Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Cinnamon Streusel

whole wheat coconut banana bread slice

Streusel. I think it makes everything better. You could probably even convince me to eat seafood if it was loaded with streusel. Maybe.

The streusel on this banana bread? It’s a level above other streusel. Like straight from delicious to addicting. The recipe comes from Jessica’s blog How Sweet It Is, and I would say she’s right in saying she’s will not ever make banana bread again without the streusel. I am right there with her!

whole wheat coconut banana bread before baking

whole wheat coconut banana bread slice close

Coconut oil + light coconut milk + all whole wheat flour. This was my first time cooking anything with coconut oil. I know am way late on that train. While I had heard it was pretty mild, I was still surprised at the absence of coconut flavor/smell from the coconut oil itself. The bread itself came together nicely, and you already know how I feel about the topping. I made this twice, and still had just a little piece left for pictures. As for the baking process, I started out with the pan uncovered and added a foil cover around 60 minutes. My bread was done both times at closer to 75 minutes of bake time. Just watch it closely and use the toothpick test to tell when it’s finished.

The worst part? Letting it cool a little before you can dig in. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Whole Wheat Coconut Banana Bread
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:
1-2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/3 cup canned light coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
4 over-brown bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract

Streusel:
2/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until well combined. Add coconut oil and coconut milk. Mix well, although the mixture may not completely come together at this point. Stir in mashed bananas, vanilla, and coconut extracts. Slowly add dry ingredients stirring until just combined. Some pieces of flour throughout the batter are okay.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

For the streusel, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and coconut in a small bowl. Cut in the butter and mix with your hands until the butter is mixed in and the mixture is crumbly. You can form larger pieces of streusel by squeezing it together with your hands if desired. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the banana bread batter. Bake for 75-85 minutes until the center is set, covering the pan with foil if necessary to prevent the streusel from burning (I had to around 55-60 minutes). Remove and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Advertisements

Magic Bars

magic bars stacked

In this house, there is a relatively unknown but rather specific definition of game food. Whenever I end up trying to plan out food for a sporting event, he usually ends up defining about half of it as “not game food.” His definition lies somewhere along the lines of things like nachos and appetizers, but not everything there counts. A couple things I have determined, portability is good. The other – sweets don’t count. What?!?

I am the kind of person that loves to have some type of sweets available at game parties, and in my opinion, these bars would make perfect game food. The recipe for these originally comes from Edible Sound Bites, and it’s a fun variation on magic cookie bars. By the way, what is the real name of those bars? I’ve heard them called magic cookie bars, 7 layer bars, and hello dolly bars?

magic bars before baking

magic bars chips

Outside of the “game food” definition, these bars were a big hit. It is somewhat embarrassing to know how fast we consumed these. You know those recipes where you have to keep “evening out the edge?” This was one of those. With graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, coconut and sweetened condensed milk these bars are the perfect cross between a s’mores bar and a magic cookie bar. Of course, I could not resist swapping in some butterscotch chips for some of the chocolate.

Were they sweet? Yes. Gooey? Yes. They held together a little better when refrigerated. A repeat? My husband already wants me to remake them so he can bring them to work. Game food? Well, depends on who you ask, but I say yes!

magic bar close

(Printable Recipe)

Magic Bars
Slightly adapted from Edible Sound Bites

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 1 pkg. inside the box)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1-1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8×8-inch square pan with nonstick spray.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour half the can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut. Spread evenly over the pan. Layer the marshmallows over the chips-coconut mixture. Drizzle the remaining sweetened condensed milk evenly over the marshmallows.

Bake for 25 minutes until the tops of the marshmallows are lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars. The bars hold together a little better when refrigerated but can also be stored at room temperature.

SRC: Coconut Chicken Soup

coconut chicken soup with roll

Well, the Secret Recipe Club is back! After taking the month of January off, I am excited to be back with the group to start our February reveals. This month, my blog assignment was Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Camilla has a fun blog with a ton of different recipes with influences from all over the world. 

Since she has so many different recipes, I wanted to try something that was a little bit out of my typical comfort zone. I looked for awhile at this recipe for kadu bouranee, but as it is winter, I went with my cravings and chose this recipe for coconut chicken soup. In her post, Camilla mentions that this is a recipe that she just put together quickly from the things that she had in her kitchen. I certainly had to buy a couple things as this is actually the first time I have ever actually made anything with swiss chard. 

coconut chicken soup cooking
coconut chicken soup

The recipe here is really more of a guide as Camilla does not list ingredients. I used all the ingredients she suggests, but varied amounts based on what I had and to taste. I’ll list my approximate measurements below but feel free to add or vary ingredients as you prefer. For the two of us, there was plenty of soup for dinner and several days of lunch, and as most soups do, this seemed to get better and better after storing it. A hit here, and I certainly have a great new (to me) blog to check out for ethnic dishes! 

(Printable Recipe)

Coconut Chicken Soup
Adapted from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Ingredients: 
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup fennel bulb, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
3 whole carrots, peeled and sliced 
1 pkg. swiss chard, leaves removed from stems and torn
3 cups baby spinach, torn
1 (14.5oz) can light coconut milk
2 cups water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 – 1 tsp. cardamom
3 Tbsp. lemon juice (or juice from 1 lemon)
2 cups brown rice, cooked
2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Cook the brown rice according to package directions. Fluff and set aside. Boil water in a medium saucepan and add raw chicken. Boil until the chicken is cooked through. Shred with 2 forks or by mixing the hot chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer on low for about a minute. 

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the fennel and garlic and saute until they begin to soften. Add the chicken, carrots, chard, spinach, cooked brown rice, coconut milk, water, and chicken broth. Season with spices, lemon juice, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the greens are wilted and the vegetables are cooked through. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Lemon Coconut Macaroons

It’s December, so that must mean it is cookie time! How about some macaroons? The ones with 2 o’s 🙂

Macarons have been on my list of things to make for some time, butI have never mustered up the guts to try them. It is my understanding that theyhave quite the reputation for being temperamental. I have a feeling that this kind, with coconut and2 o’s in the name, are a little simpler to make.

The recipe for these comesfrom The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.  I was a member of the Sweet MelissaSundays baking club, however the ladies made this recipe before I joined. I made these on a whim one day while looking for a way to use up a partial bag of coconut, and I haven’t regretted it. With a short ingredient list, the recipe couldn’t be easier, and as long as you like coconut and lemon, I am confident you will enjoy these. I am thinking you could even pass them off as “snowballs” on a Christmas cookie plate. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Lemon Coconut Macaroons
From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

Ingredients:
1 (14oz) bag sweetened coconut
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (these will tend to stick if you skip this step).

In a large bowl, combine the coconut, lemon juice, and lemon zest and rub together with your hands. Stir in the sugar and mix to combine. Add the egg whites. Use your hands to mix until everything is coated and the egg whites are distributed evenly. 

Form the mixture into approximately 1-ounce balls with your hands or a cookie scoop. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

The cookie base will keep up to 1 week if you want to make the ‘dough’ ahead of time. The finished cookies will keep well in a container at room temperature for 3 days. For longer storage, place them in the refrigerator.

Club: Baked – Sawdust Pie

When Karen approached me about choosing a recipe for my host date of Club: Baked, she asked if I would be willing to pick a recipe out of the pie section of the book we’re baking through, Baked Explorations. If you have been around my blog at all, you know that pies aren’t exactly my area of expertise. I can count the number of pies I have ever made on one hand, and I don’t even need all my fingers. That said, I approached my pick with a wide open viewpoint since most of the pies in the book would be something “new” in my mind.

So, what made me choose this sawdust pie? First, while it has quite a few ingredients, the recipe itself is relatively simple. Outside of the crust, it is just mix, pour, and bake. Second, the ingredients were things that we really like. Coconut has to be one of my husband’s favorite ingredients in baked goods. Lastly, it was a unique recipe with unique ingredients. Who would have though of adding graham cracker crumbs in the filling of a pie?  While I don’t have too many pies that I can speak to in my repertoire, this is certainly one that I have never heard of prior to this book.

As it reads in the book, the pie came together pretty quickly. Since I don’t have a “go-to” pie crust recipe, I also made the crust recipe exactly as written in the book. I feel like the crust turned out pretty good, however I think I may have added just a little bit too much water. Still working on that perfect flaky pie crust. Add the filling and some whipped cream to the crust, the pie was great! I am not kidding when I say that my husband loved it! In the comments about the recipe on the blog page, several of the ladies were comparing it to a pecan pie, and I can definitely see the reference given the chopped pecans although I feel that the texture difference from the graham crackers and coconut give it just a little bit more. With this one now in my pie repertoire, I may be making pies more often. At the very least, it will be making its way to our Thanksgiving feast. 

Be sure to stop by the blog page to see pies from the other ladies. Thanks for baking along with me! 

(Printable Recipe)

Sawdust Pie 
Adapted from Baked Explorations  
Crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. fine salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter

Pie:
1/2 crust recipe
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1-1/4 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
1-1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
21 graham crackers (I used 21 half sheets)
2 ounces high-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
6 egg whites
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
whipped cream for serving
sliced bananas for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and salt together. In a measuring cup, stir 3/4 cup water with several ice cubes until it is very cold. 

Cut the cold butter into cubes and toss them in the flour mixture to coat. Put the mixture in the bowl of a food processor and pulse in short bursts until the butter pieces are the size of hazelnuts. Pulsing in 4-second bursts, slowly drizzle the ice water into the food processor through the feed tube. As soon as the dough comes together in a ball, stop adding water. Remove the dough from the food processor and divide it in half. Flatten each piece into a disk and wrap each disk first in parchment paper and then in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before proceeding with your recipe.

For the pie, dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Roll out the dough ball into a 12-inch round. Transfer it to a pie dish and carefully work it into place, folding any overhang under and crimping the edge as you go. Wrap and refrigerate the crust for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to combine the sugars, coconut, pecans, graham crackers, white chocolate and salt. Add the egg whites and vanilla and stir until just combined – the egg whites should coat all the ingredients.

Transfer the filling to the prepared pie shell. Bake until filling is set to the touch, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool the pie for at least 1 hour before serving it warm, with whipped cream and sliced bananas, if you like.

Fruity Coconut Chicken Salad with Berry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Since September hit, I have been seeing a lot of fall-themed recipes across the blogs. Don’t get me wrong, I still love pumpkin, apples, soups, and stews, but I am not quite ready to give up on summer. The weather has been gorgeous here the past week since we’ve dropped to right around or just below 100 degrees for a high. It’s also been cooling off better at night – I actually saw a reading in the 70’s in my car on the way to work the other morning (granted it was 5:30AM). I haven’t been able to enjoy the weather on an outdoor run yet since I’ve been on call this week, but I assure you that I will be out there as soon as I can.

Since stone fruit and berries have still been on sale around here, I thought this salad was appropriate to share. The inspiration for this salad came from finding this berry poppy seed dressing on Our Best Bites. I am amongst the group that enjoys fruit in my salad, and I thought that the coconut chicken would pair well with the berries to make a great lighter meal. I didn’t have any pineapple when I made these, but I think that this would make a great addition to the flavors here.

One note, I actually ended up using chicken tenders rather than chicken breasts as that is what I had stocked in the freezer. Chicken breasts would work just fine. You may need to adjust the ratios of coating, and just be sure to cook them to the appropriate temperature as gauged by a meat thermometer. The dressing does need to be made ahead of time, but it can certainly be made the night before to help speed up the cooking process when it is dinner time. Overall, we ended up really enjoying it, and it’s definitely a recipe I will continue to make for as long as I can get my hands on good fresh fruit this fall 🙂

(Printable Recipe)

Fruity Coconut Chicken Salad with Berry Poppy Seed Viniagrette
Dressing recipe from Our Best Bites

Ingredients:
3-4 chicken tenderloins
4 Tbsp. unsweetend shredded coconut (can use sweetened if preferred)
1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
pinch of salt
1 egg white
6 cups preferred salad greens (we love spinach, but a lettuce mix would work well too)
1-2 cups berries – blueberries, strawberries (sliced), raspberries, blackberries
1 nectarine, pitted and sliced
fresh pineapple, chopped (optional – I think this would be a great addition!)

Dressing:
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1-2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. grated onion
1 tsp. kosher salt or other coarse salt
10 cracks of freshly ground black pepper (1/4-1/2 tsp)
1 cup raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries
2/3 cup canola oil
1-1/2 tsp. poppy seeds

For the dressing, combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and berries in a blender. Blend until smooth and then, with the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Turn off the blender and whisk in the poppy seeds. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

For the chicken, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. Combine the coconut, panko, and salt; place in a shallow dish. Add egg white to another shallow dish. Dip the chicken in the egg white, then coat in the coconut mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Divide the salad greens and fruit between 2 plates. If desired, slice the chicken and add on top of the salad. Dress individual plates with the dressing. There will be extra dressing. It should keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Enjoy!

Yield: 2 dinner-sized salads

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry

We are back! If you noticed the absence of my posts last week, the hubby and I were able to get away to Antigua to jointly celebrate our anniversary and graduations (his was last year). We had a great time, and it was nice to spend some time relaxing! While we were away, summer definitely arrived in Arizona! Our temperatures have been north of 110 for the past two days, and even though I love baking, you couldn’t pay me to turn my oven on today 🙂

Because I knew these hot days were coming, I was on the lookout this spring for great dinner recipes that wouldn’t involve heating up the house. Anything involving only cooking pasta/grains for a short time on the stove, the slow cooker, or the grill was game. This recipe is originally from Salt and Paprika, although I followed Kristin’s adaptions on Iowa Girl Eats. I love curries but don’t make them at home very often, so I was excited to give this one a whirl.

The recipe came together great! If you follow Kristin’s adaptations, you’ll end up with enough “sauce” for two recipes which is a double bonus for busy days. The biggest struggle I had with this recipe was finding the Garam Marsala! With the recent popularity of Indian dishes, I feel like this mixture shouldn’t be that hard to find, especially where we live. Nevertheless, we had to go to 3 different grocery stores before we finally found it in the bulk spices at the local market. If you also have trouble locating some, it is something that can be made at home too. My only change to Kristin’s method was to increase the cornstarch mixture. My hubby has a thing for thicker sauces in dishes like this. He wants the sauce to coat the meat/veggies not sink into his rice, so I tend to go a little heavier on the cornstarch than is called for in most recipes. Completely personal preference.

I served this with basmati rice and whole wheat homemade naan (recipe to come soon), and it made for a great, non house-heating meal. I know I’m already looking forward to using the other half of the sauce currently living in our freezer! Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry
Originally from Salt and Paprika, adaptions from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
1/2 large onion
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and quartered
2 garlic cloves
1 small can tomato paste
1 can (14.5 oz) light coconut milk
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. Garam Marsala
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into big chunks
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. cornstarch (May add more if desired. Just mix it in a little water before adding)
basmati rice, prepared according to package directions
naan, warmed

Place bell pepper and onion into a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add in garlic cloves, tomato paste, coconut milk, salt, curry powder, and Garam Marsala and process until smooth. Divide the sauce in half (for me, half was just a little less than 2 cups). Place half the sauce into a freezable container and freeze to make this dish again at another time. 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Combine with the remaining sauce and cook in a crockpot on low for 4 hours. After 4 hours, dissolve water and cornstarch together and add to the crockpot. Keep the lid cracked and cook on high for another 10-15 minutes. You can also transfer the sauce to a saucepan and simmer on the stove top over medium heat for 3-5 minutes if desired.

Serve with prepared rice and naan. If desired, the naan can be warmed by wrapping in foil and placed in the oven on broil for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Double Coconut M&M Cookies

I have been on a bit of a self-proclaimed cookie-roll this spring. I LOVE making cookies if you can’t tell from the stack of cookie recipes in my archives, but I’ve branched out a little more this spring to include ones that go a little beyond your standard line-up of chocolate chip, peanut butter, snickerdoodles, and sugar cookies. In mixing it up a little, I have ran across some great recipes including these and these that I know we’ll make again and again.

These cookies were actually an idea that I had brewing for awhile coming from a mix of things including a coconut-chocolate chip cookie recipe in Cooking Light, the new coconut m&m’s and my husband’s love of all things coconut. Ever have one of those recipes that you make and then wonder why you waited so long. That was these. I had really wanted to make them for St. Patrick’s Day given the green color of the M&M’s, but I obviously missed that one 🙂 

As a note, I found a couple of large bags of the coconut M&M’s that were out around Easter. I’m not sure if they typically sell the large bags or not, but you could easily buy a couple of the single-serving bags to make up enough M&M’s for the cookies. The coconut M&M’s are a bit larger than the standard milk chocolate ones, so I gave them a rough chop before I added them to the dough. I feel like I am always saying that recipes were good, but these were. I snuck some into a tupperware container that I was returning to a friend. They later asked for the recipe, so these weren’t just a hit at our house 🙂 Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Double Coconut M&M Cookies
Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup (4.5 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup coconut M&M’s (white pkg), roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange coconut in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Set aside to cool.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in the vanilla and the egg. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until just combined. Stir in toasted coconut and crush M&M’s.

Roll the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or a silicone mat. Press down on the dough balls lightly to flatten. Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown. Remove from the pan and cool completely on wire racks.

I am linking these to Sweet Tooth Friday.

Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies

We have quite the ongoing cookie debate at our house. See I am amongst the chewy cookie lovers. I have even been known to purposely underbake my cookies just a little bit to keep that doughy texture in the middle. My husband likes his crispy with biscotti being a type of cookie that he really enjoys. Typically I end up compromising by making some chewy and some crispy cookies when I bake a batch, but these cookies landed squarely in my camp. Sugar cookies are one of those varieties that HAVE to be chewy 🙂

In reality, this is a recipe I found in Cook’s Illustrated that was developed to create the perfect chewy texture for a sugar cookie. The ingredients are a little different from your typical cookie line-up including cream cheese and vegetable oil. I was intrigued and decided to make this version of the cookies to please my coconut-loving husband. 

The promise of a cookie with a soft, chewy center and a crackly-crisp top was spot-on. To me, the coconut-lime version made them seem really summery. Even my crispy-cookie husband enjoyed these, and I know that both the normal version and coconut-lime version are cookies that I will be keeping in my arsenal for quite some time. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies
From Nov/Dec 2010 Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients:
2-1/4 cups (11-1/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut 

1/2 tsp. table salt
1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 oz) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces 
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. lime juice

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, coconut, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place 1-1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, and lime zest in a large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and lime juice; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms. 

The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough. For the best results, handle the dough as briefly as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons sugar, remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per cookie sheet), discard any remaining sugar. 

Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature. 

I am linking these to Sweet Tooth Fridays
Sweets for Saturday and Melt in Your Mouth Mondays:

 

April Cookie Carnival: Toasted Coconut Shortbread with Pineapple Topping

It’s been a few days since I promised my last strawberry ice cream recipe, but I promise it is still in the plans! Since today is actually the first day of May, my calculations indicate that I have ran out of time to post my goodies from the April Cookie Carnival. We’ve had quite a busy week culminating with running the Arizona location of the muddy Warrior Dash today. If you are waiting for the ice cream, I promise it will make it up here in a couple of days after I finally get all the dirt cleaned off my body and running clothes! 🙂

We had some friends over yesterday for the first barbecue in our newly finished backyard, and these cookies turned out to be the dessert hit of the party! This is particularly impressive in my book because the other option was a no-fail caramel brownie 🙂 I have to admit that the coconut-pineapple combination in these proved to be pretty awesome!

While the end result was worth it, I struggled a little with the recipe. After pulsing the dough in my food processor, there was no way it was going to hold together enough to form a cohesive ball of dough. Did anyone else have trouble with crumbly dough? I tried to avoid it, but ended up needing to add 2-3 tsp. milk to the dough to get it to hold together. After this, it cooperated much better. My other complaint is that my yield was much lower than the recipe indicated. I used a coffee cup to cut my circles and ended up with a total of 12 spheres. I don’t feel that my coffee cup was that big, so they must have used a really small cookie cutter to end up with 12 sandwich cookies in the test recipe. Since I wanted to have 10-12 servings of each dessert option for people to choose from, we ended up eating them open-sided and added the topping immediately before eating our individual servings. Despite my troubles, I feel like I could now make these rather quickly in the future. I will certainly keep them in mind because they were really enjoyed by our guests! Enjoy! 

(Printable Recipe)

Toasted Coconut Shortbread with Pineapple Topping
Adapted from Anna Olson’s recipe on Food Network Canada

Ingredients:
Shortbread:
1/2 cup sweetened coconut, finely shred
1 cup and 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
2-3 tsp. milk, if needed

Pineapple Cream Topping:
1/2 cup (4 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2/3 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread coconut on a baking tray and toast for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. Watch it closely so it does not burn. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter in pieces and pulse just until dough is crumbly. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle toasted coconut over the dough. Work it into the dough until the dough comes together. May add milk as needed to bring the dough together. Dust work surface again and roll out dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick, and cut into circles using a 3-inch glass or round cookie cutter. Use a spatula to lift cookies onto a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges of the cookies begin to brown. Cool cookies on the pan for 5 minutes before removing the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. 

For the pineapple topping, beat whipped cream with an electronic mixer until soft peaks have formed. Set aside. Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Beat in icing sugar and vanilla. Stir in pineapple and fold in whipping cream. Chill until ready to serve. To plate, place a cookie on a plate and spoon or pipe about 2 tablespoons of pineapple cream onto the cookie.