Coconut And Chocolate Cream Scones

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

Guys, it’s been a long week.

And, no, I haven’t completely lost it. I know it’s Tuesday, and that the week barely just started. But, you see, today is my Saturday. My weekend is just starting.

And let me just tell you, it took forever and a year to get here.

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

This past week I worked six out of seven days. Burnt my finger with the straightener, not once, or twice, but three times. Got yelled at by a few visitors at the hospital. Forgot to bring my badge to work. Had my order messed up at Starbucks, twice. And, bought a pair of the cutest booties online, and then found out that they sold out right before they could process my order. Oh, and can’t stop thinking dreaming being in love with craving breakfasty foods.

Who knew that could be a thing?

All I want for dinner is omelets. All I want for lunch is parfaits. All I want to snack on is croissants. And, all I can dream of is recipes for scones, pastries, and breads.

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

And, when I said want up there in that sentence. I really meant to say have been eating. Because, let’s be honest, my meals have consisted of omelets, parfaits, croissants, and scones.

These scones to be more exact.

These beautiful, wonderful, life saving scones.

Okay, fine, that’s an exaggeration. They didn’t save my life. But, I will say making these scones was the second best part of my week.

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

Wanna know what the best part of my week was?

Yup, eating the scones. Said with absolutely no shame what so ever.

Some of you may think that’s kind of sad that my favorite part of the week revolves around a breakfast dessert. You may be right, but on the other hand, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong.

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

You see, these Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones are packed with mini chocolate chips and sweetened coconut shreds. They are ridiculously light and airy on the inside and have a flaky and crisp outside. It’s kind of like eating a chocolate coconut infused pie crust. Delicious, I know. The top of the scones are drizzled with a sweet coconut glaze, which I may or may not have been eating out of the bowl, and sprinkled with toasted coconut shreds.

Now, tell me, does that sound sad?

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

Lets make a deal. Make these scones and then let me know if you think they rank in the top 3 best things about your week. If they don’t, we’ll agree to disagree, but if they do, then let’s have a scone party, cause it’s Tuesday, and what better day to have a scone party then right now.

Coconut And Chocolate Cream Scones
Yields: 8 scones

Ingredients:
Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar, plus a little extra for brushing
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen*
½ cup sweetened coconut shreds
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips*
½ teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup heavy cream, plus extra for brushing

Sweet Coconut Glaze & Garnish
1 cup powder sugar
½-3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
toasted coconut, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until combined. Grate the frozen butter—the frozen butter is a trick I picked up from Sally’s Baking Addiction, it helps make the scones light and airy on the inside and flaky on the outside—with a cheese grater or food processor.
Toss grated butter into flour mixture, and combine it with a pastry knife or your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Mix in coconut shreds and mini chocolate chips.
Using a spatula or fork, stir in heavy cream and coconut extract until dough begins to form. Transfer dough (and all the dry, floury bits) to a floured countertop and knead until dough comes together into a rough, sticky ball.
Form scones by pressing dough into a prepared 8-inch cake pan, then turning the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a very sharp knife, cut dough into 8 wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet with a little room in between each wedge.
Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of each scone with a little bit of cream and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops of scones are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes.
While scones are cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, coconut extract, and heavy cream until of drizzling consistency. If you want more of sweet coconut flavor add more extract. If the glaze is too thick add more heavy cream until of desired consistency. Drizzle the tops of each scone with glaze and sprinkle with toasted coconut shreds. Best served the day of, but scones will keep for two days in a sealed container at room temperature.

NOTES: *place butter in freezer 30 minutes before you start scones
*If I made these again I would use 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips, the chocolate flavor slightly overpowered the coconut on the inside of the scone
*cream scone recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

 

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

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Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate (aka Almond Joy) Blondies

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies
Lets talk candy bars.

If you were to ask me what my favorite candy is, I honestly don’t know what I would say. I almost think I would answer that question differently depending on my mood, the month, or whatever was closest to me… and by that last one I mean, whichever candy was stashed in my purse. Yes, I am that lady that carries candy in her purse. Just in case. You never know when you just won’t be yourself.

Please tell me you picked up that Snickers reference? If you did, ignore this sentence completely, but if you didn’t, go watch a Snickers commercial. It’s kind of funny. And, very true.

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

I’ve had affairs with Snickers, Twix, Reese’s, and Gummy Bears throughout my life. I seem to always come back to one of these four. I can count on them. They never let me down. Ever. Which is why I have never really been tempted to grab a different candy bar in the aisle.

Until one day an Almond Joy walked up. Well, really, my mom bought an Almond Joy and I tried a bite, and lets just say it was actually pretty darn good. I really liked the combination of coconut, almond, and chocolate. A lot. But, I’m far to loyal (or too in love with) my other four favorites, that there is simply no way Almond Joy’s could become part of my candy routine. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t become part of my baking routine. Or, at least that the ingredients can’t. I’m a problem solver people. I know how to make things work in our (fine, my) favor.

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

Oh hey there, Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies or, more simply put, Almond Joy Blondies—I don’t know which name to pick, mainly because I don’t want you to think these bars have Almond Joy’s in them. They have all the ingredients of an Almond Joy, but no physical Almond Joy candy was present during the making process. So, I’m going to let you officially pick the name of these bars. Keep in mind, that this is kind of a big honor. I must really like you.

Can we take a brief minute to talk about blondies. Okay, so blondies. Yeah, I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about. I’m a brownie girl. I like my bars fudgy, gooey, and filled to the max with chocolate flavor. Blondies weren’t even a thought to me for the simple reason that they didn’t have fudge in them. They were acting like brownie imposters. And no one likes imposters. No one.

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

I now see the error in my ways. Blondies aren’t trying to be brownies. In fact, they have their own amazingly delicious thing going on, that they don’t even need to think about being someone else. Blondies are gooey and soft, taste buttery and rich, and are the perfect base for mixing in other ingredients. Why are they the perfect base you ask? Mainly because blondies allow all mixed in flavors, including its buttery self, to come through in each bite. They don’t overpower other ingredients and they definitely don’t let other ingredients overpower them. That’s why these bars are so good. Each bite is a combination of toasted coconut, some crunch from the almond pieces, rich chocolate creaminess, and a buttery gooeyness that keeps you coming back for more.

So, no, it’s not an Almond Joy candy, but I think I’ll dare to say, it’s better. Much better. As in, if this became a candy bar you could buy, I would gladly add it to my candy bar routine. In fact, it might work its way up to be my favorite candy affair.

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate (aka Almond Joy) Blondies
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks
Yields: 12 bars

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
2 cups golden brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon coconut extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut flakes, toasted
¾ to 1 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9×13-inch pan by lining it with foil and spraying generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar, until no clumps of brown sugar remain.
Add eggs, one at a time, and then whisk in vanilla and coconut extract.
Whisk in flour and salt, until just combined—try not to over stir the batter or it will become tough to work with.
Using a spatula, fold in toasted coconut flakes and then the almonds. Fold in chocolate chips until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top, if needed, lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick, stuck in the middle, comes out clean.
Let cool completely before slicing into bars.

 

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Blondies

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream Filling

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream FillingGUYS.

I made donuts.

The mini kind. The kind you can eat in two bites.

The deep-fried, not baked, kind.

The leave your fingers chocolately, tummy happy, kind. The can’t stop popping them in your mouth kind.

I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s back this up.

Donuts.
Who doesn’t love donuts? No one. That’s who.

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream FillingI mean, come on, if you didn’t have to worry about weight, sugar intake, and all that other health related business wouldn’t you just eat donuts on the regular? I’m pretty sure I would. It would be my morning staple. Sometimes even my snack. I would definitely have a ‘usual’ at the donut shop, and never have to wait in line. Sounds pretty awesome, right?  In my perfect world that would happen. But, in the real world, I can’t even tell you the last time I had a donut. And, I’m talking a real donut here. Not the baked kind. Not like the Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut Bites I made a while ago.

It may actually have been a year ago that I ate a real donut. Maybe even longer.  It’s not like I’m purposely avoiding donut shops either. It’s just…I’m not a huge breakfast person. And by that I mean I drink a cup of coffee, sometimes two, and call it a day. And, my snacks typically consist of goldfish or pita chips with a little hummus. As you can see, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for donut eating.

The idea of making my own fried donuts never really was a thought. I mean, there are a million other decadent desserts I want to make, and I don’t even have a deep fryer. Yes, I could just use oil and a huge pot, but I never had a good enough reason to go through all that trouble. Plus, I’ll admit it, I was slightly nervous about getting oil burns. I hear they hurt. A lot.

Are you wondering why I decided to finally make fried donuts? No. Okay, well, I’m still going to tell you anyways. My good friend, Lauren, visited this past week. Unlike myself, Lauren has no fears of oil burns. She is a lover of donuts, is always willing to have adventures in the kitchen, and can handle my craziness during the baking process rather well.

Let the fried donut making ensue.

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream FillingAs a first timer making donuts, I just want to start by saying, it’s actually kind of fun. Sure, it’s a process—making the dough, refrigerating the dough, letting the cut donuts rise, frying, cooling, stuffing with coconut cream, dipping in chocolate, and sprinkling with toasted coconut—but, the end result is totallllyyyy worth it. And, when you have a partner in crime in the kitchen with you, the time literally flies by.

The dough for these donuts was super easy to work with, and fried up rather nicely (and pretty quickly) into little golden donut holes. Neither Lauren nor I was burned by the oil, but we did burn the roofs of our mouths trying to taste test the donuts before they had cooled. Yup, we both are that inpatient. One of the reasons we’re friends. The donuts themselves are light, fluffy, and not overly sweet. Each donut hole is filled with coconut cream pudding, dipped in chocolate, and then sprinkled with toasted coconut shreds. If you like donuts, and you like coconut, you’ll want to make these!

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream Filling
Yields: about 40 donut holes

Ingredients:
Donut Holes
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cups milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 7 tablespoons
Canola oil, for frying

Coconut Cream Filling
1 (3.4 oz.) package of Jell-O instant Coconut Cream Pudding
2 cups milk

Toppings
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
vegetable shortening, as needed
¾ cup sweetened coconut shreds, toasted

Directions:
Donut Holes
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast and milk. Allow yeast to dissolve completely, about a minute.
Mix in sugar, salt, flour, and eggs on low for about 4 minutes to develop the dough.
With the mixer still on low, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove dough from bowl—it will be sticky, so do your best—and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let dough sit in fridge for 6-15 hours (I let mine sit overnight and then made the donuts in the morning).
Once chilled, remove dough from plastic wrap and place on a piece of large parchment paper. Cover the top of the dough with another piece of large parchment paper and roll dough until about ½-inch thick. Using a 2-inch circle cookie cutter, cut out the donuts and place on a prepared (lined with parchment paper) cookie sheet. Allow donuts to rise in a warm spot for 1 ½-2 hours or until puffy and doubled in size.
When ready to fry, heat a pot filled with 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with papers towels (to soak up the extra oil) and set aside. Add donut holes to oil—be careful not to overcrowd the pot—and fry each side of the donut for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until golden brown. Make sure to watch your temperature as you continue to fry each batch of donut holes.
Remove donuts with slotted spoon and transfer to the paper-towel lined baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, transfer donut holes to a tray to cool completely.

Coconut Cream Filling
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together coconut cream mix and milk until combined. Let sit in the fridge for about 5 minutes.
Fill a pastry bag with a medium sized tip with coconut cream pudding. Poke a hole on each side of the donut (equidistant between the top and bottom of the donut) and squirt about 1/8 cup in each side of the donut.

Toppings
In a microwave safe bowl, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and a little vegetable shortening, until of drizzling consistency (microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth).
Dip the tops of each donut hole into the chocolate, holding the donut upside down to let excess chocolate drip off. Sprinkle the top of the chocolate-coated donut with toasted coconut shreds.

*donut recipe adapted from Buns In My Oven

 

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream Filling

Toasted Coconut XOXO Shortbread Cookies

Toasted Coconut XOXO Shortbread CookiesWhen I think XOXO, the first thought that immediately follows is Gossip Girl. Yup, you got me, I used to watch the show. My second thought is the more traditional, hugs and kisses. Probably what your first instinct was, huh?

Well, did you know that thinking hugs and kisses isn’t technically right? Apparently, the X is supposed to stand for kisses and the O is supposed to stand for hugs. So, really, we should be saying kisses and hugs. Can I tell you how I know this? I spent a good twenty minutes researching the meaning of XOXO. I had never really thought about why it represented hugs and kisses—yes, I will continue to say it this way, because I think it sounds better…feel free to join me—until I started making these cookies. And, once I thought about it, I really wanted to know the answer. So, here we go. Your very own lesson on the History of XOXO—now you can’t say I never gave you anything for Valentine’s Day.

Back in the Middle Ages, many people couldn’t read or write, and when they were presented with a document requiring a signature of understanding, they would simply write the letter X on the signature line. The X was meant to represent the cross and convey that in Christ’s name the contents of the document were true. But, wait, that has nothing to do with kisses! You’re right, it doesn’t. The kissing part of the story has been debated, but the common theory is that many individuals after signing the X would then kiss the X as a symbol of truly believing in what the document stood for. Sounds legitimate, right? Some people don’t think so. They choose to believe that the X simply looks like two triangle-faced individuals locking lips. Hence, X meaning kisses.

The O, on the other hand, has a history that is still very much debated. Some will argue that it was created by Jewish immigrants, who wanted their own way of signing documents that wasn’t related to the Christian X. Others say that the game of tic-tac-toe provided the inspiration for using the letter O when people decided they wanted another letter to represent a different kind of affection. Or, it could just be that an O looks like two open arms hugging.

What do you think?

Toasted Coconut XOXO Shortbread CookiesAnyways, let’s talk about chocolate X’s and O’s covered in toasted coconut shreds on top of a buttery, coconuty shortbread cookie. Excuse me, as I go eat one right now.

The base of these little loveable bad boys is shortbread. A really reallyyy good shortbread. Before decorating them with X’s and O’s, my Dad taste tested a cookie and asked me if I had really made them. When I said yes—worried, mind you, that I somehow messed up the recipe—he said that they tasted like something you would buy at a bakery. Let me just tell you something about my Dad. He’s not a sugar-coater, if he likes something he’ll tell you, and if he doesn’t, you’ll know too. So, as you can tell, his compliment meant a lot to me. I found the recipe for this shortbread in a little wooden recipe box that used to be my Grandma’s. I don’t know where she got it or if it came from a recipe book, but what I do know is that I will never use another shortbread recipe again. And, since I like you so much, I’m gonna share it!

I wanted a little something more than just shortbread for Valentine’s Day, so I decided to spruce the dough up with coconut. Can I just say, it was the BEST decision ever. The shortbread cookie itself has that buttery, soft, melt in your mouth taste. The addition of coconut from both the extract, which isn’t overpowering, and the toasted coconut shreds, which adds a little crunch to each bite, leaves you with a subtly infused coconut cookie that isn’t overly sweet. I didn’t stop there though. The cookie is then decorated with semi-sweet chocolate and covered with more toasted coconut shreds in the form of X’s and O’s. Again, BEST decision ever.

Toasted Coconut XOXO Shortbread CookiesBelieve me when I say that you can’t go wrong with these cookies. Seriously. Make them for your Valentine, a friend, your family, or for that special someone who doesn’t know that you like them yet. These cookies should definitely win that person over. Oh, and Happy [Early] Valentine’s Day. May it be filled with lots of X’s and O’s.

Toasted Coconut XOXO Shortbread Cookies
Yields: about 30 cookies

Utensils:
Scalloped circle cookie cutter
X cookie cutter
O cookie cutter
Piping bag (or, Ziploc bag) & small tip
Toothpick(s)

Ingredients:
Toasted Coconut Shortbread Cookies
1 heaping cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
½ cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coconut extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Toasted Coconut & Chocolate Topping
¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Vegetable shortening, as needed

Directions:
Toasted Coconut Shortbread Cookies
Using a food processor (or, blender), pulse the toasted shredded coconut until coarsely ground. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy.
Beat in powdered sugar until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add salt, cornstarch, and coconut extract. Mix until incorporated.
Gradually beat in the flour until combined, and then mix in the toasted coconut.
Gather the dough as best you can into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper. Cover the top of the dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll to ½ inch thick. Slide the parchment-covered dough onto a cutting board and place in the fridge. Let chill for about 30 minutes.
After the dough is finished chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using the scalloped cookie cutter cut cookies—if the dough becomes too sticky or tough to work with place back in the fridge until it’s easier to handle.
Bake for 6 minutes, reverse tray (this will ensure an even color on the cookies!), and bake for another 5 more minutes or until lightly brown.
Let cookies cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Toasted Coconut & Chocolate Topping
While the cookies are cooling, coarsely ground (with a food processor or blender) the lightly toasted shredded coconut. Set aside.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and a little vegetable shortening in a microwave safe bowl (microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth).
Lightly press the X or O cookie cutter into the bowl of melted chocolate—make sure the cookie cutter has enough chocolate on the rim so that the outline will show up on the cookies. Use a toothpick to add or take away chocolate as needed. Gently press the X or O chocolate covered cookie cutter into the middle of the cookie and then lift up, there should be an outline of the letter—if the outline is incomplete, dip a toothpick in the melted chocolate and complete the outline by hand.
Working quickly, use either a piping bag or toothpick to fill in the letter completely with melted chocolate (I found the toothpick method to be easiest…just pretend the toothpick is like a painting brush)—if the chocolate begins to harden, place back in the microwave for another 15 seconds or until of drizzling consistency.
Once the letter is filled in with chocolate, sprinkle the toasted coconut over the letter. Dust off the extra coconut. If needed use a toothpick to add more coconut to a specific spot or to help keep the shape of the letter intact.
Using a piping bag with a small tip (or Ziploc), trace the scalloped edge of the cookie with chocolate. Re-melt the chocolate as needed.
Repeat the above steps, alternating between the X and O cookie cutter, until all the cookies are finished.

 

IMG_0265

XOXO,
Meggan