Coconut Flavored Scones

Breakfast, Desserts | March 17, 2016 | By

Coconut Flavored Scones

When I was in Ireland, there wasn’t a day I didn’t indulge in a scone. A mix between crumbly pastry and dense cake, scones were the quintessential food item that just screamed “Irish” to me. So, what better thing to share on St. Patrick’s Day than my take on the traditional scone: Coconut Flavored Scones.

Though my research shows that scones are not native to Ireland (Scotland claims to be the home of the scone), someone obviously forgot to tell the Irish people that since scones are available on almost every breakfast menu, bakery counter and even convenient store. And, even if you ate one every day, you would hardly get tired of them — they come in almost every flavor combination available. My favorites were baked with cherries and other seasonal berries; they were so delicious I almost want to go back just so I can buy more cherry/berry scones.

Now that vacation is over, I’ve gone back to something that more closely resembles my normal diet — restricting my sugar intake, increasing my veggies and all-around trying to eat more healthy. This means, no more Irish scones — full of butter, whole milk and refined white flour.

That’s where this coconut flavored scone recipe comes into play. I replaced the white flour with whole wheat, sour cream for yogurt and swapped out the butter for coconut oil. To add an extra coconut taste, I performed my final swap: replacing whole milk with coconut milk.

Coconut oil is like the champion of superfoods. Not only is it great for your heart and can assist in things like weight loss, it also makes your kitchen smell amazing when you cook with it and your body feel great when you use it as a body lotion or hair mask for a little extra TLC. I always try to buy organic to make sure that none of this superfood’s superpowers are lost to things like pesticides or additives used to improve shelf life. After all, what’s the point of using a superfood if you are going to cancel all the goodness out with junk? (If you are interested in swapping some of your kitchen ingredients for coconut oil, check out this link here for a free 15 oz jar of organic Nutiva Coconut Oil from Thrive Market. Listen to me when I say Hailey and I wouldn’t just recommend anything unless we wholeheartedly believed in it. Thrive Market’s mission is very similar to our own — to make organic, healthy living easy. Now how could we not stand behind that?)

Anyways…back to the coconut flavored scones. Even after all the swaps, the scones came out even better than some of its Irish rivals. Better yet, I don’t have to feel as guilty indulging in one of these every once in a while.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Cheers!

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Valentine’s Day Cake Truffles

Desserts | February 14, 2016 | By

Valentine's Day Cake Truffles

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Hailey here, after a long hiatus from the blogosphere. Business school has turned out to mean much more work than I anticipated, but with the internship recruiting season behind me, I am excited to have more time to blog. This is officially my first post since the beginning of fall semester, and I have to say I’ve really missed it! The longer I live in New York the more I feel that I am conforming to the NYC lifestyle which involves minimal cooking and lots of eating out, so I am going to make a conscious effort to reduce these bad habits. 

Last night one of my girlfriends hosted a “Gal-entines Day” dinner to celebrate love among friends. She cooked a fabulous meal, we drank wine, we watched Justin Bieber music videos…ok maybe I shouldn’t admit some of these things. But I was really excited to try out a Valentine’s Day Cake Truffle recipe that I sort of made up, but took inspiration from cake pops. I really don’t like cake pops very much — they are adorable but always taste way too sweet and dense. I started this recipe with my favorite white cake batter, but cut the sugar in half since I knew I wanted white chocolate on the outside. :) I also improvised a white buttercream frosting to condense the cake truffles a little bit and help them stick, but also added much less powdered sugar than typical icing. 

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Chocolate Espresso “Stress” Cake

Desserts | January 29, 2016 | By

Chocolate Expresso "Stress" Cake

How do you deal with stress? Some run; some do yoga; some read; I bake. Whenever I am really stressed, I find baking to be therapeutic. I don’t know exactly why, but something about creating the perfect cake, cookie, bread, brownie or pastry helps me get out of my brain. Maybe it’s because I know that with just a few hours in the kitchen, I can whip up almost anything. Or maybe it’s because I like taste testing the fruits of my labor. Who knows. :-)
For the past couple weeks, my work schedule kicked my butt. So, I spent last weekend baking up a storm. It was a spur of the moment decision to make this chocolate “stress” cake, so when I found that I didn’t have all the ingredients I would usually need to make a cake, I had to improvise. 

After I already started making the cake, I found I didn’t have two crucial ingredients — milk and butter. I rarely buy milk these days (I’m trying to cut back on my dairy intake), but not having sticks and sticks of butter in the fridge and freezer was very unlike me.

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Super Simple Banana Ice Cream

Desserts | January 19, 2016 | By

Banana Ice Cream

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today’s post is all about food cravings. Cravings that hit you every time you go to open the pantry/fridge/freezer. Cravings that make you wish that you could turn your everyday chicken salad lunch into a fresh-out-the-oven bacon maple donut. Cravings that make you linger a little longer in front of the chocolate babka at the Trader Joe’s fresh baked desserts section. I’m craving sweets. 

In an effort to start this year off on the right foodie foot, I’ve done my best to cut the junk out of my kitchen. This includes eating out less and little-to-no sweets. So, when the sweet tooth hits, I’ve had to be a little creative with my “desserts” of choice. My newest obsession: banana ice cream. 

Making this ice cream is incredibly simple and only really needs two ingredients: bananas and mix ins. Though I find the riper the banana, the sweeter the ice cream, any banana would do. I remember reading somewhere that as bananas ripen, the banana’s sugar level increases, so if you are concerned with your sugar content, I would suggest using greener bananas. 

The second ingredient is really a list of ingredients, or what flavors you want in your ice cream. I decided to copy cat one of my favorite ice cream flavors: Chunky Monkey from Ben & Jerry’s. But if you want chocolate, just add a tablespoon of cocoa powder. For vanilla, add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. You get the idea. This ice cream lends itself to mixing and matching flavors.

I hope you enjoy!

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Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Desserts | December 24, 2015 | By

Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! We’ve finally made it to the last day of #12daysofcookies. And, since I always save the best for last, I decided to share my all-time favorite cookie, the banana bread chocolate chip cookie. Yes, you heard correctly. A chocolate chip cookie that tastes like banana bread. *Mind blown*

12daysofcookies2015

Day 12: Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you can’t tell already, I’m a fan of any recipe that is quick and easy. And this cookie recipe definitely checks that box. Better yet, it combines the flavors of two of my favorite classic desserts: banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. Even better yet, its a great excuse way to use up any overripe bananas that are about to go bad. 

These cookies have a cake-like texture usually found in muffins or banana bread, so if you like crispy cookies, this recipe is not for you. Luckily I’m partial to par-baking, so these cookies are right up my alley. Also, they tend to flatten out when baking. But if you shape your dough into a circle when on the cookie sheet and add a little extra batter (about the size of a teaspoon) to the middle of your cookie dough, you can keep your cookies from looking like pancakes.

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