I was a Girl Scout who loved selling Girl Scout Cookies. I think that was the reason I stayed involved so long. It was the competition, trying to surpass my goal from the year before, and the adrenaline of it all. At the time I hated Samoas, mostly because I did not like coconut. I have always had food texture issues, and something about the texture of coconut grossed me out. Until about five years ago. Somehow as I changed the types of foods I ate to become healthier I found coconut in its purest form (not mixed with chocolate and caramel). I fell in love with coconut and eventually added chocolate and coconut and now love Samoas.
These quasi cookies / slight macaroons would not have been something I would have eaten as a child. I would have been missing out. What is not to love about coconut and salted caramel? These are pretty easy to make and hit the spot, plus the added flake salt makes them even better. Definitely worth trying. Enjoy!
Salted Caramel Coconut Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
1 1/5 sticks unsalted softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large beaten egg
6 oz sweetened flaked coconut
7 oz soft caramel candies (soft!)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer. Then beat in the vanilla and salt. Gradually mix in the flour and beat until combined.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls with your hands.
Beat eggs in a small bowl. Put the coconut in another small bowl. Dip each ball first in the egg, then roll in the coconut.
Place balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press an indentation into each ball with your finger. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and re-press the indentations. Place the cookies back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until the cookies and coconut are golden.
Remove and let cool on a wire rack.
Unwrap the caramels and place in saucepan with heavy cream over low heat. Stir until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Spoon the caramel sauce into the cookie indentations. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Some people are chocolate fiends. I am not one of those people. However, I do like chocolate. I am of the variety that likes chocolate with something: berries, vanilla ice cream, that sort of thing. I especially like it when it is warm and there is vanilla ice cream on top and it melts with the warmth and congeals (I know, great visual word) to form a sort of gooey result. Mmm…so when we found this Chocolate Molten Cakes recipe I knew Chris would be game right away. He was. We’ve made it our own (using dark chocolate), and the best part is that you can make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you want to bake them. A wonderful idea because it means you can have them warm and right from the oven each night.
2 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 tablespoons of dark chocolate cocoa powder
3/4 cup of butter
12 ounces of dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup of flour
Prepare ramekins by coating the inside of each with melted butter by swirling it around. Then sprinkle the insides with cocoa powder, completely coating the bottom and sides.
To make the batter, put dark chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth. When chocolate has cooled slightly, stir in eggs, sugar and flour. Pour into prepared ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to a few days).
When ready to eat them, bake them at 450 degrees for about 8-10 minutes or just until the outsides and most of the top have set, but the centers are still a little runny. Let them cool for a few minutes, then flip them over onto a plate or bowl. We topped ours with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled some cinnamon on top. Yum!
It is the perfect midnight snack. You know those times when you for some reason are starving and you are not sure why, but you need something now? A warm mixture of peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas may just hit the spot. Yum. What is not to love? It is so easy, and takes all of two minutes.
It could also be the perfect breakfast treat. Or it reminds me of when you go to a crepe restaurant and you get a savory one and then follow it with a sweet one. Make a chicken quesadilla and then follow it with gooey peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas. Try it. You will not be disappointed.
I can be very salty — you know in that sassy kind of way. Yet, I also have a sweet side. Maybe that is why I am so into things salty and sweet. Take brunch for example, while we do not do it often, there are times when I want to order a sweet dish like french toast or pancakes, and pair it with an egg dish and then split it with Chris. Then I want it on the same plate and so a little bit of the syrup oozes into the eggs and bacon. Why not, right?
Recently we found this easy peasy recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares. All good salty and sweet things combined. A nice treat or snack that hits the spot.
Crust 1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup ground pretzels (measure only after grinding them) 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
Filling 2 cups chocolate chips (we used semisweet)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chopped pretzels to sprinkle on top
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper. Use enough paper to line the sides for removing later.
2) To make the crust, combine the flour, ground pretzels, and sugar. Mix with your hands. Add the melted butter and mix again until you have a dough.
3) Press the dough into the pan and bake for 12 minutes.
4) To make the filling, melt the chocolate chips in a double broiler. Stir in the creamy peanut butter until completely mixed. Pour the filling over the crust.
5) Sprinkle chopped pretzels on top.
6) Cool in the freezer for about an hour. Remove from the pan by lifting the parchment paper. Slice into your preferred size. Serve cold for best result.
Sometimes we take things for granted. You think something is part of something else and then when you really dig in you find out that is not the case. What did I take for granted?
Yes, it is true. In a conversation with someone recently the topic came up about the difference between milk/dark chocolate and white chocolate. I had never thought about it. They all have the name of chocolate, but are they really all chocolate? The person I was talking with said no. White chocolate is not at all like milk or dark chocolate.
Regardless of the truth, I can see there being different chocolate camps. I ebb and flow with my allegiance. I go through phases where all I want is white chocolate (especially around Christmas, as there is something yummy about candy canes with white chocolate). At other times, I am a dark chocolate fan, and for some reason feel like the higher cacao factor makes it healthier for me (maybe true)? In last place would be milk chocolate, unless you are talking about the chips in my chocolate chip cookies.
So what is the truth? From what I have researched, white chocolate has cocoa butter in it, where as milk and dark chocolate is made from cocoa plant. An excerpt from Diffen (a website that compares things) states:
“Dark chocolate and white chocolate both contain cocoa butter and are eaten as dessert or used in confectionery. Chocolate is derived from the bean of the cocao (cocoa) plant which breaks down in to chocolate liquor (the ground or melted state of the nib of the bean), cocoa butter (the fat component) and cocoa powder (the non-fat part of the cocoa bean ground into a powder). Dark chocolate is produced by adding cocoa butter to sugar and cocoa powder. Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate does not contain any milk solids. White chocolate contains only cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids and no chocolate liquor or cocoa powder. So technically, white chocolate is not really chocolate at all.”
Did you learn something new or am I just slow to the game on chocolate?