Chewy Coconut Cookies {Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap}

Chewy Coconut Cookies 1

I made these cookies for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2013, a virtual charitable cookie exchange whose proceeds go to Cookies for Kids Cancer.  If you’re not familiar with the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap you can read all about it here.

Basically, bloggers around the world pay a small fee to join the swap then send a dozen cookies to three different bloggers (assigned at random).  And three different bloggers send you a dozen cookies.  Needless to say, I’ve consumed a lot of scrumptious cookies lately:) 

619 bloggers participated this year (from eight different countries) and what’s really incredible is several great brands–OXO, Dixie Crystals, Gold Medal Flour, and Grandma’s Mollasses matched what the bloggers earned (in terms of entry fee and extra donations) dollar for dollar up to $3,ooo per brand.  Together we raised over $13,000 for Cookies for Kids Cancer.  Amazing right?!

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These Chewy Coconut Cookies are a really simple cookie.  My mom shared the recipe with me a few weeks ago, they’re a new favorite of my dads.  The only thing that keeps them from being so incredibly boring is a nice touch of coconut.  Think soft and chewy, buttery, coconutty sugar cookies.  

Sometimes I think I need to make the next craziest, most unique cookie.  Loaded with a variety of chocolate chips or stuffed with something fun and crazy.  And then I eat one of these simple coconut cookies and am reminded how much I like simple, classic cookies.  

Chew Coconut Cookies | Sweet Treats and More

BUT, if you want to get a little crazy, give them a drizzle of chocolate.  The chocolate lover in me couldn’t resist and it still keeps them simple. Yum yum!

Chewy Coconut Cookies | Sweet Treats and More

Chewy Coconut Cookies
simply chewy coconut cookies! jazz them up with a drizzle of chocolate too!
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter (or coconut oil)
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 2 tsp vanilla
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 3 cups flour
  6. 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  9. Addition sugar to roll the cookies in
  10. Chocolate chips (optional for melting and drizzling over the cookies)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Sift flour, powder and salt together and set aside. Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs together until creamy. Fold dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Lastly, fold in the coconut.
  3. Roll dough into one-inch balls then roll in the sugar. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment and bake for 8 minutes and remove and let cool.
  4. If desired melt chocolate chips and drizzle over the cookies.
Notes
  1. recipe from my mom's friend Jolene!
Sweet Treats & More http://sweettreatsmore.com/

Copy Cat Gourdough’s ODB Donut Holes

You might remember a few weeks ago I headed to Austin, Texas for a food bloggers conference.  I mentioned how in just three short days I ate my weight in delicious food.  From taco trucks to hearty Texas barbecue to healthy & wholesome donuts.  Scratch that, the donuts were everything but healthy & wholesome.  BUT SO DANG GOOD.  Everyone at the conference tweeted, instagrammed and facebooked (are the latter two words?) the heck out of the amazing donuts from Gourdough’s Donuts– a specialty donut shop, specializing in BIG. FAT. DONUTS (of course).  In all kinds of crazy flavors.    I got a sampling of the donuts at a Pic Monkey Pj Party Ashton threw.  

(Side note, if you’re looking for a great post about what exactly food bloggers do, and why the heck we go to conferences like the one in Austin, read this post she shared!)

So today, a bunch of us bloggers that were there and experienced the taste of Gourdoughs, decided to re-make some our favorites and share them with you! I made their ODB’s.  Cream filled donut holes, rolled in a vanilla bean glaze, and coated with shredded, sweetened coconut. Ohh yes!

Gourdoughs ODB Donuts(main)These little babies are dangerous.  And deceiving.  Before you know it, you’ll have eaten over a dozen and hardly feel the damage.  So you’ll pop a few more.  Right?  I’m not alone?  I would have been better off eating just one regular donut.  But that just ain’t happening here. Not with these. 

Gourdoughs ODB Donuts(7) These little ODB’s are hazardous.  Deep fried to perfection, stuffed with amazing, thick cream filling, rolled in a vanilla bean glaze, and covered in sweetened coconut.  Seriously you guys.  You have to try them.  If you don’t make them, get your booty to Texas and order some ODB’s at Gourdoughs.  

donutcollageThey do take a little bit of work, but are actually pretty fun to make (and eat while you do it!).  Brett rolled the dough into little balls and fried them, while I made them look pretty–rolled them in the glaze and the coconut.  Then stuffed them with the filling.  {And sampled just about every other donut hole I glazed.  YIKES!!}

Gourdoughs ODB Donuts(4)

But really, who could resist? 

Gourdoughs ODB Donuts(6)

Copycat Gourdough's ODB Donut Holes
cream filled donut hole rolled in a vanilla bean glaze and shredded sweetened coconut!
For dough
  1. 1 1/3 cup flour
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
  3. 2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 egg
For the Pastry Cream
  1. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup cake flour (regular flour will work too)
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 4 egg yolks
  6. 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  7. 6 tbs heavy cream
For the glaze
  1. 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 3 tbs butter, melted
  3. 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  4. 2-4 tbs warm water
  5. **Oil for frying
  6. **2 cups shredded coconut for rolling
Make the Pastry Cream
  1. In a small bowl whisk flour, sugar, and salt together.
  2. In another bowl, gently whisk egg yolks together. Slowly whisk flour mixture into egg yolks.
  3. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat until bubbles start to form around the edges.
  4. Remove from heat and slowly pour egg/flour mixture into the milk, whisking continuously. Let the mixture come to a boil (still whisking). Let boil for 5-10 seconds then remove from heat.
  5. Should be thick and creamy. Pour the cream through a mesh sieve into a small bowl (gets rid of any filmy stuff) and whisk in vanilla bean paste.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing onto the cream. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
  7. Make the dough: In a large bowl beat flour, sugar, baking powder, egg and vanilla together until dough forms. The dough will be slightly sticky.
Make the donuts
  1. Pour 1" of oil into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat to just under medium heat.
  2. Lightly coat hands with flour, then pinch off 1/2 inch round pieces of dough, roll until smooth and then drop into oil.
  3. Let fry until bottom side is golden, then flip and fry until the other side is golden as well. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate covered with paper towels. Once all the dough is fried, make the glaze.
Make the glaze
  1. Whisk butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Slowly whisk in 1 tbs of warm water at a time, until you reach a runny, glaze-like consistency.
Roll Donut Holes in glaze & coconut
  1. Place shredded coconut on a large plate or shallow bowl.
  2. Using two spoons roll each donut hole in the glaze, letting any excess run off, then roll each hole in the shredded coconut. Place on a sheet of wax paper to dry.
Prep the Cream Filling
  1. Beat 6 tablespoons of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into the chilled pastry cream. Pour into a pastry bag with a thin round tip.
Fill Donut Holes
  1. Use a toothpick to poke a hole in each of the donut holes and gently move around to create a cavity for the cream filling.
  2. Fill each cavity with cream filling.
Notes
  1. **Cream Filling source: Brown Eyed Baker
Sweet Treats & More http://sweettreatsmore.com/
 Want to check out some other Gourdough’s Donuts? Go see some of my friends today!

Gourdoughs Doughnuts Copcat Recipes

PB & J by Capturing Joy
Granny’s Pie by Crazy for Crust
Heavenly Hash by Something Swanky
The Carney (Apple Pie Doughnuts) by Shugary Sweets
The Flying Pig by The Novice Chef
Dirty Berry by Inside BruCrew Life
Bring the Heath by Mom on Timeout
Son of a Peach by Chef-in-Training
Mama’s Cake by The Domestic Rebel
The Mother Clucker by Oh Sweet Basil
Cherry Bombs by My Life as a Mrs.
The Funky Monkey by The Little Kitchen
The Baby Rattler by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
Black Out Cupcakes {inspired by Gourdoughs} by Cookies & Cups
ODB by Sweet Treats and More
The Puddin’ by Lauren’s Latest
Naughty & Nice by Life’s Ambrosia
Miss Shortcake by Kevin & Amanda

Coconut Pecan Quinoa Granola

quinoagranolathree

I’m a little bit obsessed with this granola.  It’s perfectly sweet and nutty, made with natural ingredients, and it’s packed with protein.  When I’m not just munching on it as a snack, I’m making these awesome yogurt parfaits {keep scrolling down}.

 I kept this recipe really simple, not a lot of mix-ins, but  you can totally get creative with it.  Some dried fruit would be great (cranberries would be my first pick!) but I left them out so I could sprinkle it in yogurt.  I don’t like dried fruit in yogurt…it has to be fresh. But that’s just me. 

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 Oh hello beautiful!  This is that parfait I was talking about.  Breakfast? Lunch? Dessert?  It’s totally justifiable any time of day.  

quinoagranolaparfait

And my favorite way to build it….

Chobani Blueberry Greek Yogurt —  Coconut Pecan Quinoa Granola — Sliced Banans — then Repeat!  Fill your cup/bowl/jar to the brim. 

yogurtparfait

Coconut Pecan Quinoa Granola
healthy and packed with protein, this coconut pecan quinoa granola is perfect for breakfast, a snack, and sprinkled on top of your favorite yogurt!
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  2. 1 cup rolled oats
  3. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  4. 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  5. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  6. 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  7. 4 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl combine quinoa, oats, pecans, coconut, and cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl whisk together coconut oil (melted), honey or agave nectar, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until evenly distributed. Spread on to a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil and bake for 20-30 minutes (or until golden), stirring once half way through.
Sweet Treats & More http://sweettreatsmore.com/

 

 

 

Key Lime & Coconut Cream Pushpops & a Duncan Hines Sweet Treat Giveaway!

keylimecoconutpushpops

My site got a little makeover over the weekend ! Do you like?  I’m loving the fresh, clean look! I’ve still got some tidying up to do but once that’s all done I’ll go over some of the new features with you:) But for today I’ve got a fun recipe and a fun little giveaway for you….

My friends at Duncan Hines sent me some samples of their new Spring Frosting Flavor Creations Mix-ins–Key Lime Pie, Peaches and Creme, Fruit Punch, and Pink Lemonade.  Have you tried any of their mix-ins before? They have some pretty fun flavors and make it super easy to take a normal cake (or cupcakes) and add some fun flavor to them.  Can’t you just see kids going crazy for Fruit Punch and Pink Lemonade flavored frosting piled high on a cupcake? Every kids’ favorite drink flavors in a cupcake!

I tried all four of the new spring flavors and my favorite was definitely the Key Lime Pie.

duncanhinesfrostingtwo

I used it to whip up these fun Key Lime & Coconut Cream Pushpops that are just perfect for spring.  They have that taste of warmer weather we’re all ready for right now.  They kind of whisk away to the tropics with each bite:)

Wilton provided me with a Whoopie Pie Pan and the pushpop set that made these super easy to make! I used a Classic Yellow Cake Mix to make the cake layers, and in between the cake is layers of sweet coconut cream cheese filling, topped with the Key Lime Pie frosting and little bit of toasted coconut.

keylimecoconutpushpops3

These spring flavors are available for a limited time only so scoot on off to the store to find some! And stay tuned for some more fun {and I mean really fun} with Duncan Hines!

Key Lime & Coconut Cream Pushpops
Ingredients
  1. 1 pkg Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix (along with water, oil and eggs required on package instructions)
  2. 1 can Duncan Hines frosting creations Frosting Starter
  3. 1 packet Duncan Hines frosting creations Key Lime Pie flavor mix in
  4. 1 (8 0z) package cream cheese, soft
  5. 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  6. 3 tbsp sugar
  7. 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  8. 12 Plastic Pushpop container
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Spread shredded coconut out evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes or until golden (do not burn). Remove coconut and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, oil and eggs. Spoon a heaping teaspoon into each slot of the Wilton whoopie pie tin. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Remove mini cakes from pan and let cool. (You need 36 mini cakes to make the pushpops, but I like to have a few extra to work with. One cake mix will make over 46 mini cakes.)
  3. In another bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in sugar and coconut extract.
  4. Mix the Key Lime Pie frosting flavor creation packet into the Duncan Hines frosting flavor Starter Frosting.
  5. To assemble, place a cake layer at the bottom of each pushpop container and pipe a layer of coconut cream cheese filling on top. Duplicate another cake layer and another layer of cream cheese. Top with another cake layer then pipe the Duncan Hines Key Lime Pie frosting on top. (You'll end up with three cake layers, two cream cheese layers, and one Key Lime Frosting Layer on top). Sprinkle toasted coconut on the top of each pushpop.
Notes
  1. **with any extra mini cakes and frosting you can make some tasty mini whoopie pies!!
Sweet Treats & More http://sweettreatsmore.com/
keylimecoconutpushpops2

Now for the giveaway!!  Duncan Hines & Wilton want to give one reader everything they need to try the new spring Frosting Creations Flavor Mix-ins and whip up some fun treats with them! This Sweet Treats Giveaway includes:

duncanhinesfrosting_edited-1

-       4 Duncan Hines cake mixes

-       4 Duncan Hines frosting creation starters

-       4 Duncan Hines frosting creations limited edition flavors: Pink Lemonade, Key Lime, Peaches and Crème, and Fruit Punch

-       Wilton 6 ct Treat Pop containers

-       Wilton Mini Whoopie Pie Pan

-       Wilton Pearlized Jimmies

-       “The Pastry Chef’s Companion” by Glenn Rinsky

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Disclosure: Duncan Hines provided product and compensation for this post, however all opinions and photos are my own. 

Coconutty Oatmeal Almond Joy Cookies

Brett got me a whirly pop for Christmas.  A whirly pop and a giant tub of coconut oil.  Because using coconut oil is the best way to make popcorn, especially in a whirly pop.  And we’ve been making popcorn almost every day since Christmas.  Not even kidding, we are slightly addicted.

So I’ve had this giant tub of coconut oil and all I had made with it was popcorn.  I decided it was time to put it to new use.

You’re not surprised I started with cookies are you?  I started with this cookie base that I love, originally from Lizzy at Your Cup of Cake, adapted it just a bit and used coconut oil instead of butter.

 

Coconut oil and chunks of almond joy bars in an oatmeal cookie– a coconut lover’s heaven!  The husband ooohed and ahhed over these as he ate like five.

I promise I only had one.  After I ate half of the dough.

 
 
Oh, but that bite there, that was mine.  So maybe I had two cookies.   Or three.
 
Coconutty Oatmeal Almond Joy Cookies
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temp
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 1 cup flour
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 8-9 mini Almond Joy bars, chopped
  10. 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  11. 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Beat melted coconut oil and sugars until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until mixed well.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, bakins soda and oats. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. (If dough seems too wet add a tablespoon or two more of flour and mix in). Stir in chopped almond joy pieces and chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon by rounded tablespoon on to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are just golden. Remove and let cool for several minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  5. makes about 1 dozen.
Adapted from Your Cup of Cake
Adapted from Your Cup of Cake
Sweet Treats & More http://sweettreatsmore.com/
 

Coconut Cream Pie Bars

I always go for the cream pies on Thanksgiving.  I grew up with my Grandma making all sorts of cream pies so I’d take a slice of each and wouldn’t even touch the pumpkin pie.  As much as I love pumpkin, it’s just not my favorite pie.  Coconut Cream Pie isn’t typically my favorite cream pie, but these just looked so good on Pinterest.
 
My husband thinks these needed just a little bit more coconut flavor, but I loved them just as they were.  The vanilla coconut pudding is a homemade vanilla pudding with sweetened coconut flakes throughout.  And then of course you have golden toasted coconut sprinkled all over the top of the bars.  Enough coconut for me.  
 
 

I’m sure most of you already have your Thanksgiving menus planned, but just in case you need another dessert– one that is easy, just like a pie but in the form of bars, these are for you!  There are a few steps involved but I promise they are easy.  The crust is super simple to make {no intimidating pie crust-making here} and the homemade pudding is so thick and creamy and much better than instant pudding.

 
So tell me, do you go for the pumpkin pie, the cream pie, or the fruit pie on Thanksgiving?
 
I’m a cream pie girl through and through. 
Coconut Cream Pie Bars
 
for the crust:
1 1/2 c flour
2/3 c butter
5-7 tbsp cold water
vanilla-coconut pudding
2 2/3 cups cold whole milk
1 egg
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 c sweetened, flaked coconut
topping:
1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 c sweetened, flaked coconut
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350.  
For the crust: Pour flour in a medium bowl. Cut butter into flour until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Stir in water as needed (5 tbsp was just right for me) until just combined.  Form into a ball and place on a floured surface.  Roll out into a rectangle.  Place in a 9 X 13 in pan (no need to grease).  Poke the crust all over with a fork.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes until lightly golden. 
For the pudding:  In a medium saucepan, whisk the milk and egg together over medium heat.  Stir in sugar, cornstarch and salt and continue whisking often until it starts to thicken.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and flaked coconut.  Pour into cooled crust and place in the fridge. 
Topping:  Spread 1 cup flaked coconut onto a cookie sheet and bake for 2-3 minutes until toasted and golden.  Set aside.  In a stand mixer beat whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.  
Spread fresh whipped cream over the pudding layer and sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Refrigerate for another 2-3 hours. Cut into bars and serve.