Coconut Caramel Chocolate Chip Cake

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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!

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions:

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.

-CK 1.0

 

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

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It’s hard to believe that I didn’t like coconut when I was younger. The Mounds bar was one of the most dreaded Halloween candies (besides Circus Peanuts, let’s be real). I hated the texture and couldn’t get past it. I’m not actually positive as to when I hit the turning point in my relationship with coconut, but I’m so glad I did! Now I’ll take it ALL. The more coconutty-the better. Maybe one could say, I’m nuts for coconuts? I’m so sorry—that was bad and you guys deserve better. To make up for it, here is the recipe for the goodness that is pictured above…

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

  • 3/4 cups egg whites (6-7 eggs)
  •  1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1-2 drops of butter flavoring (not necessary, but I think it adds a little something)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups sweetened flaked coconut

For the chocolate dipping sauce:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Directions

Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until just frothy. Add the sugar, almond extract, butter flavoring, and salt; mix well. Stir in the coconut, two cups at a time.

Use a small cookie scoop to form the macaroons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Use your hands to mold the cookies a bit and lightly press down the tops.

Bake for 13-17 minutes or until set and light golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes before removing. Cool completely before the next step. (and do some scientific taste testing, amiright?)

Prepare clean cookie sheets with was paper. Melt the chocolate and shortening and mix until smooth. Quickly, dip half the cookie (you only need to dip the top side of it) into the chocolate and place each one on wax paper to set. Set for at least two hours before ravenously consuming.

 

 

Summery S’mores Pie

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It’s the end of summer dreams that make me feel fine, but I’m going to squeeze ever last ounce out of it—and what is more summer than campfires and s’mores? Don’t tell me other things cause that ruins my train of thought and my segue into talking about this pie, and TRUST when I say you want me to get to it as quickly as possible. A graham cracker crust with a pinch of salt, a creamy chocolate middle and roasted marshmallows topped with coconut and chocolate chips, juuuuust for fun.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10-15 graham crackers)
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 7 ounces milk or dark chocolate, or a mixture of both, broken into chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt

For the topping

  • 1 bag marshmallows (I used big ones and chopped them in varying sizes, just for fun)
  • 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Make the crust. Crumble graham crackers into the work bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Or just put them in a bag and take our your aggressions with any instrument you find necessary until they are finely crushed. Add salt and pour melted butter over the crumbs and mix until the butter is fully incorporated and the texture is that of wet sand. Butter or oil a 9-inch pie pan and firmly press the graham cracker crumbs against the sides, then against the bottom of the pan. Chill for at least 30 minutes to avoid crumbling when serving (I chilled for a few hours, just to be safe).
  2. While the crust chills, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the chocolate filling. Put the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until scalded — do not boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 1 minute. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until glossy and smooth. Add a pinch of salt, then crack the egg into the chocolate mixture and whisk to fully incorporate. Pour into chilled crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  3. Once pie is cooled, top with marshmallows and brûlée until about half done. Then add coconut and torch again until desired level of toastiness. Immediately add chocolate chips so that they melt a little bit on the hot marshmallows. ***For this process, a torch is best (a propane torch from the hardware store or a butane crème brûlée torch). If using a torch, clear the area of any flammable items, ignite the torch, and slowly wave the flame over the surface of the marshmallow until you get the roasting just right. If you do not have a torch, use the broiler of your oven. Preheat the broiler, cover the edges of the pie crust with foil or pie shields, place the pie on a baking sheet and broil — watching carefully to prevent burning — for 2 to 3 minutes, rotating as necessary.
  4. To slice the pie, it helps to dip your knife in hot water, then dry it with a towel. The heat facilitates easy slicing through the marshmallow layer.

-CK 1.0

Recipe adapted from New York Times

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I think we can all agree the jet lag is kind of the worst. I have moved across the world again—back to the U.S. Needless to say, that is a very tiring and intense thing to do. Thank goodness I came straight into the loving arms of my mother’s comfort food. While I’ve been recovering and dealing with the nightmarish logistics of re-setting up my life, I’ve left 2.0 all by herself out in the blogging wild. She’s been handling it like a champ, which just goes to show just part of the reason why I call her 2.0—she’s the best Caroline around!

It was a close friend’s birthday yesterday, and since I show my affection with baked goods, I made cookies for his gift. My mama and I were looking up recipes and this one stuck out to us. The origins of this recipe are kind of murky, so I have no idea who to credit, but we combined this recipe with another one I had back in the archives. And considering the reaction of the birthday boy, I’d say we found a winner! I want to make these again, this time with macadamia nuts for an even bougie-er cookie.

1 cup butter (room temp.)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups oats
1 3/4 cups coconut
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
(consider macadamia nuts, about 3/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time; add vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture until just mixed. Lastly, add the oats and chocolate chips (and nuts, if desired).

Scoop on to tray using a 2 oz. cookie scoop and cook, one batch at a time for 12ish minutes. Makes approximately 3-dozen cookies.

-CK1.0

Supergood Superfood Breakfast Bowl

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Does anyone else in the room feel like they need a bit of a detox this time of year with all the delicious and rich foods around? Or at least a fighting chance to start the day right in the morning? I clearly have a penchant for breakfast foods and grains, so I’m sharing another recipe that I make often. I am the type to get hungry every two hours, but this breakfast keeps me full all morning and—bonus—zero guilt!

This recipe is for one bowl, so obviously scale up as needed.

Start with:
1/4 cup pearl barley (or steel cut oats, but they don’t have those in Berlin)
1 tablespoon quinoa (red, white, black—whichever you prefer)
1 1/2 cup boiling water

Cook for about 15 minutes on the lowest heat until water is almost absorbed and grains are getting soft.

Add:
3-4 dates, chopped
3-4 dried apricots, chopped
1/2 tablespoon chia seed
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 tablespoon golden raisins
1 tablespoon slivered or sliced almonds
dash cinnamon
smaller dash nutmeg
splash of maple syrup
(I just throw these in willy-nilly, but I’m trying to use measurements for recipe purposes, so feel free to play with proportions and ingredients)

Cook together another 5 minutes or so until desired consistency. Top with toasted coconut chips and a large helping of feeling REAL good about yourself.

Coconut Crunch Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce

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IMG_8764It was one of those times when you come across something in a magazine and your mouth starts salivating so much you may or may not have drooled onto the table. This recipe was the catalyst for a whole folder of cut-out “I want to eat that” things. Of course I kept wanting to make it, but then found myself needing to do something faster, or missing one ingredient, and in the end, what I needed to make it happen was another Caroline. When Caroline 1.0 came to visit us in June we started talking about what we wanted to bake together, because the only thing better than one Caroline in the kitchen is two Carolines in a kitchen. Things got delicious fast, and this was our result.

Coconut Crunch Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Cake:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs

Topping:

2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (8 oz by weight)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10-inch spring form pan. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl stir cream of coconut and vanilla

Beat butter and coconut oil on medium-high until smooth. Slowly add sugar; beat until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each and scrape down the bowl a few times. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with 2 batches of cream-of-coconut mixture. Beat until just combined.

For the topping – whisk egg whites and salt with a mixer until thick and frothy, about 1 minute. Stir in milk and vanilla. Fold in coconut.

Spread batter in pan. Dollop topping over batter; carefully spread in an even layer. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 1 hour (tent with foil if browning too quickly). You may want to make the chocolate sauce now while your cake is baking so it will have time to cool.

Let cake cool completely; remove from pan. Cut into wedges, drizzle with sauce, and serve with extra sauce on the side.

Chocolate Sauce

1 cup chopped dark chocolate (you can also use chocolate chips or semi-sweet if you want your sauce sweeter)
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
One 5 ounce can evaporated milk

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until melted and thoroughly combined, about 7-8 minutes. Let the mixture cool for at least 20 minutes before using. Keeps for at least a month in the fridge.IMG_5576

Coconut Crunch Cake: Martha Stewart Living 2015, Chocolate Sauce: adapted from Mrs. Rowe’s little book of Southern Pies