Sunday, November 16, 2014

Beauty and the Beast Cookies


Hi, Friends!  This has been a long weekend of play costumes and cookie making.  I wanted to get some cookies made for the cast of the musical at the middle school.   They are performing Beauty and the Beast Jr.  Those kids put in so much hard work!  Anyway, I thought I'd post them here so you can use them for ideas.  The rose under glass is made using the Wilton tombstone cookie cutter (link below). 

I used the Wilton recipe for Royal Icing for the roses themselves.  It has to be a very stiff icing or the roses just turn into a pile of mush.  If that happens while you are trying to make them, squish the icing back out into the bowl, and add about one extra tsp of meringue powder to it until it is hard enough to pipe the roses. I did that twice!  It is a trial and error kind of thing.  The link will take you to both the recipe and the technique for making roses.  The roses are all dusted with a sprinkling of edible glitter as well. The link for the glitter dust is below.

The roses are surrounded by dragees.   I love these little silver balls!  They make every cookie look festive.  If you would like to know how I made the icing and the cookies, please follow this link.  It will take you to the recipes.   Go to the link!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Toasted Coconut Sorbet

It has been a long time since I posted about something that I made.  I usually post things that excite me and recently, I haven't felt compelled to share with you anything.  Today, however, I have found a recipe that REALLY is THAT good. 

Oh my.... this coconut sorbet will knock your socks off.  I used a recipe that didn't call for chunkiness in the final product, but I think that is a mistake.  The end product of this recipe is smooth, creamy with chunks of delicious fresh coconut that has been toasted perfectly.  You really must give it a try if you love coconut.  I also made Salted Coconut Sauce for on it, but to be honest, it doesn't need it.  If you want to make the sauce, it is delicious too, but save it for something like chocolate ice cream or over a crepe or something.  This sorbet really doesn't need anything extra.

You may think that using a whole coconut and preparing it is a lot of work, but in the end is it SO worth it.  If you just don't have time for that, you can always use flaked, unsweetened coconut.

Both recipes follow....

Toasted Coconut Sorbet {1 Quart}
 2 cans coconut milk, well shaken! (I used one full-fat and one low-fat)
 2 cups grated fresh coconut
 1 cup sugar
 dash salt

Prepare the coconut by following the directions in this video. Once you have the meat out of the coconut, grate it using a box grater. 
1) In a small pot, combine the coconut milk, flaked coconut and sugar with the dash of salt.
2) Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and stir for about 2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
3) Take the pot off of the heat and let sit until it has cooled.
4) Strain the mixture into a bowl, pressing all of the liquid out of the flaked coconut.
6)  Refrigerate the coconut sorbet base until cold.
5) Preheat your oven to 400 and put the flaked coconut on a cookie sheet.  Toast the coconut until light brown and fragrant approximately 10-15 minutes. Cool.
7) Freeze the coconut sorbet in an ice cream freezer according to manufacturers directions, or even just place in a large bowl and put straight into the freezer, stirring every half hour or so until it is the texture of soft serve. 
8)  After it is at the soft serve stage, add some of the cooled toasted coconut (and mini chocolate chips if you like... or almonds.... which are all not necessary, but a great addition) Save the extra coconut for garnish.
7) Let freeze until it is hard enough to scoop, and when ready to eat scoop and serve!

Salted Coconut Sauce


2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup Cream of Coconut (I found this in the mixed drink mixers section of the grocery store)


Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat for about 7 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.  Use warm or chill and then warm it a bit in the microwave.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins with A Trefoil Girlscout Cookie and Heath Crumble Topping

These muffins turned out so well.  I love the crunch of the topping and the light, airiness of the cake.  Perfect for brunch or an after school snack!  Enjoy!


Crumble Topping

1/2 cup cookies crumbled (I used GirlScout Cookies: Trefoils but you can use any cookie)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Heath English Toffee Bits O Brickle Toffee Bits (sold with chocolate chips)
2 Tbsp flour
6 oz chocolate chips
2 Tbsp milk (if needed)


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup ripe mashed banana
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and Oil the top of the muffin pan so the muffin tops release more easily.  Then line  the muffin cups with paper liners or grease them well.  
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.
In a mixer bowl, use the paddle attachment to mash the bananas until no lumps exist.  Add the eggs and then mix in the remaining ingredients one by one, including the chocolate chips
Add the dry ingredients but do no over mix.  Only mix for approximately 1-2 minutes. Use your spatula to scrape the bowl and give a final mix before filling the cups.
Fill muffin cups to completely full. They will rise to spill over the top and create a muffin top. .
Bake for 8 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 and add the crumble (recipe above) and continue baking for another 6-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the muffins sit in the pans for a few minutes before removing them to wire racks to cool.

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