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!
Over the weekend, I finally made the “big move” into the new apartment. (There was nothing big about this move as I only moved down the hall and in with my friend Marta). It was quite the ordeal though, and three days later I’m left with large piles of stuff (a mixture of clothes I forgot I owned and miscellaneous niknaks that didn’t fit in my chaotic version of organized packing), two freaked out cats that haven’t left the bathroom cupboard since the “big move,” and the realization that I’m not as good as I originally thought at putting together Ikea furniture.
This move brought on a lot of realizations… mostly that I really need to hold an intervention … for myself. You see, while moving over the contents of my pantry, I realized I’m a dried goods hoarder. Not only do I have five bags of sugar (in all its forms), but two bags of flour, three different types of salt, two boxes of assorted teas, instant and regular coffee, three jars of rice, two containers of pasta, a dozen or so cans of soup and much, much more. It gets worse when you get to the fridge, where I realized I have FIVE boxes of organic butter. Who needs that much butter?!? Unless I plan on opening a pastry shop or go on a week-long baking spree, I think Marta and I have a pretty stocked emergency kit in case of any future earthquakes.
With the move taking up my whole weekend, I didn’t have time to prepare anything. I made this dessert a few weeks ago for a coworker who wanted his birthday dessert to reflect his Canadian heritage. He actually asked me to make him a cake with a Maple leaf on top, but as my artistic skills are not up to par, I decided that Nanaimo bars would be a good compromise. According to the city of Nanaimo’s website, the origin of this sweet treat is disputed, some saying that the first recipe appeared in a cookbook in the 1950s. The one thing that is not disputed is that this dessert is distinctly Canadian.
I hope you enjoy this no-bake, three-layer dessert!
Nanaimo Bars (Recipe Courtesy of The City of Nanaimo)
½ Cup of Butter
¼ Cup of Sugar
5 Tbsp. of Cocoa
1 Egg, beaten
1 ¼ Cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs (see here for our recipe)
½ Cups of Almond Slivers
1 Cup of Shredded Coconut
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar and cocoa together. Remove from heat and stir the egg until the mixture starts to thicken. Stir in the graham crumbs, almonds and coconut until fully mixed. Compact completely into the bottom of a 8” x 8” ungreased pan and set aside.
½ Cup of Butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. of Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp. of Organic Vanilla Pudding Mix
2 Cups of Powdered Sugar
Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the mixture looks like a light, fluffy frosting. Spread the frosting over the bottom layer and set aside.
4 Oz. of Chocolate
2 Tbsp. of Butter
Melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.* I found that due to the added fats in the butter, you don’t need to use a double boiler, but feel free to use one to be on the safe side. Let the mixture cool slightly, but while the mixture is still a liquid, pour over the middle layer. Chill the dessert. For best results, allow it to sit overnight before cutting into bars.
*Note: I had to add extra butter and sugar to fully cover the middle layer.
**I do not try to claim that these are in any way healthy.