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Category Archives: coconut

Ocho Coconut candy bar…muy bueno!

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This is an organic coconut and dark chocolate combination which is worth the higher price in the candy bar arena.

The chocolate has a once snap on top of the chewy coconut. I paid $1.99 at Safeway and it was worth it.

They also make toffee, and peanut butter bars, so be on the look out and when you spot one, buy it! And oh my, they have mini bars, too!

Their web site states “OCHO Candy was created to provide candy lovers with a delicious, organic alternative to traditional candy bars. We use the finest ingredients and hand craft our bars so that you can taste the difference in every bite.”

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Haagen-Dazs coconut macaroon ice cream

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Penn State’s Berkey Creamery gets high honors!

A recent visit to “The Creamery” on the Penn State campus in State College, PA lived up to my expectations.

A favorite destination of my childhood summers, I returned in hopes of finding the same fresh ice cream that lingered in my memory. I wasn’t disapointed, and to make things even better, they still had the fabulous Coconut Chip that I remembered!

The Creamery was the first place in America to introduce college-level courses in ice cream manufacturing. This is where ice cream makers from all over the world come to learn their craft. Ben and Jerry studied here.

It has had several locations and is now in a new building, which by the looks of its popularity, will have to expand soon. The place was packed with students and visitors enjoying ice cream in spite of the chilly March day.

They serve a huge portion for $3, and you can get free blue and white sprinkles, too. I ordered mine in a cup when I saw the size of the scoops. They have all of the traditional favorite flavors as well as Peachy Paterno, and Mallow Cup. The Mallow Cup only comes as half gallons, so I can’t report on the taste, but I imagine it was fabulous. (Mallow Cups are made down the road from Penn State in Altoona.)

If you find yourself anywhere near the center of Pennsylvania, do yourself a favor, and head for State College and “The Creamery”, it’s one of a kind.

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Coffee Toffee Talk

coffee toffee

There is something so satisfying about making a fast batch of candy from stuff you have in the cupboard. I love coffee and I really love toffee, so this looks as if it was made just for me!

This recipe comes to us from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. This is my latest cookbook obsession, and every recipe is inspired and written with easy to follow instructions, plus great photos. I reccomend it to give as a gift to yourself.

Back to the Coffe Toffee…I checked all of the ingredients and came up short on semi sweet chocolate chips due to my kids eating them like candy, so I used some left over Hershey Kisses from Valentines Day. They worked perfectly. I thought I’d try toasted coconut on half of the toffee since I really don’t love nuts, and the coconut worked, too! The coffee flavor is subtle, and gives a nice variation to sweet toffee.

Here’s what I learned: The candy mixture cooks quickly, so don’t leave it unattended. Start stirring it constantly the minute it reaches 250 degrees, it will zoom to 300 degrees in a matter of minutes.

When pouring the cooked mix into the pan, take care not to pour any scorched sugar from the side of the sauce pan into toffee.

Have the chocolate chips ready to go onto the hot candy as soon as it is poured into the pan. If you use Hershey Kisses, it takes about 2 dozen, and have them unwrapped before you start the recipe.

Cool the pan in the refrigerator for about an hour. Store candy covered in the refrigerator to keep chcolate from getting soft.

The recipe makes about 3/4 of a 9″x13″ pan. Try not to eat it all in one day…

Next day update…even better flavor after sitting overnight in the fridge!

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Just a few ingredients, and away we go

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Hershey Kisses melting on top of molten toffee mix

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Half coconut and half slivered, chopped almonds. Note how the toffee didn’t fill the whole pan, which made for easier clean-up.

Mmmine! Toasted Coconut Cashews are amazing!

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Yes, the brand name really is “Mmmine”, so let’s get that out of the way.
Now onto the cashews. Wow, they are good!
I discovered these at Costco as an impulse buy. They taste like Girl Scout Somoas cookies. I barely can tell that there is a cashew inside all of that delicious, toasted coconut. There is also a hint of vanilla.
I looked online to find more information, and all I saw was photos of the bagged product. At Costco they come in a plastic jar. I think I paid about $10 for about 2 pounds.
If you buy these, I suggest portioning them out into individual servings, or you will quickly eat so many that you will regret buying them. But just like any addiction, you’ll be back to eating them as soon as the regret passes….
I think these would be great if you chopped them, and used them as topping for toffee, or baked goods.
If you are crazy for coconut, then these were made for you.

Coconut Banana Bread

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Yum! Banana bread is such a wonderful comfort food. It’s the only food that I can think of that’s made from an overripe fruit. At my previous job, people would bring their black, spotty bananas to me, and I would magically transform them into golden banana bread.

Did you know that you can put those nasty black bananas in the freezer with their skins on? Just let them thaw for about 2 hours, and you can squeeze the banana out. (warning, it’s a little gross) You could peel them and freeze them, too. I’m just a tad lazy.

This recipe is a version using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and reducing the sugar. Both tweaks make the bread more healthy, and I think better tasting.

So bring me your tired, your brown, your mushy bananas…

Recipe

3 ripe bananas
3/4 cup white sugar
4 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted so it’s in liquid form
3 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Optional: shredded sweetened coconut, you don’t have to use this, but I love coconut!

Directions
1. Place bananas in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix bananas until they are mashed well.
2. Mix in sugar, coconut oil, and buttermilk until combined. Mix in egg.
3. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, then add slowly to the banana mixture. Mix until just combined, don’t overmix. (you can mix in the shredded coconut here in whatever amount you like…i think 1/2 cup is good)
4. Grease a loaf pan, or 3 mini loaf pans. Pour into pan, sprinkle with shredded coconut if desired. Bake at 325 F for 1 hour for loaf pan, or 35 minutes for mini loaf pans. Test with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, it’s ready.
5. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

This freezes really well. Wrap cooled bread tightly in plastic wrap, and place in freezer bag.
This recipe can be doubled or tripled. If you use frozen bananas, I recommend using 1 frozen (thawed) and 2 ripe ones, because frozen bananas are pretty moist.

Lamingtons? Yes, Lamingtons!

Ok, where have I been? How is it that I had never heard of Lamingtons? What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of them either? They look like the fun cousin of petit fours (which have always been a bit prissy for me).

Coconut, Chocolate, Cake, with yummy fillings…I want one now!

Well, here’s an excellent blog, The Bubbly Baker, that explains it all!