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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German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Desserts | December 21, 2015 | By

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Over the last month, #12daysofcookies turned my kitchen into a cookie making factory. I make cookies three times a week, which roughly calculates to two large bags of all-purpose flour, five boxes of butter, 48 eggs, a pound of sugar, four bags of chocolate chips, three ruined cookie batches and many hours recipe testing. I’ve baked so many cookies this month that about a week ago, my cookie creativity started running out — that was, until I ran across these beautiful German Chocolate Cake Cookies.  

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 Day 9: German Chocolate Cake Cookies

What I like about these cookies is that they bring the “wow factor” with very little prep and effort. Better yet, they successfully capture the flavors found in the classic German chocolate cake.

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Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Desserts | December 4, 2014 | By

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Welcome to Day3: Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies. Though Hailey might not approve of these cookies (as you could probably tell by her aversion to coconut macaroons versus her love of macarons in yesterday’s post), this has to be one of my favorite cookie recipes this year. In fact, every time I’ve made these cookies, they’ve been a hit.

The last time I made these cookies was for a movie night hosted by one of my coworkers. There were suppose to be around eight or ten of us attending, so I decided to double the batch (to 24 cookies), just to be on the safe side. That said, I still thought I would have a couple leftover for a snack breakfast the next day. Boy, was I surprised. The cookies were gone in a snap. In fact, people raved about them days after the movie night. I still sometimes get asked for the recipe.

Here’s why I love these cookies so much: 1) They are incredibly easy to make, and only take about 20 minutes from prep time to finished product. Whenever I’m craving something sweet but don’t want to put in the work, I turn to this recipe. 2) For being a member of the dessert category, these cookies are moderately healthy. 3) These cookies are bite-sized (read portion control!), making these the perfect accessory for the holiday season.

Cheers!

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Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Recipe adapted from The Detoxinista)

1/3 Cup of Coconut flour

1/4 Cup of Coconut Oil, Melted

1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup

1 Tsp. of Vanilla

1/4 Tsp. of Salt

2 Eggs

1/3 Cups of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

3-4 Pinches of Toasted Coconut Flakes

Directions:

Mix together the flour, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and eggs until the batter starts to come together. *Note: the batter will appear to be very wet.* Mix in the chocolate chips and coconut flakes. Using two spoons, shape the cookie dough roughly into a ball and drop onto a cookie sheet. Use one of the spoons to gently flatten the cookie. **Note: as these are gluten-free, the cookies won’t spread on their own. Keep that in mind while shaping and flattening the cookies.** Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edges turn golden.

Makes 12 cookies.

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Nanaimo Bars

Desserts | April 1, 2014 | By

Gooey Nanaimo Bars

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!

Cheers!

Plate of Nanaimo Bars

 

Nanaimo Bars (Recipe Courtesy of The City of Nanaimo)

Bottom Layer

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

Directions:

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.

Middle Layer

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

Directions:

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.

Top Layer

4 Oz. of Chocolate

2 Tbsp. of Butter

Directions:

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. 

Nanaimo Bars

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