Coconut Blondies

Life is good.

Coconut Blondies | Beautiful Disasters

I finished all my AP tests last Friday. We are a few breaths away from summer. Charles Ramsey’s heroic actions and great humor got me through AP testing week last week. And I have some delicious coconut blondies to share with you all.

Coconut Blondies | Beautiful Disasters

Maybe I am getting a little coconut-happy lately, but I kind of like it. Coconut signifies summer and tropical things to me, so being land-locked, coconut is one of those ingredients that has grown on me.

Coconut Blondies | Beautiful Disasters

I hope you all have a great day full of smiles, sunshine, and most of all, some coconut blondies.

Coconut Blondies

1/2 cup coconut oil (room temperature)

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour (all-purpose is fine, too!)

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or desired nuts)

1/4 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil and brown sugar unti completely combined. Mix in eggs until incorporated. Add in extracts. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Finally fold in coconut.
  3. Spread dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and slightly press into the top of the spread dough. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let cool and cut into bars. Store leftovers in sealed container or cover with plastic wrap.

Random Fact of the Day: The blesbok, a South African antelope, is almost the same color as grapejuice.

Almond Joy Cake

I’m a little delayed on this post… This was actually a cake on made for Easter this year. It was also my first attempt at making buttercream flowers, and I only managed to snap one picture take from an iphone.

Almond Joy Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Needless to say, this wasn’t the most optimum recipe and cake for a post, but I just HAD to share this recipe with y’all!

This cake was requested by my mom this year that I believe was partly to celebrate her birthday in addition to the Easter festivities.  Anyways her request was [the best ever] chocolate cake with coconut whipped cream filling and frosted with chocolate mousse. So basically an Almond Joy in cake form (minus the almond part…does that make it more of a Mounds cake?)

This was was super delicious, even my coconut-hating uncle enjoyed it! It’s a very decadent cake that is perfect for the spring/summer time with the refreshing coconut. Maybe not awesome for bikini season, but cake wins over bikini body in my book ;)

Almond Joy Cake

(Makes one 2-layer, 6-inch round cake)

FOR CAKE:
1 prepared & baked chocolate cake recipe, I of course used my favorite chocolate cake recipe!
FOR FILLING:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup shaved coconut
2-3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons coconut extract
TO FROST OUTSIDE OF CAKE:
1 prepared batch of my super easy 2-ingredient chocolate mousse

  1. Prepare chocolate cake according to recipe and let cool. Once cool, slice in half lengthwise into two equal rounds.
  2. Prepare coconut whipped cream filling by whipping heavy whipped cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat cream with powdered sugar and whip until heavy peaks are formed, whip in coconut extract. Whip cream until it takes on the thick appearance of whipped cream you would buy from the store. Fold in shaved coconut.
  3. Place bottom cake layer on plate that you plan on using to frost the cake. Spread coconut filling on bottom cake layer, evenly.  Let sit in fridge to set up slightly for about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare chocolate mousse that you will use for frosting the outsides.
  5. After 30 minutes, take bottom cake layer that has been spread with coconut filling out and place top cake layer on top of the filling.  Frost cake as desired with prepared chocolate mousse. If desired, pipe whipped cream in small rosettes on top of cake or spread chocolate chips, shavings, or coconut on cake for garnish. I took my first stab at buttercream flowers! Mine turned out a little flat. I think I will need thicker frosting for my next attempt, but practice makes perfect! I also did a little border with some leftover yellow buttercream I had from the buttercream roses.

Random Fact of the Day: The Chinese ideogram for ‘trouble’ depicts two women living under one roof.

Hawaiian Dream Cookies

As promised, here is a photo of me from prom this past weekend!

Senior Prom 2013

I did not ask permission to post a picture of my date, but he’s not that important anyways right? ;) In all seriousness, he is actually a really great guy and was super fun to spend the day with.  Can’t believe I have no more high school dances left EVER!

Senior Prom 2013

I really don’t have a ton to share about prom, there wasn’t any major drama worth sharing so let’s move onto these ahhh-mazing cookies I baked up!

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies | Beautiful Disasters

I’m sure many of you have tasted or heard of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies | Beautiful Disasters

I’m a huge fan. I particularly love macadamia nuts, which are sort of a special treat for me because they are super duper expen$ive here in the non-tropical Midwest. I decided to treat myself and bake up some cookies made with a match made in heaven-coconut and macadamia nuts.

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies | Beautiful Disasters

All I have to say is, you MUST try this recipe. These cookies are everything you need and more.

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies | Beautiful Disasters

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies (Hawaiian Dream Cookies)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup white  sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups coconut

3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugars using a mixer. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Add in salt, baking soda, and flours. Stir in coconut with mixer. Fold in nuts by hand or slowly using the mixer
  3. Drop dough onto an ungreased baking sheet by the teaspoonful and bake in preheated oven for 7-9 minutes or until edges are golden. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then let finish cooling on wire rack for about 5 minutes. Enjoy! Store leftovers in sealed container.

Random Fact of the Day: A sneeze can travel as fast as 100 miles per hour.

Hawaiian Dream Cookies | Beautiful Disasters

Coconut Pound Cake

Do any of you guys do Lent? I feel like not many people do anymore. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but my family always gives up treats for Lent.

Coconut Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Yes..treats. ALL treats.

Coconut Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

I am sure you can all imagine how painful this is for me, the cookie dough-cake batter-frosting-licking-addict.

Coconut Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

This was about as close as I could come to making a dessert without the Lent police coming after me.

Coconut Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

I had my dad, the coconut connoisseur, just about on his knees praising me for this cake.  This recipe fell under the “Don’t change A THING” category for him and I know he is just counting down the days until I make it again, maybe I’ll give baking it in a loaf pan a go next time?

Coconut Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Coconut Pound Cake

(Make one 9 or 10-inch tube pan cake)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups white sugar

5 eggs

1 cup milk (I used skim)

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 oz. coconut (I used half sweetened shredded coconut and half unsweetened coconut flakes)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9 or 10-inch tube pan. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time. Be sure to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl to get everything incorporated. Add in the coconut and vanilla extract. Mix in the milk and coconut. Finally, slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until about golden brown and top springs back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then invert onto plate. Enjoy!

Coconut Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: A rainbow can only be seen in the morning or late afternoon.

Almond Joy Bars

I’ve made a lot of coconut and “Almond Joy-inspired” goodies around here, haven’t I? I wasn’t even always a big Almond Joy fan.

My parents have truly turned me into a monster. Their obsession with Almond Joys has turned into my obsession with making (and eating) Almond Joy-inspired treats. So here you go, another Almond Joy piece of goodness.

Being that these are bars, they are super easy to make and fairly impressive looking. So feel free to serve them to all your fine and distinguished guests because we all know that absolutely no one can turn down a chocolate covered treat!

Almond Joy Bars

(Adapted from Glorious Treats)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

5 1/4 cups (14 oz.) shredded coconut, I used about half sweetened and about half unsweetened coconut

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups almonds, sliced or chopped

8 oz. chocolate

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the almonds in a thin layer on a baking sheet and toast for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning, they should be a light golden brown. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil and spray with a light layer of cooking spray. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in flour and salt until incorporated. Add in about 1 cup of toasted almonds and mix together. Press crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake 5-6 minutes in 350 degree F preheated oven.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the sweetened condensed milk, coconut and vanilla in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Once crust is done baking, spread coconut mixture over crust. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the coconut is golden.
  4. Melt the chocolate and spread over baked coconut bars. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup toasted almonds over chocolate and lightly press into chocolate. Place bars in the refrigerator for about 1 1/2 hours, or until chocolate has hardened, before cutting into individual bars. Store bars in an airtight container, with a layer of plastic wrap between layers of bars, in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Random Fact of the Day: Sound travels about 4 times faster in water than in air.