I went coco-nuts!

Is that title cheesy, or what?! This post (or rather, this dessert) is chock-full of coconut. As you know, I am looking for ways to use up my left over ingredients from the past couple of months. I already used the graham crackers in the Chocolate Cream Pie, and now the coconut is gone with these Black-Bottom Coconut Bars.

These bars were found on another blog, called Bake or Break. I had most of a 14-ounce bag of coconut, and the recipe called for 7 ounces, so I used some coconut in the brownie part and I sprinkled a lot on top. I haven’t tasted them yet, I tried them, and but hopefully the coconut is not over powering. The brownie part really comes through. (Sorry to those of you who are not coconut fans, maybe you’ll like my next dessert better!) Also, these were rather easy to make. I know, I say that for EVERYTHING, But this time I really mean it. No special equipment. No electric mixers necessary. It is really just whisk everything together and pour/press into the baking dish. Okay, so you have to melt the butter-in the MICROWAVE. Seriously, I think this is the quickest, easiest dessert I’ve made in a while.
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Chocolate Cream Pie

I needed to start using the leftovers from, oh, about a month ago, so I used up the leftover graham cracker crumbs for the crust in this pie. It was a really rich chocolate-y pie, and I think I would’ve liked just eating the filling by itself, because it was basically just homemade pudding, some might even say it is ganache-like. I have to start finding recipes that use up the other ingredients I have left, but luckily, those don’t really go bad. Also, I have a few cookbooks and recipes saved that I am sure I will find one that works for me.

This recipe is saved from Gourmet and is called Chocolate Cinnamon Cream Pie, but really, the only cinnamon in it is from the crust and the whipped cream that you may or may not dollop on top. So, really, it is just a chocolate pie, with a graham cracker crust. But nonetheless, it was simple and good.

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January: the month of newbies…Daring Bakers Challenge #1

So, I wanted to join this group for a while after reading about their challenges on other food blogs. So I thought, what better time to start something new than in the new year. So here goes:

“The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.”

I have worked with gluten-free flours before, and with all of the rain, I just didn’t feel like trekking all the way down to the Mission to get what I needed, so I used wheat flour. It was a simple change to the challenge recipe, just replace the gluten-free flours with wheat flour.

The graham cracker dough was sticky, and I ended up adding a little extra flour while I kneaded and rolled it out. Since I don’t really like plain graham crackers (or s’mores) and I knew I would have extras, I didn’t really pay that much attention to the shapes of the crackers themselves, and just baked them for the crumbs. Oh, of course I tried one or three before smashing them to bits, and they are good on their own. But I will surely make a tart or pie crust of some sort with the leftover crumbs.

The Nanaimo Bars were pretty easy to make, and all of the layers make a tasty treat. I only have half of them left and I only made them on Monday.

I do have a lot of leftover ingredients that will have to be used some how, so look for recipes featuring these ingredients again (such as the graham cracker crumbs).

I hope this post gets the Daring Baker’s stamp of approval. Take the jump for the recipes.

they’re not the prettiest that I’ve seen, but they were tasty.

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it’s a hot, sticky mess…

…not the drunk kind, but the gooey, marshmallowy kind. I got a bag of marshmallows sent to me as part of a birthday present from my mom, and they were all stuck together, so I needed something to do with them, and I couldn’t just eat them out of the bag, because, well, they were literally stuck in the bag! So, I looked hard and long (ugh-get your minds out of the gutter!) on the interwebs for ideas and mostly found marshmallows added to brownie or blondies, so I thought a little longer, and I decided that I could probably caramelize the ‘mallows before adding them to the brownies, so that’s what I did. They turned out to be really good, and it was a literal explosion of a brownie.
I suggest melting/caramelizing the ‘mallows right before you add them to the batter, because otherwise, like me, you will end up having to reheat it to get it out of the pot, and that is what made the hot, sticky mess.

(look at the bubble of marshmallow peeking out!)

Anyway, they are really easy to make. Just follow this brownie recipe and caramelize one bag of marshmallows, then layer the brownie batter with the brown goop in your pot, and bake for like 30 minutes. The marshmallows smell so campfire-y and good when they are being melted, it is tempting to just eat that, and of course, you could stop right there, and add it to some ice cream. Or, you could add them to some graham crackers and chocolate for some s’mores. Again, all of these possibilities!