Kitchen Creations

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My new favorite treat

My friend Stacy has been making these "Coconut Delights" (that's what I call them in my head) for some time now.  I adore them.  This is unusual.  I love coconut flavor.  I detest the feel of raw coconut shreds or flakes in my mouth.  Really, really detest.  These have raw coconut in them and I LOVED them!  I've been wanting to get on making them for some time and I finally got there.  The original recipe comes from the Wellness Mama website.  I had some confusion with coconut oil amount while using this site to make them.  I decided to go ahead and post the recipe that worked for me on this blog and let you all go from there.  These babies are coconut-chocolate goodness, I'm telling you!  I left some of them un-coated by chocolate for my poor husband who can no longer eat chocolate.  He wholly backs the non-chocolate "Delights", so there's a nice variation for you too!

These little desserts certainly hit the spot!  Enjoy one, or two, tonight, guilt free..... well mostly!

Coconut Delights:   

1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond butter  (you can also use peanut butter)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips are the BOMB on these!)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1.)  Mix together shredded coconut, 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted), almond butter and vanilla extract.
2.)  Form into balls and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet

3.)  Place balls in freezer for approximately 45 minutes- 1 hour, until fully hardened
4.)  Melt chocolate chips and 1 Tbsp. coconut oil in microwave (or over double boiler).  I did the microwave.  I stirred between 15 second intervals until the chocolate was smooth.
5.)  Dip coconut clusters into the melted chocolate and place back on cookie sheet.
6.)  Refrigerate to allow chocolate to harden.


Click here for printable recipe

Healthy & Economical

One of my favorite snacks is a cherry pie Larabar.  I've seen the recipes for creating your own and often thought to myself, for the time and price of ingredients, I'll just continue to buy them.  During my spring break I decided to do a little research.  I bought all the ingredients to make a couple kinds of Larabars.  I totaled the amounts and tallied my time....  20 minutes, 60 cents per bar later & a thumbs up from EVERY member of my family AND my good friend Stacy... I am a convert to making your own!   I love these homemade treats that are packed with good things for you! My husband has affectionately termed them, "Gretchebars".

These little bits of deliciousness with keep in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 3 weeks and in your freezer for up to 3 months.  I wrap mine individually in saran wrap, but it's not required.  Another great thing about this recipe is how easy it is to take the ingredients and play with them to make them your own.  Substitute the dried fruit of your choosing, play with the nut to fruit ratio, add some favorite spices - nutmeg, ginger or cinnamon anyone??

Here's to your healthy snacking!

Homemade Larabars aka "Gretchebars"  

Cherry Pie
Mild olive oil or cooking oil (for your pan)
1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup pitted, soft whole dates (pack 'em in)
1 cup warm water (if you have very dry fruit, if not, this isn't necessary)
1 cup roasted almonds
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. sea salt

Apple Pie
Mild olive oil or cooking oil (for your pan)
1 cup dried apples
1/4 cup pitted, soft whole dates (pack 'em in)
1 cup warm water (if you have very dry fruit, if not, this isn't necessary)
1 cup raw walnuts
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. sea salt

1.)  Line an 8X8 pan with plastic wrap and gently rub a dab of oil over the surface of the plastic wrap.
2.)  Place fruit in a bowl and cover with warm water and let it soak for 5 minutes. (Skip this step if your dried fruit is soft and still retains a good deal of moisture).  Then drain your fruit & pat it dry.
3.)  Place your nuts in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.  Add in the fruit, spices and salt.  Pulse until the fruit is blended and the mixture begins to stick together.    It takes about 2 minutes.
4.)  Transfer the mixture to your pan.  Either with slightly oiled hands or parchment paper that has been slicked with a bit of oil, press down on mixture and flatten evenly into the pan.
5.)  Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Remove and cut into bars.
6.)  Wrap & place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks and freezer for up to 3 months.

click here for printable recipe

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sweet & Tangy

Today one of my favorite people came over to spend a few hours.  Cassidy loves books and baking.  It's no wonder we get along.  Who cares if she is 10 and I am..... well not 10.  We had a wonderful time gathering ingredients, talking about Trixie Belden, singing along with whatever popped up on the iPod and putting together a brand new recipe.  We dove right into the creation of this recipe and we knew this was going to be good when we started getting wiffs of the batter as it mixed and then as it baked.  It's a beautiful sunny day outside and these little gems suit the mood just right.  Raspberry mixed in a buttery batter and topped with a tangy lemon glaze and sugared lemon zest... my, my, my.

Enjoy, Cassidy and I certianly did!

Lemon Glazed Raspberry Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp lemon zest
¼ cup unsalted butter (melted)
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cup raspberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar (no this is not a mistake - there are 2 steps that each require the sugar)
1 tsp lemon zest

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease your muffin pan or line with muffin cups
  • If using fresh raspberries rinse and let dry.  If frozen remove from freezer and place in measuring cup or bowl.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together thoroughly.
  • Using a stand mixer or large bowl, combine the egg and 1 cup of sugar.  It should look thick and creamy.  Add the 1 ½ tsp lemon zest and the melted butter and combine.  The add the sour cream.  Stir until ingredients are just combined - do not over mix.
  • Stir the flour mixture into the egg/butter mixture using a wooden spoon or spatula.  Again, do not over mix.  Stop just before the mixture is completely combined.
  • Once the raspberries are dry, sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the raspberries and toss to coat.  
  • Gently fold the raspberries into the batter.
  • Spoon batter into the muffin tin.  About 3 tablespoons per muffin will do.
  • Bake for 25 minutes - until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let set for about 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack.
  • While the muffins are cooking you can prepare the glaze.  Combine ¼ cup sugar with the ½ cup fresh lemon juice.  Turn the heat to medium and stir to combine.  Let it simmer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes syrupy.  It takes about 15 minutes.
  • Combine ¼ cup sugar with the 1 tsp. lemon zest.
  • Brush the top of each muffin with the lemon glaze.  Dip the tops of the muffins into the sugar-zest mixture.  
Cassidy dipping muffin tops into the sugared zest.