I’ve come to realize that kitchen experimentation is my favorite part of baking and cooking. I love food science and playing mad scientist, hoping it works out. Actually, if I didn’t love that so much, you might see more recipe posts from me on here, cause if I try something and I’m not enthused, I would rather throw it away than let people try it. Both literally and proverbially. But, you guys… I had a MAJOR success recently! I was trying to think of a dessert to make went through a list of favorites, but wanting to try something new. I saw an old classic recipe for chocolate chip bar cookies that I love and that’s super easy, and I thought that they would be good with coconut and things just kept going from there and before you know it, I was pouring caramel and coconut on top and broiling it. It could have been soup or success and I’m happy to report that it was success! I’m so happy with it that I want y’all to try it and tell me what you think!
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 overripe banana
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup wheat flour
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Caramel topping (original recipe from Ree Drummond)
- 1 packed cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Coconut for topping (as much as desired, I used about a cup)
Pre-heat oven to 350°. Prepare 11×9 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Beat butter until soft and creamy. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Mix in banana, then eggs, vanilla and coconut until well combined. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and gently combine with the above mixture.
Slowly mix in chocolate chips until thoroughly incorporated.
Bake on middle rack for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.
While cake is baking, make the caramel mixture by mixing the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter, salt and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it starts to come to a rolling boil. At this point take off heat and wait for cake to come out of the oven. Once the cake is out, turn the oven to broil. Poke small holes all over the cake and pour caramel sauce evenly over the top. Top with as much coconut as you desire (should be evenly distributed all over the cake) and return the cake to the hot oven. Watch while the caramel sizzles and the coconut starts to turn golden brown. One coconut is evenly browned, remove cake from oven and cool at least 20 minutes before serving. Best served warm.
I’m more than a little obsessed with cookies. I rarely crave candy—when I want carbs, I want it to have flour and sugar and butter. I know, I know, you can’t stand what a health nut I am! Now is the time where I tell you what diet I’m on and how great it is. Well, if you must know, I’m on what could be called ‘The Inclusion Diet’, and like it’s moniker would suggest, it includes everything. These are the cookie version of my grandpa’s favorite Butterscotch Brownies that I blogged about a while ago and they are the new star item of my diet! If you want to join with me on this Eating Journey™, this is a good place to start.
Butterscotch Cookie Batter:
- 1/4 cup browned butter
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown butter in small saucepan. Whisk the dry ingredients together; add eggs and vanilla to butter and whisk until combined. Mix butter mixture into dry ingredients until combined. Stir in butterscotch chips. Scoop onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes, let cool.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1/8 cup milk
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
Combine brown sugar and butter; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add milk and boil slowly for 3 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar until well-combined. Dip the top of the cooled cookies in frosting and place on parchment paper. Pro tip: if you happen to have these a day or two later, warm up in the microwave for 5 minutes so they are a little gooey again. You’re welcome!
Makes 24 cookies.
brown sugar cinnamon pull-apart bread by twocarolines.com
I saw this beautiful pull apart bread a few months ago on King Arthur Flour who has an awesome blog with loads of great recipes and a really cute IG feed as well – I was certain to make it ASAP – as it turns out, it was truly weeks before I could get to that “P” in the ASAP. The last 6 weeks have been non-stop for us! I’m so glad I finally got down to my important baking business because this recipe was so much fun. I doubled it and made a savory loaf and a sweet loaf, and there was even enough for a bonus loaf! For the savory, I made an herbed butter compound by just chopping up fresh rosemary and adding some garlic salt, it was SO GOOD!! I will be making that again for sure. For the sweet, I slathered a mixture of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon into my folded rounds and glazed it with my fave glaze from our famous Grandma Ruth’s Cinnamon Rolls – and there are easier icings out there, but there are NONE that compare with this one, it’s magically not too sweet and it hardens as it cools. It was SUCH a treat, we loved it. And there are so many ways you could make this bread – have fun with it!
pull-apart bread dough by twocarolines.com
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons potato flour (I didn’t have any, and they still worked out great, but I just bought some for next time)
Brown sugar butter filling:
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
(for an out of this world savory filling mix butter with a tablespoon or so chopped fresh rosemary and 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic salt)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
- Warm your milk and pour it over your butter to melt it. Add the sugar and salt and let it cool slightly, then add your eggs, yeast, potato flour, and all-purpose flour – you want your dough to pull off the sides of your bowl, but not too dry, just workable. You may need to add a little as you knead.
- Once you’ve mixed and kneaded your dough, let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size – this took me about an hour. A good way to quickly check to see if your dough is ready is to press it with your finger. If the indentation remains without springing back, it’s ready to go.
- Roll your dough 1/2” thick. Using an English muffin ring, large biscuit cutter, or wide-mouth Mason jar lid, cut circles out of the dough. Roll out your leftovers and get as many circles as you can out of your dough.
- To make the filling, just mix all the ingredients together until incorporated. Spread half of each circle generously with your filling then fold it and place it into your greased loaf pan. I pushed them to one side then the other alternating to get more circles in, but stack them in however you like.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the loaf for 22 to 24 minutes. It should be golden brown all over. After 5 minutes or so turn your loaves out of the pans to cool on a rack.
- For the icing cook the evap milk, sugar, salt and flour until it starts to thicken, then add the butter vanilla and powdered sugar. You can sift the powdered sugar as you add it to avoid lumps, but I tend to just strain my icing after it’s done which is easier and it comes out beautifully lump free. Drizzle onto your slightly cooled loaves.
pull-apart sweet bread by twocarolines.com
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour pull-apart breads blog post
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins by twocarolines.com
For this Muffin Monday I want to share our families number one favorite muffins. These Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are hearty, like a muffin should be, always moist because 2 cups of zucchini, but they taste like dessert because CHOCOLATE! And your friends named Caroline are always game for a day that starts with chocolate. This recipe makes 24 muffins, which is awesome because they freeze really well and we usually end up eating them for weeks. I honestly make them ALL THE TIME, because my kids are terrible at breakfast without these lovely gems. I wrap each one with plastic wrap then defrost them in the microwave, it’s also nice to take a little plate of them to a friend or neighbor, and if you put some frosting or melted chocolate on top they double as a cupcake!
1 cup coconut oil (you can use vegetable oil of most any variety, or even butter if you want)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (you could use all white, but I’m healthing it up for you!)
(scant) 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 and line two 12 count muffin tins with liners or grease them.
- In a large bowl beat the oil and sugars for a few minutes than add the eggs beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.
- These muffins work out for me even when I add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, but if you want to be sure everything is mixed you can pre-mix the dry ingredients. Add flours and on top of that put your cocoa then add the baking soda and baking powder, salt, and spices. Mix all of that in adding your zucchini once the dry ingredients are incorporated then put in your chocolate chips and make sure it’s all combined.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin tins filling about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Store loosely covered and whatever you don’t eat after the first day or two wrap individually with plastic wrap and freeze to eat for weeks.