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!
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
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
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!
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.