today is my birthday! I am 49 years old today. Damn… I’m old. Lol. The only 49 year old I know of with a 4 year old son. So what were my birthday meals like? Totally not exciting, that’s what they were like hehe. I made smoked sausage, rice a roni and carrots. Woohoo?? And my birthday cake is from Wal mart. I have got to learn that it’s ok to make myself a nice birthday dinner the same as I do for the rest of the family. Why do we women do that anyway?ย  But all in all, it’s been a nice birthday. I have my kids, I have the worlds best husband who is still happy to make cups of tea because he loves me. I have books to read, food to eat and lifes little luxuries. I’m good. ๐Ÿ™‚

This fudge is quite yummy. Even the non sweets loving hubby loved it. I was originally going to make just key lime pie fudge but do you have any idea how many of those there are online?! At least 99,999,999,999,999 (please don’t ask me to say out loud what number that is). I could NOT bring myself to just repeat the version someone else made. Nope, not me. So I made this MY way. How, you ask? You did ask, I hope? T’was easy. I topped this with swirls of a homemade lime curd, added some coconut flavor to the fudge itself and topped it all off with some toasted coconut. Oh… my…gosh… this is good! I will definitely be making this again and I am pretty sure it will make into my Christmas treats too. Smooth, creamy, very rich, but saved from overwhelming sweetness by the lime curd and the toasted coconut. The lime curd is just the same recipe I use for lemon curd, with lime juice and zest subbed in there. It makes a pint of curd and you only need half a cup or so for the recipe, but I totally promise you, you won’t mind having extra. This stuff is amazingly good. I keep sneaking spoonsful of it on a spoon. You can do that, spread it on a muffin or scone, top ice cream with it…

You know the drill. Git to cookin’!

Toasted Coconut Key Lime Pie Fudge

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lb GOOD white chocolate, chopped (please don’t use, say, “Acme Brand White Baking Chips”. Use the real thing here. It will make a difference.
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • zest of one small lime
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (this will take about 2 small limes t get)
  • 1/2 cup Lime Curd (Use this recipe for lemon curd, just substituting limes where it calls for lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut, toasted
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 8 or 9 inch square pan with foil Butter the foil, then set the pan aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir well. Dump mixture into the prepared pan and press down into the bottom of the pan to form a crust.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Take out and set aside to cool.
  4. In a medium non stick saucepot, combine your white chocolate, a tablespoon butter and sweetened condensed milk.
  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and add in the lime zest, lime juice and extracts.
  6. Quickly pour into the prepared pan. Spoon dollops of the lime curd over the top of the fudge then using a butter knife (or your fingers. I won’t tell), swirl it into the fudge. Top that with the toasted coconut, pressing down lightly to make sure the coconut sticks.
  7. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
  8. Using a knife you heat under hot water and wipe dry is the easiest way to cut this (or any) fudge. You’ll get much cleaner cuts.
  9. Leftovers can be stored tightly wrapped or even better, wrap each piece individually and freeze them. When you need a sweets fix, there you have it… portion controlled fudge ๐Ÿ™‚

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Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies

Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies

Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a major personality flaw. Well, I have more than one but we won’t get into the others today. The one I’m talking about right now is my inability to let things alone. I am that person who when being sarcastic, always has to say that one last sentence that gets people wanting to look for cement shoes for me. I’m that person that when a joke goes flat, will be standing there saying “no, no, let me explain it to you! It’s funny! Really, it is!”. I’m also that person who, once I’ve made a recipe, then has to make it about 463 times more in different variations just because I love to play around with recipes and put my own stamp on it. I guess that’s one reason I’m a food blogger, huh?. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it’s a case of I should have left well enough alone.

Today it was a definite case of “it works”. Oh…my…gosh…did it work. Now, contrary to what one would think, I’m not a huge cookie person. I prefer my sweets to be floating in a puddle of cream and maybe even have fruit in them. I know, I know, I just shocked a bunch of you. I LOVE sweets, don’t get me wrong but creaminess (aka fat lol) and fruit put together tend to do it for me more than cookies. But there are times I like something a little homey, a little old fashioned, a little…well…cookieish.ย  So yesterday, on my Facebook Page, I mentioned that I was making These cookies. Well, I never got to them yesterday and this is a good thing because overnight, I got the inspiration to try to make them a bit different. My husband, who is my favorite person ever, was my inspiration. He LOVES German Chocolate Cake and I make it (or buy it) for him every year on his birthday. So I decided to make these Browned Butter cookies in a way that mimics the flavors in his favorite cake. And since I love the chocolate/coconut flavor combo myself, I am kind of in love with these cookies myself. The dough alone was fantastic lol. I kept snagging bits of it from the bowl. The nutty taste of the browned butter, the chocolate, the crispy toasted coconut, the caramel… oh my *drools*

You know the drill…

Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned to a golden brown color & cooled
    • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 tablespoons cream
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
    • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I actually used more like 3 cups because I had a partial bag opened that I wanted to use up so extra wouldn’t go amiss ๐Ÿ™‚ )
    • 1 1/4 cup sweetened coconut, toasted, 1/4 cup set aside
    • 25 Kraft Caramels,
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
  1. To brown the butter, in a medium saucepan, over medium heat melt the butter. Let cook,stirring frequently, until it turns a golden brown color. This can take anywhere from five to ten minutes. It will sputter and spit a lot at first then that will stop. Do NOT walk away from this as it can go from yellowish butter to burnt garbage very quickly.
  2. Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and let cool.
  3. When cool, pour both kinds of sugar into the bowl with the butter. Beat until well mixed.
  4. Add in the egg and egg yolk, then pour in the vanilla, coconut flavoring and the cream. Beat on low speed until well mixed.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and at slow speed (unless you want to be covered in flying flour), mix until you have a cohesive cookie dough.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and one cup of the toasted coconut.
  8. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.. Spray the cookie sheet with baking spray before lining it if using the parchment paper.
  9. Scoop the cookies up and place about 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheet.
  10. Bake at 350 until golden brown on the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  11. Let cool for a minute on the sheet then transfer over to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  12. When the cookies are cool, make the caramel drizzle.ย  Unwrap your caramels and put them into a bowl. A cereal sized bowl is sufficient. Pour the cream over the top. Then microwave at 70% power for 30 second intervals until the caramel is melted and bubbly. Stir well to mix. Be careful… there is nothing as fun as scraping out a bowl of hardened burnt caramel because you didn’t watch carefully. Please don’t ask how I know this.
  13. Drizzle each cookie with some of the caramel and while it’s still gooey, sprinkle some of the reserved toasted coconut over each one.

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