No Bake Chocolate Drenched Oatmeal Coconut Squares

I love coconut though I do not bake with it nearly often enough. When this recipe popped up in my GoogleReader, I starred it immediately. I love no-bake treats, especially during the warm summer months. I whipped these up over the weekend in no time.

The original recipe calls for a 9×9 pan but I opted to use an 8×8 as I wanted my bars a little more substantial and not so thin. I also found that the amount of butter/coconut oil was more than what I needed to completely wet my dry ingredients. I did melt the original amount but only used about 3/4 of it. I would recommend pouring it in and stirring slowly as you may find you don’t need to use it all either. Next time I make these I will cut the amount and see if I can find out the amount that works for me. I also cut the honey down to only 3 TBS as I did not want the flavor to overpower the coconut. I am glad I did this as I did taste the honey but it was not overpowering.

After pouring the chocolate over the bars I topped mine with toffee bits. I must say these bars were really satisfying. I liked my modifications so feel free to make these bars you own. I think some toasted coconut on top may be good as well as some chopped almonds. I will be making these again this summer I am sure.  My only complaint is these are tough to cut and transport or serve as they do tend to be a bit crumbly unless right from the fridge.

I rate this recipe an 8.5

Thin + Chewy Chocolate Drenched Coconut Oatmeal Squares
recipe found here 

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (measured solid)
1/4 cup honey

Spray a 9×9 pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, brown sugar and salt. Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add butter and coconut oil, stirring until melted. Add the butter and oil to the oat mixture, then add the honey and stir very thoroughly until the entire mix is moistened. Press it into the pan and stick in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Chocolate layer

8 ounces good-quality chocolate, chocolate
2 tablespoons coconut oil (measured solid)

Using the same saucepan that you melted the butter and oil in, add the chocolate and oil and stir over low heat until melted. Remove the pan from the fridge and pour the chocolate evenly over top, spreading with a spatula or spoon. Place back in the fridge for about 30 minutes. When ready to eat, either cut the squares in the pan, or gently lift the square out and place on a cutting board to cut. It helps if the bars somewhat come to room temp before cutting, as they will slightly crumble a bit if super cold!

Double Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

With Easter just around the corner I decided to whip up some cookies using the fun pastel colored coconut M&M’s.  This recipe is based loosely on the Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal  cookie recipe that I love so much.  I basically adapted the recipe based on what ingredients I had on hand.  I typically toast my coconut before using it is baked goods but skipped that step this time around.  I found that the untoasted coconut (while not as ‘nutty’ flavored as the toasted coconut) caused the cookies to remain nice and chewy, so long as you don’t over-bake them. I enjoyed the coconut M&Ms in the cookie but to be honest would break them up next time. I found the size of them (about the size of a peanut M&M if not larger) was a bit too large for these cookies.  They were fine right out of the oven when the chocolate was all melty and gooey on the inside, but once they cooled, the chocolate pieces were large and awkward to eat in the cookie. The chopped M&Ms may not look as pretty but I think the size would better compliment the cookie.

I rate this recipe an 8
Double Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

14 TBS  sticks butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 ¾ cup oatmeal
1 cup coconut
1 cup coconut M&Ms

Heat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, mix the butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and egg yolk and vanilla; beat well.

Slowly add flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add oats and coconut; mix well.

Fold in the M&Ms

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonsful onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Cowboy Cookies

I have had this recipe for what seems like years (probably because it has been years, my time flies). I first made this recipe after a pretty bad break-up and these soon became my go-to-when-ever-you-need-a-big-hug cookies. The recipe is very simple to follow though the ingredient list is a bit longer than cookies I typically make. I don’t know where they got their name as the recipe was given to me from a friend. I have noticed other similar recipes and it seems the recipe below is based off of Laura Bush’s cookie recipe (though I had this recipe long before Laura Bush’s was made public, go figure).

What you end up with is a sturdy but not dry, oatmeal cookie with tons of flavor. I have described these cookies as a little party in your mouth with all of the flavor and texture going on. With each bite you get a subtle hint of cinnamon, the crunchy pecans, a bit of coconut and smooth creamy chocolate. Really, what more could a girl ask for to put a smile on her face?  I know some of you don’t like cinnamon (I am not a lover, especially with chocolate) but the flavor here is mild and just provides that little ‘extra’ flavor profile without taking over the cookie. 

I like making the dough one day and baking the next, I find the chill time really enhances the flavor of the finished cookie, but I have also baked these right away and did not have any go to waste (if you know what I mean??).

There is really nothing I would change about this recipe, I will caution not to overbake or the cookies will become crunchier than what they should and the coconut can burn a bit (espeically if it is sticking out of the dough ball).

I rate these cookies a 9.5

Cowboy Cookies
based on this recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon. baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
1  cup sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3 (to 3 1/2 cups)  cups old-fashioned rolled oats (depends on wetness of dough, start with 3 cups and increase from there)
2 cups sweetened flake coconut
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in bowl.

In a large bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars; beat to combine, 2 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.

Gently stir in flour mixture a little at a time until just combined.

Stir in by hand the chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.

For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.

Bake in 350 F oven 17 to 29 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies from rack to cool.

NOTE: I make regular size cookies and bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden on the bottem and the sides are set. I allow to cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes and then transfer to a papertowel lined cooling rack.

Coconut Cream Cheese Cookies

january-040

I was hungry for some cookies but after paging through countless recipes I still was undecided as to which recipe to make. I wanted to bake up something simple, that tasted great and used up ingredients I already had on hand. Not having much time to bake, I did not want a recipe that was too labor intensive today, rather I needed a quick recipe that I could whip up and chill until I had to bake the cookies later.

I was so impressed by the results of my Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I decided to play around with it a bit. I really liked the chewiness and richness that the cream cheese added to my traditional cookie recipe, the changes in taste and texture were subtle yet noticable.  After diggin in my freezer, I decided that this would be the perfect time to use up my bag of coconut in some cookies.

I am very pleased with the results. These baked up rich and flavorful with a wonderful coconut flavor. They kept their shape well with a slightly crisp exterior that gives way to a soft and chewy interior. I highly recommend chilling the dough at least 30 minutes. The incorporation of cream cheese in the dough keeps it very soft unless chilled which will lead to cookies that spread while baking and thus resulting in thinner and possibly crisper cookies. If that is your thing then feel free to experiment with chilled vs. unchilled dough.

Next time I will add some toasted pecans and toffee pieces to the dough. I think that those ingredients will push these over the edge into greatness! I can’t wait to make these again.

I rate this recipe an 8.5

Coconut Cream Cheese  Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until room temp
5-6 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups coconut toasted

*I chilled the dough overnight before baking, which I recommend.

Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut evenly on baking sheet.

Once oven is preheated place coconut in oven. Bake for 10-20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes for even toasting. Remove from oven when light brown. Do NOT burn. Remove from oven. Allow to cool completely before adding to dough.

Re-line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.With electric mixer, or by hand.january-048
Mix butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until smooth. Add sugars and beat until thoroughly combined.
Beat in vanilla until combined.
Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in cooled coconut. Chill dough overnight. OR

Drop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges are set and bottoms are light brown. Do NOT overbake!

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

Coconut Macaroons

I love the flavor of coconut, it really says “summer” to me. With the season half over already, I decided to whip up a cookie that would let coconut be the star of the show. I decided to try a new recipe and was very pleased with the results. Macaroons are quick and easy and require very few ingredients. They make a great dessert when you are looking for something light and non-chocolatey but are sick of fruit. An added bonus is that there is no added fat other than what is in the coconut! You can eat these and feel good about your diet (just don’t eat too many).

I have used this recipe in the past but like I said, I was in the mood to try a new recipe. While I enjoy the version using sweetened condensed milk, I find them to be very moist and almost gummy (but still yummy).

I found this recipe in an old Pillsbury cookbook, tweaked the preparation method a bit and am pleased with the results. The dough is moist but holds its shape well, especially after a brief 30 minute rest in the fridge. The delicate texture of the dough is a product of pulsing the coconut in a food processor before adding to the recipe. This method was not called for in the original recipe but I feel helps produce a cookie with great texture and consistency. The smaller pieces of coconut produce a dough that holds together well and a cookie with a light but solid interior with no long strands of coconut sticking out of them (which can be somewhat difficult to chew). Chilling the dough for 30 mintues before baking also helps the cookies keep their shape during baking as well as softens the coconut for better texture and flavor of the baked cookie.

The exterior of the cookie has a slight cripness from the browned coconut.  However, next time I will bake a tad longer in order for the coconut to brown a bit more. These were not underbaked but another minute or two wouldn’t have hurt. Just watch closely because they can go from light brown to burn pretty fast. The interior of these cookies is flavorful and moist but not overly gooey.

These were very good. Next time I may add some chopped pecans or almonds to the dough or drizzle melted chocolate over some of them after they have finished baking because I love the combination of coconut and chocolate. Heck I may even dip some baked cookies into melted chocolate and sprinkle with nuts if I am in a feisty mood. ha ha.

I rate these cookies an 8

Coconut Macaroons
Pillsburry Complete Cookbook (year unknown)

2 large Egg whites
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla or almond extract (I used Almond)
1/3 cup Sugar
2 TBS Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (or more as needed)

Bring eggs to room temperature by letting them sit on the counter for about an hour before separating (this will make it easier to separate).
Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.

In a food processor pulse the coconut 1/2 cup at a time for 15-30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl.

Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and starting at low speed, beat the egg whites until they begin to foam. As the foam continues to build, you can turn the speed to medium and then high. Beat until the foam forms stiff, glossy peaks. Add the Vanilla or Almond extract as desired.
Add the sugar, flour and salt and continue to beat until incorporated.
Fold in the coconut just untili combined. Cover bowl tightly and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325.
Spoon the batter onto the pan in rounded mounds. The batter should be of a consistency that a spoonful will stand as a mound 3/4-inch high on the pan.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the cookies begin to turn a light brown color.
Immediately remove the cookies and allow to cool on wire racks. Store in cool dry place.

Coconut Dream Bars

I love coconut, almost as much as I love Peanut Butter. I like how coconut provides a depth of flavor and hearty texture to baked goods. The picture may look familiar to those who frequent my blog, but I assure you these are new, but very similar to the Blonde Magic bars I made a while ago.
I whipped these up Saturday night as I was asked to make a dessert for a friend’s wedding shower this past weekend. Knowing she loves everything coconut I decided to try a recipe I have had saved for quite a while.

These bars are so quick and easy to throw together and they use ingredients you usually have on hand. They are a good basic recipe but you could jazz them up by adding toasted nuts, chopped Toffee pieces or chocolate chips (I did not add the chocolate chips as called for in the original recipe because I was asked to bring a non-chocolate dessert.)
A warning however, these bars are really really sweet so you may want to reduce some of the sugar in the filling if you are adding a fairl amount of chocolate or candy. After tasting these I wonder how a little lemon/lime juice in the coconut topping (along with some toasted pecans) would have been, I may try that the next time if I don’t add chocolate or candy.

Needless to say, my friend loved these bars and I enjoyed them as well. What I enjoyed the most about these bars, however, was the brown sugar shortbread like crust. It was so yummy and light and a welcomed change from the usual graham cracker crust of the other dessert bars at the shower. I felt the ratio of crust to topping was too small and not sturdy enough for the topping unless the bars were cut small (maybe not a bad things since they were so sweet, but with the addition of chips/candy/nuts I don’t know if they would have held up even cut small).
Next time I think I will make 1 1/2 times the crust mixture and bake a few minutes longer before adding the coconut topping which may pair down the sweetness of the coconut mixture, especially if adding chips or candy.
All in all, a good recipe that can get better with a few tweaks so feel free to make them your own. I am excited to play around with the recipe a bit because I think it has potential to be a quick go-to versitile dessert.

I rate these bars a 7

Coconut Dream Bars
adapted from Recipezaar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed (divided)
1/2 cup butter, softened slightly
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional) or milk chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a 9×13 pan with foil. Spray lightly with PAM.
Using low speed on mixer, combine flour, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and butter until mixture resembles sand.
Using lightly greased finger tips, press the mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
While crust is baking, mix together the remaining brown sugar with eggs until just blended.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Remove crust from oven when time is up and evenly spread coconut mixture over partially baked crust.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool completely and cut into squares. (Do this or they will be messy!!)

Treasure Cookies

What is a treasure? In my mind it is something surprising and good.

I am not sure how these cookies got there name, it may be because they have a unique texture and surprising ingredients. However they got their name, they deliver a tastey treat that may not be as good as gold, but is GOOD none the less. What makes these cookies unique is that they are egg-free and the base of the dough is made from crushed Graham Crackers and Sweet and Condensed Milk.  Add to that a few baking staples and some coconut, chocolate chips and nuts and you have yourself one heck of a tastey cookie.

These cookies are chewy, very chewy and not cake-like in the least bit. The coconut provides some depth and structure to an otherwise gooey cookie that would easily fall apart while enjoying. The Graham Cracker crumbs can be provide a subtle depth of flavor without being overpowering. While they don’t replace my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, they do satisfy my sweet tooth and are a snap to make. These cookies are sweet, but not overly so in my opinion and offer a welcomed change of pace from the traditional cookie.

I rate these cookies an 8

Treasure Cookies
Source: Allrecipes
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used Milk Chocolate)
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a small bowl mix cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder.
In a large mixing bowl, beat condensed milk and margarine until smooth.
Add cracker crumb mixture and blend well. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans.
Drop by rounded teaspoon on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Blonde Magic Cookie Bars

Magic Cookie Bars that is!
I LOVE the famous Magic Cookie bars, also known as 7 layer bars. The first time I had one of these chocolate/butterscotch/coconut goodies was at a church bakesale when I was a little girl. Ah the memories.

As a child I loved the taste, as an adult I also love that these bars are so quick to prepare and the possibilities are endless for the goodies to layer on. I had a bunch of slivered almonds to use up so I created a chocolate-free Magic Cookie bar, as I have named the Blonde Magic Cookie Bar. Ok, it’s not chocolate-free as it does use white chocolate, but it is still Blonde! ha ha

I based my recipe off of the one from the Eagle brand website but altered it greatly. These bars turned out great! The toasting of the nuts and coconut before baking really intensify the flavors and the white chocolate melts to creamy goodness with its mild taste pairing beautifully with the almonds, coconut and almond flavored Sweet and Condesed Milk. All of this goodness lies atop a tender and buttery graham cracker crust. This recipe is a definate keeper in this house!

I rate these bars an 8

Blonde Magic Cookie Bars
adapted from Eagle Brand
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used 4 whole graham crackers and 1 half)
7 ounces (1/2 can) Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
1 cup coarsley chopped white baking chocolate (NOT white chocolate chips, they melt differently)
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut (toasted)
1 cup slivered almonds (toasted)

Preheat oven to 350.
Line an 8×8 inch pan with foil. Lightly spray with PAM.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Evenly spread coconut on half of baking sheet and the slivered almonds on the other half.
Toast in preheated oven for 10 minutes stirring every 3 minutes for even browning and to prevent burning.

In 8×8 baking pan, melt butter in oven (can be done while coconut and almonds are toasting). Once melted remove from oven. Sprinkle crumbs over melted butter and gently pat to cover bottom of pan.
Combine the 7oz. of Sweetened Condensed Milk and Almond extract, stir to combine.

Once the coconut and nuts are finished toasting remove from oven. Evenly sprinkle almonds over prepared crust, next sprinkled the chopped white chocolate over the almonds.
Evenly sprinkle the toasted coconut over the nuts and chocolate. Gently pour the Sweetened Condensed milk/almond extract mixture evenly over coconut layer.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Want one?

Vanishing Coconut and Oatmeal Cookies

Oh how I do love this recipe. I recently blogged about my love for the Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Recipe. It truly is one of the best oatmeal cookie recipes out there in my opinion. The last time I made the recipe I used raisins that had soaked in some vanilla and warm water (to plump up) and they were great (this coming from someone who doesn’t really care for raisins!).

Today I decided to whip up another batch of cookies using the Quaker recipe. This time I omitted the cinnamon, subbed Almond Extract for the vanillla extract and added some coconut. The results are Fabulous! The coconut makes these cookies a little sturdier and heartier. They have a lightly crisp exterior and edged but the interior is moist and bursting with flavor. The almond/coconut flavors play off of each brilliantly. Next time I might throw in some Milk Chocolate chips or chopped pecans/almonds not that these cookies need anything more, I just like to experiment. I suggest you make these sooner rather than later!

I rate these cookies an 8.5

Vanishing Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
adapted from Quaker
2 sticks margarine or butter, softened (I used butter)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional) (I used)
2 1/2 cups Quaker® Oats (I used Quick Cooking)

1/2 -1 cup Coconut (more or less to taste and texture: You don’t want the dough too dry to stick together to form balls)

Heat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy.
Add eggs and almond extract; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add oats and 1/2 cup coconut; mix well. Add more coconut up to 1 full cup until desired consistency (and taste is achieved).

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Frozen Dream Crunch Bars

My FAVORITE non-baked dessert definately tastes like a pot of gold to me! My mom has been making this recipe for me for years. Each bite takes me back to childhood summers and to a world filled with munchkins (me and my friends), my childhood dog, and a yellowbrick road (our neighborhood street) that led us on many adventures.

I LOVE sherbert, especially Rainbow sherbert. You know the one with Lemon, Lime and Orange sherbert all swirled together. It is a light and refreshing welcomed change from Icecream when you are looking for a cool treat. Although the weather is in the single didgets I was craving this dessert. It is a true favorite of mine. This desert takes minimal time to prep and assemble but does require some chill time to firm up. But it is SOOOOO worth the wait.
You know I love recipes that you can tweak easily to make it your own and this recipe is no exception. A great thing about this recipe is that you can substitute any of your favorite ice cream, frozen yogurt or sherbert flavor for the Rainbow sherbert. We have used vanilla and pecan ice creams served with warm carmel drizzled over the top of each slice for an impressive dessert for company.
However, I have to admit, with the toasted nutty sweet crust I find icecream too rich and much prefer my Rainbow Sherbert in this recipe. Feel free to play around with different flavors of icecream to suit your own tastes, you really can’t go wrong as the crust/topping will make it winner.
The crust and topping of this dessert take it over the top in my opinion. The perfect blend of brown sugar, butter, cereal, coconut and nuts perfectly toasted provide a droolworthy base and crubly topping for this dessert. I have been known to make extra crust/topping and eat with a spoon! It is THAT good. You could even make the crust/topping and store in an airtight container in your fridge and use as a topping for scoops of icecream or sherbert for a quick and tastey weeknight dessert.
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I rate this recipe an 8.5 Perfect for summer!
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Frozen Dream Crunch Bars
10 TBS butter, melted (1 stick plus 2 TBS)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 3/4 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup slivered almonds (or other favorite nut, like pecans)
3/4-1 gallon Rainbow Sherbert, softened (or other fave icecream flavor)
Preheat oven to 325.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with PAM spray. Place frozen Sherbert on counter or in fridge to soften.
Toast the almonds by spreading slivered almonds evenly over baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, stirring after 4 mintues. Remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 375.
While nuts are toasting, melt butter in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together butter, cereal, brown sugar, coconut and toasted nuts.
Spread mixture on a baking sheet.
Bake in oven 10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes for even browning. Watch carefully and do not let burn. Let cool completely.
Press 2/3 of cooled mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Gently spread softened sherbert over crust. Sprinkle remaining mixture evenly over Sherbert layer, cover tightly and freeze until set.