Peeps Pancake Smores

Peeps Pancake Smores

The thermostat is a hot topic in our house … literally.

Since I can remember I have been hot.  Temperature hot.

In school while most of the girls would walk around with long sleeved shirts and sweaters and beg to wear pants under their uniform skirt, I happily perused the hallways in my short-sleeved shirt and often wished they’d turn the heat down.

Peeps Pancake Smores

Things haven’t changed much.  I hate the forced heat of winter and love the air conditioning.  On these cool spring days there’s nothing better than having the windows open and having it just a little too cool in the house.  I sleep with the ceiling fan and a table fan blowing on me.

So what is the ideal temperature for me?  You ask.

Peeps Pancake Smores

Well, I never turn the heat higher than 68 during the day and at night it dips to 59.  I like the air also on 68 or 69.  And right now, having the windows open and the thermostat reading about 65 is sheer perfection.

In short, if you come to visit me, pack a jacket.  People who have spent time in this house can attest to that.

It is a mystery why I am always hot, except when I go outside in the winter, then I am cold and feel I will never be warm again.  But life is full of mysteries and this one isn’t so bad … unless you’re Mom or Dad.

Peeps Pancake Smores

Luckily, I keep everyone happy with tasty treats like Peeps Pancake Smores.  Easter to me means having Peeps around.  And creating a super simple masterpiece like these Smores is kind of the best thing ever.

Whether you use homemade or store bought pancakes, this is totally irresistible with a smooth chocolate (or carob – you know the drill) spread and a towering jiggly stack of Peeps.  Easter just got a whole lot sweeter.

Peeps Pancake Smores

Peeps Pancake Smores

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 1-2 servings

Ingredients

2 pancakes, homemade or store bought
3 tablespoons dark chocolate or carob chips
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
4 Peeps bunnies

Instructions

  1. Get your pancakes ready to go. Not gonna lie – I used Eggos and they worked great!
  2. Place the chocolate or carob chips in a bowl with the shortening. Melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Divide the mixture among the two pancakes and spread into an even layer.
  3. Place 2 Peeps on each pancake and microwave about 30 seconds until the Peeps are super puffy and melty. Bunnies work best here because they are flat. Smash the pancakes together and serve immediately.
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http://piesandplots.net/peeps-pancake-smores/

Spring Recipe Roundup

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Brunch

Entrees & Sides

Desserts

This month’s recipe round up was brought to you by:

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Microwave Peep S’mores

Microwave Peeps S'mores

I always overdo it on buying candy.  Easter candy.  Christmas candy.  Halloween candy.  Candy.

Sure, somehow it all gets eaten eventually, but my pantry is pretty much literally overflowing with bag after bag after bag of the sweet stuff.  And behind all those bags is a stack of boxes of Peeps.

I am one of those people that loves Peeps.  Especially the Gingerbread ones.  If you haven’t tried those yet DO IT!  Sometimes I melt them onto a Gingerbread Pop Tart, but that’s another story.

Microwave Peeps S'mores

I have a plethora of Peeps in the pantry.  Bunnies.  Chicks.  Pink.  Blue.  Yellow.  Minions.  Gingerbread.  Hearts.  Peeps.  Lots and lots of Peeps.

And right about now I bet you have more than you know what to do with as well.  Luckily I’m here to help with a super simple recipe that’s ready in about 2 minutes and will have the whole family asking for seconds.  Before long, you’ll be going to the store to buy more Peeps.

What is this amazing recipe?  Microwave Peep S’mores.  It only takes three ingredients – chocolate or carob, graham crackers, and of course Peeps – and it is so easy to prepare because it’s made in the microwave.

Microwave Peeps S'mores

While this doesn’t exactly recreate that classic campfire s’mores flavor, it’s a trick Mom has used for years and years to make s’mores year round without fuss.  In fact, I think I’ve only had s’mores made this way.

You end up with a crispy graham cracker topped with melty chocolate and an ooey gooey marshmallow with crunchy sugar on the outside.  It’s the perfect combination of textures and flavors.  Your leftover Easter candy dilemma has officially been solved.

Microwave Peeps S'mores

Microwave Peep S’mores

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 4 minutes

Yield: 2 s'mores

Ingredients

2 graham cracker sheets, broken in half

2 tablespoons carob or chocolate chips

4 Peep bunnies

Instructions

Place 2 pieces of graham cracker on a microwave safe plate. Top each with 1 tablespoon of carob or chocolate chips. Microwave in 30 second increments until the chips are mostly melted. Mine took 1 minute.

Place 2 bunnies on each of the graham crackers and microwave about an additional 30 seconds. Keep your eye on it and stop when the bunnies are super puffy.

Top with the remaining graham crackers and serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe is easily multiplied - and trust me, you'll want to multiply it!

http://piesandplots.net/microwave-peep-smores/

 

Easter Candy Bark #SundaySupper

Easter Candy Bark

Leftover Easter candy isn’t really a problem in my house. Leftover candy of any kind isn’t really a problem, in fact.

I’ve told you before I am obsessed with candy of all kinds.

So if I don’t have leftover candy in the house, I panic.

Easter Candy Bark

Because sometimes all of us crave jelly beans in October. You might not have a super-secret stash hidden from the rest of the family, but I do, because jelly beans are not to be messed around with.

My pantry is stocked with bag after bag of candy. Jelly Belly is a favorite, Williams-Sonoma has awesome sweets, and I have discovered a serious weakness for Starburst jelly beans.

Easter Candy Bark

I am pretty much literally a kid in a candy store . . . in my own house. How awesome is that???

But in case you have leftover Easter candy that you want to use up, make this Easter Candy Bark.

Easter Candy Bark

It is gluten free, no bake, ridiculously easy to make, and super versatile. Feel free to use whatever chocolate you want, as well as any candies. This is your creation. It’s such a great thing to make with kids too.

I hope you all have a great Easter and indulge in a little Easter candy!

Easter Candy Bark

Easter Candy Bark #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 minute

Yield: Varies

Ingredients

1 12 ounce bag white chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 large Peep bunny

¼ cup assorted jelly beans

¼ cup gummy butterflies

Instructions

In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine chips and oil. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted.

Pour white chocolate onto a parchment lined plate or baking sheet. Spread into an even and relatively thin layer.

Top with bunny, jelly beans, and butterflies, slightly pressing each into the chocolate.

Allow to harden completely before breaking into pieces and storing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary. Feel free to use whatever candy and chocolate you wish.

http://piesandplots.net/easter-candy-bark-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Appetizers:

Breakfast and Brunch:

Main Dishes:

Soups and Salads:

Desserts:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackPackMixins #CollectiveBias

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

I’ve told you before how I’m obsessed with candy, especially at Easter. While a handful of jelly beans puts a huge smile on my face, I’m even happier when they are mixed with other ingredients and Snack Pack pudding for some #SnackPackMixins.

Whoever said you shouldn’t play with your food is totally and completely wrong. Food should be fun! The kitchen is the best place to get creative and let your unique personality shine through. It’s also a wonderful time to get kids involved, especially with these fun, easy to make pudding cups.

Pudding Cup Ingredients

Vanilla SUPER Snack Packs are the perfect vehicle for some fun family time in the kitchen. I picked them up at Walmart and had to resist buying one of every Snack Pack flavor – there are so many and they all sound so good. Because they don’t need to be refrigerated and have an easy open lid, they are also great for school lunches and parties. Oh, and it’s pretty awesome they have as much calcium as an 8 ounce glass of milk! I am not a milk drinker and am always looking for sources of calcium.  Walmart even has a coupon available now!

Buying the Pudding

The vanilla pudding itself is so creamy and has a really great flavor. I happily enjoyed it plain. That great vanilla flavor means that other flavors pair well with it too.

I started these fun pudding cups by stuffing a Mega Stuf Golden Oreo (or two) into the pudding. I loved how it absorbed the pudding and softened, blending in perfectly.

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

Then, I got creative with the toppings to create springtime scenes. I crushed some Honey Maid Teddy Grahams to create “sand” and used blue jelly beans for “water.” In another scene some of the Teddy Grahams frolicked with gummy bunnies under a yellow and orange jelly bean “sun.”

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

It was fun to color coordinate jelly beans to create the landscape, as well as use animal shaped gummies. The variety of candies you can use to create the scene is virtually endless. All of the fruit flavors really popped against the vanilla flavor and the cookies added a welcome crunch. Peanut butter and chocolate candies would definitely work as well.  The mix in possibilities are endless!

Making these Pudding Cups would be an awesome Easter festivity for kids since they can all create their own delicious masterpiece.

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

Layered Easter Pudding Cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Vanilla SUPER Snack Packs

Mega Stuf Golden Oreos

Cinnamon Teddy Grahams

Blue, yellow, and orange jelly beans

Gummy bunnies

Gummy butterflies

Instructions

Push an Oreo into each of the pudding cups so that it is in the middle, totally surrounded by pudding.

Crush some of the Teddy Grahams. An easy way to do this is to put them in a zipper bag and then smash them with a spoon.

Sprinkle Teddy Grahams on top of the pudding cups as desired. Decorate with more whole Teddy Grahams, jelly beans, and gummies. Use your creativity and whatever candies you like!

Notes

Make as many pudding cups as you like using whatever toppings you want. My ideas are only the beginning of the possibilities!

http://piesandplots.net/layered-easter-pudding-cups/

Easy Easter Solutions with White Chocolate Clusters

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EasterEssentials #CollectiveBias

Easy Easter Solutions with White Chocolate Clusters

The weather has finally broken, which can only mean one thing: Easter is just around the corner. Somehow amid all our other responsibilities we’re supposed to make treats, throw Easter egg hunts, dye eggs, make an elaborate dinner, build an Easter basket, and do it all without breaking a sweat.

I don’t know about you, but I totally need some shortcuts to get me through. When you’re making all the treats and baskets and goodies for kids to take to school, you still have to have dinner every night. You might not always have time to make it, so DIGIORNO® pizzeria!™ Supreme Speciale Pizza is your new best friend.

DiGiorno Pizza

DiGiorno Pizza

It feeds a crowd, so it’s perfect for times when you’re entertaining and want to provide your guests with a satisfying, delicious meal that tastes like it came from your favorite pizzeria, just like the name suggests. The Supreme Speciale Pizza has a crust that’s crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside. It’s also loaded with fresh ingredients, lots of toppings (pepperoni and sausage – yum!), and has no artificial flavors. I can’t wait for the pizzeria! Thin Crust Pizzas either!

Buying the Pizza

Had to rock my cat sunglasses on my shopping trip!

Nestlé’s products are another amazing Easter solution. When I picked up the pizza on my last trip to Walmart, I was on the hunt for Nestlé’s White Chip Lemon Cookie Dough, but I came empty handed. My eyes are still peeled for it, and yours should be too – it sounds ah-mazing! Instead, I stocked up on Nestlé’s Premiere White Morsels, which I always have in my pantry.

White Chocolate

Melty white morsels!

White Chocolate Clusters

Popping on the jelly beans!

White Chocolate Clusters

Gotta let them cool!

I love whipping up treats to show the people closest to me how much I care about them, and when I can do that in an easy, no bake, gluten free way, I say that’s even better. My easy White Chocolate Clusters are the perfect thing to make with kids.

All they take is some melted Premiere White Morsels, a drop of oil, and your choice of mix ins and toppings. I used jelly beans and peanuts, but any kind of nut will work as would just about any kind of candy or even dried fruit. It’s your creation, so have fun with it! Try to make clusters with a variety of textures and flavors. The peanut ones have crunch and a hint of savory flavor, while the jelly bean ones have a burst of fruity flavor.

It’s easy to take time to enjoy the Easter season while still making homemade treats and not letting the stress get to you. What are your #EasterEssentials?

White Chocolate Clusters

Easy Easter Solutions with White Chocolate Clusters

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 11 minutes

Yield: About 24 clusters

Ingredients

1 12 ounce bag Nestlé’s Premiere White Morsels

1 teaspoon olive or canola oil

¼ cup colorful, fruit flavored jelly beans

1 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts

Instructions

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, place morsels and oil. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between until fully melted.

For the jelly bean clusters, place dollops of the melted morsels on the prepared pan. Allow to set for 1-2 minutes before putting jelly beans on top.

For the peanut clusters, stir in the peanuts. Dollop the mixture onto the prepared pan.

Allow all the clusters to set at room temperature about 1 hour. Clusters may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

http://piesandplots.net/easy-easter-solutions-with-white-chocolate-clusters/

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies #SundaySupper

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Happy Easter! Easter is one of my favorite holidays. In fact, it might be my favorite (don’t tell Christmas!). Yeah Christmas has lots of presents, but it’s in the middle of winter. Yuck! Easter means spring is here. The days are longer and the sun shines more. The daffodils are up and the grass is greener. I love to hear the birds sing. Oh, and I bet one of our backyard bunnies will make an appearance. They are giant – almost the size of cats. They always make me smile 🙂

Candy is pretty stellar at Easter too. So many holidays are all about chocolate, but not Easter. I am stocked up on jelly beans from now to eternity. I even got an Easter basket. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

I’ll be spending today coloring eggs, baking a little, hopefully taking a walk (it’s supposed to be 70!), spending time with my parents, and just trying to relax. After all, that’s the best thing about any holiday: taking a break.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Carrot cake is another awesome thing about Easter. I’m not sure how the two became so connected but you pretty much can’t have one without the other. These Carrot Cake Cookies are a fun, easy twist on the traditional layer cake. They really do taste just like carrot cake too! Dad proclaimed them his favorite thing I’ve made. The soft, lightly spiced cookies are delightful, especially with the pop of flavor from the raisins. I sandwiched them with traditional vanilla buttercream, but cream cheese frosting or even vanilla ice cream would be killer. Fill them however you like, or don’t fill them at all. It’s up to you! You won’t want to wait for next Easter to make them again!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Makes 24 cookies, 12 sandwiches

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and rolled oats.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Mix in the vanilla. Add the eggs and mix until once again light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add the coconut, carrots, and raisins and stir until evenly distributed. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Scoop the dough onto the sheets, spacing them as far apart as possible. They will spread and may run into each other during baking, but that’s okay. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cookies are mostly set. Cool cookies completely on trays. Once cool, serve or sandwich with frosting. Store unfilled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, while filled cookies will need to be stored in the refrigerator. Filled or unfilled cookies may be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Channel

Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Breakfast/Brunch

Appetizers:

Savory and Sweet Breads:

Sides and Salads:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Five Candies You Should Make, Not Buy, for Easter

Five Candies You Should Make, Not Buy, for Easter

Every year I browse the candy aisles for Easter candy. Jelly beans, Peeps, and Reese’s Pieces Eggs, oh my! But most of the candies are coated in chocolate, meaning they’re off limits to me. I also increasingly find many candies are made in Mexico or even China. Um, no thank you.

This has led me online to Jelly Belly and Williams Sonoma, who both offer high quality, made in the US candies, many of which are cocoa free! I have a serious weakness for pectin jelly beans and sour gummy bunnies.

I’ve also taken a liking to making my own candy. Homemade candy has high quality ingredients that you control. The flavors shine through, and they are super fun to make. The kids can even get involved in a lot of them!

Five Candies You Should Make, Not Buy, for Easter

Last year around this time, I bookmarked a recipe for Homemade Cadbury Crème Eggs. I’ve been counting the days until I could make this recipe. I eliminated the food coloring, as a lot of people aren’t a fan of it. This also streamlined and simplified the process without altering the flavor in any way. It doesn’t exactly look like and egg, and I honestly don’t know if it tastes like the real thing, as I’ve never had one, but I promise you these are addictive little candies that no Easter is complete without.

The sticky, sweet interior has tons of little vanilla bean specks, so you know that pure flavor packs a big punch. The assertive carob matches the sweetness perfectly, though I also liked them with white chocolate. Of course, if you’re not allergic to chocolate, feel free to use dark chocolate to coat these.  Scroll down past the recipe for more fun Easter candy ideas!

Five Candies You Should Make, Not Buy, for Easter

Homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 15-20 eggs

Ingredients

½ cup light corn syrup

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 ½ cups carob chips or dark chocolate

1 ½ cups white chocolate chips

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, divided

Instructions

In a large bowl, beat corn syrup, butter, salt, and vanilla bean paste with a hand mixer on medium speed to combine into a homogeneous mixture. A stand mixer may also be used.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. You may need to stir the final cup of sugar in by hand. Mix until completely smooth.

Place bowl in freezer for about 15 minutes to harden.

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt white chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of shortening. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between to promote melting, until fully melted.

Remove the butter mixture from the freezer. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the butter mixture and roll it into an egg shape using your hands. Using 2 forks or your fingers, coat the egg in the melted white chocolate. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet to set. Repeat until you have coated half the eggs.

Place the butter mixture while you melt the carob/dark chocolate. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt carob/dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon shortening. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between to promote melting, until fully melted.

Remove the butter mixture from the freezer again, scoop it, form it into egg shapes, and coat in the carob. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet to set. Once all the eggs are coated, place them in the refrigerator to set completely. Eggs may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Ashley Rodriguez, courtesy Food 52

http://piesandplots.net/five-candies-you-should-make-not-buy-for-easter/

I hope you are inspired to make your own Easter candy this year.  Here are a couple more recipes to get you set for the holiday.  Plus, all of these are gluten free as long as you double check the ingredients you add.  It looks like it’s going to be one sweet Easter!

Carob Peanut Butter Eggs – This classic candy is a blast to make and tastes just like the real thing!

Five Candies You Should Make, Not Buy, for Easter

Homemade Snickers Bars – Peanut butter nougat, peanuts, and homemade caramel combine to make one delectable candy.  Cut them in egg shapes to make them more festive!

Five Candies You Should Make, Not Buy, for Easter

Homemade Marshmallows – Forget about Peeps, these fluffy, pillowy morsels of goodness pack in real vanilla flavor.

Five Candies You Should Make, Not Buy, for Easter

Peanut Butter Fudge – You won’t believe how easy it is to make this irresistible candy.  All the cooking is done in the microwave!

Five Candies You Should Make, Not Buy, for Easter

Coconut Cake and Giveaway!

Coconut Cake and Giveaway!

This giveaway is CLOSED!  Congratulations to Heather on winning!

Did you have a good Easter?  I hope so.  Mine was relatively uneventful.  The sun shined a lot, but the weather is still too chilly for my taste.  I colored Easter eggs, as you probably noticed in my last post.  Coloring eggs may be the most relaxing, fun thing I’ve done in awhile.  No pressure, just a good time.  I probably should have bought a couple extra packages to do it again when I’m feeling stressed J The plan was to make a pork shoulder for the first time, but somehow, the butcher gave us a pork loin, so yeah, that didn’t work out so well.  We watched Lincoln, which we all found rather boring.

And oh, yeah, I made Coconut Cake.  Not just any coconut cake, but the best coconut cake I’ve ever had or imagined.  I made a similar one a few years ago for my birthday, and it was good, but had a few flaws.  I’ve been wanting to post a coconut cake here for quite some time, as it’s probably my favorite treat, funny coming from a girl who hated coconut as a child.  So I’ve been working on my own original coconut cake recipe and searching for the perfect time to make it.

Coconut Cake and Giveaway!

Coconut Cake and Giveaway!

Coconut and Easter go hand in hand and since the main protein wasn’t going to work, there was plenty a room left in my tummy for a nice big Easter dessert.  It was time for Coconut Cake!

The cake is a chiffon cake.  Nice and light, while still being super moist with a hint of richness.  I used Bob’s Red Mill Fine Macaroon Coconut because I wanted coconut in every single bite of cake without big pieces to throw off the texture.  It was the perfect coconut to use.  I also tried their pasty flour for the first time and was thrilled with the results, a tender cake with a fine crumb, just what cake should be.  I have never been able to find coconut extract, so I use a combination of almond and vanilla in the cake and frosting to give that classic coconut cake flavor.

The vanilla soaking syrup adds extra moisture and flavor to the cake, but one thing about me hasn’t changed over the years – I’m still a frosting girl at heart.  And no frosting will do for a grand cake such as this except Italian Buttercream.  It has a few more steps than American buttercream, but the incredible creamy, silky smooth texture and subtle sweetness are more than worth it.  Toasted coconut on the outside adds great texture and really brings home the coconut flavor.  I used Bob’s Red Mill Flaked Coconut for this and I can’t imagine anything better.  The whole cake made my Easter, heck, it probably made my whole month.  I seriously considered grabbing another piece . . . but I didn’t.

Coconut Cake and Giveaway!

Coconut Cake and Giveaway!

Oh, you want to make coconut cake too?  Well, Bob’s Red Mill has kindly offered a giveaway prize today.  One lucky winner will get 1 bag of Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Flaked Coconut and 1 bag of Bob’s Red Mill Fine Macaroon Coconut to make this delicious coconut cake – or whatever else strikes your coconut fancy.

In order to enter the giveaway, answer the question: What did you make for Easter?

To earn additional entries:

Follow @piesandplots on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook. Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow @piesandplots on Instagram. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

The giveaway ends Monday, April 8, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST.

The winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on random.org. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen.  Good luck!

Disclaimer: Bob’s Red Mill Provided this giveaway, but all opinions as always are my own.

Coconut Cake and Giveaway!

Coconut Cake and Giveaway!

4.9 from 12 reviews
Coconut Cake and Giveaway!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
Cake
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 3 additional large egg whites
  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped, seeds and pod reserved
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Syrup
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • Reserved vanilla pod
Frosting
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 5 large egg whites
  • ½ + ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 cups flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment and butter and flour the entire pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut.
  3. In a large bowl stir together egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds until fully combined and slightly lightened in color and increased in volume. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts and the oil. Mix until fully combined.
  4. In a large bowl, beat egg whites using a hand mixer on medium-high until frothy. This whole process takes awhile and could also be done using a stand mixer – I just knew I was using mine for frosting later. Add the cream of tartar and continue mixing until stiff but not dry peaks have formed.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture and stir until combined. Add ⅓ of the egg whites and carefully and gently fold in using a rubber spatula. Fold in the remainder of the egg whites. Divide the batter as evenly as possible among the 2 pans and bake, rotating halfway through if necessary, for about 25 minutes. Cakes may be made one day ahead of time and stored in an air tight container at room temperature. Allow cakes to cool completely in pans.
  6. Make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water, sugar, and vanilla bean pod to a boil, stirring frequently and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.
  7. Make the frosting. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once this happens, stop stirring, attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and allow the mixture to come to 240 degrees F on the thermometer. In the meantime, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high until foamy. Once foamy, add the cream of tartar and continue beating on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Be sure not to over whip the egg whites or they will become dry.
  8. Once the eggs are whipped and the syrup is at 240, turn the eggs to medium-low, immediately remove the syrup from the heat, and begin slowly and steadily drizzling it into the eggs. If the syrup is ready before the eggs, it can be turned down or removed from the heat while the eggs finish, before being replaced on the heat to bring to temperature. If the eggs are ready before the syrup, stop mixing them until the syrup is almost ready. Turn them back to medium-high briefly before turning them back down and adding the syrup.
  9. Once the syrup has all been added, turn the mixer back to medium-high and beat the frosting (what is basically marshmallow crème and is delectable all by itself) for 10-13 minutes until the bottom of the bowl is barely warm or at room temperature. It is important for it to not be too warm or the next step will not work.
  10. Once cooled, add the butter a couple tablespoons at a time, allowing each addition to incorporate before adding another. Scrape down the bowl occasionally. Once all the butter is incorporated, add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix to combine. Remove the bowl from the mixer and mix briefly by hand to make sure there are no clumps of butter. If the frosting is a bit soupy (because it was too warm when the butter was added) stick it in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, beat it again with the stand mixer. It should come together.
  11. Assemble the cake. Place one cake on a cake plate. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally. Place the top half on a plate or back in the pan. Leave the bottom half on the cake stand. Drizzle with some of the vanilla syrup and cover with frosting. Place the top half of the cake on top, drizzle with syrup, and cover with frosting. Repeat with other cake. Cover the entire cake with frosting, including the sides. Once frosted, gently press the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake and serve. May be stored at room temperature for up to 2 hours. May be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days or frozen in pieces, wrapped in plastic and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours.

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

I spend tons of time with Mom.  I bake with Mom.  Cook with Mom.  Shop with Mom.  Watch TV and movies with Mom.  Chat with Mom.  I’m always with Mom.  When I was younger, while I did spend a lot of time with Mom, I spent an equal amount of time with Dad.  We played Barbies and video games.  We’d run errands and walk around the mall after he got home from work and on the weekends.  But now we’re both busy and I no longer play video games or Barbies (not that sometimes I don’t want to), so Dad and I don’t have much bonding time.

Last Sunday we got said bonding time going to see The Book of Mormon.  I was so excited to see it and snapped up tickets in the blink of an eye.  Though the weather was still super cold and cloudy and miserable, it was so fun chatting with Dad on the drive into Detroit, waiting for the play to start, and at intermission.  We got to catch up on each other’s lives and we jammed to some music.  Dad even turned up Mumford and Sons!  Sometimes my taste in music seeps in!

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

The theatre was packed; in fact the entire run of The Book of Mormon is totally sold out.  And the show was also great.  We both loved it and laughed a lot.  The cast was supremely talented and the songs quite catchy.  I’ve had the opening number stuck in my head all week.

Between spending the day with Dad and the fabulous show, it was a wonderful day and a welcome break from everyday life.  We’ll have to schedule more daddy daughter bonding time soon!

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Tomorrow is Easter.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.  I’ll probably be spending it baking, and dyeing eggs – yes, I still love to color eggs!  In case you still need a last minute treat, I made Coconut Macaroons.  Seriously, your search for a last minute Easter or Passover treat that’s easy to make, yet totally delicious ends here.  Four ingredients, five minutes of prep, and about fifteen minutes of baking result in golden brown coconut cookies.  I used Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, which I am now in love with.  It was the perfect size to add texture but not leave me chewing forever on coconut.  The exterior is crunchy, with that wonderful toasted coconut, while the interior remains moist with soft coconut, sweetened slightly by the sugar.  I can’t believe I waited this long to make them.  I love them and know you will too.  Happy Easter!

Coconut Macaroons

Disclaimer: I was provided with coconut by Bob’s Red Mill, but all opinions, as always, are my own.

Coconut Macaroons

 Coconut Macaroons

5.0 from 4 reviews
Coconut Macaroons
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, coconut, egg whites, and vanilla until fully combined and all the coconut has been moistened. You may need to use your hands to make sure it is well mixed.
  3. Take heaping tablespoons of the mixture, form slightly into mounds, and place on the baking sheet. The mixture is very loose and will be messy. That is okay. The Macaroons do not spread during baking, so they will all fit on one sheet.
  4. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Macaroons are best served warm, but may be cooled completely on the tray, then stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Macaroons may also be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

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