Tag Archives: coconut

Coconut Macaroons

22 Mar


Because my family had a very loving relationship with food, many of my first memories involve being in a kitchen. At an early age I quickly learned that dessert was my absolute favorite thing– Who am I kidding? It still is!

One day when I was 7 years old, my grandma took pity on me and let me assist in the kitchen. For most kids my age, this meant making something simple like rice krispy treats. But not me, I was going to make coconut macaroons.

I remember tossing the ingredients into the bowl and blending it with my hands. Being a messy kid, I found this step endlessly entertaining. Carefully shaping the mixture into tiny balls, I was surprised at how easy it was to make something so incredibly delicious. Watching the shiny orbs turn a caramelized, golden brown in the oven, I never could have imagined that they would taste like candied sunshine.

Coconut Macaroons


2 egg whites
2 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups sweetened flake coconut

Mix together all ingredients until well combined (you can use a spoon or your hands!). Divide mixture into 8ths, and roll into well-packed rounds. Drop onto foiled baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 300 degrees.

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Coconut Mashed Sweet Potato

15 Nov


Durring the weekdays, I cook for many school children with various food allergies. The kid’s allergies range from gluten and lactose intolerance to sever nut, tomato and pepper allergies. Accommodating children with different sets of allergies often means a recipe is off limits because of certain ingerdients. It’s tricky to plan meals around their dietary restrictions. In search of a tasty Thanksgiving themed side dish that was allergen free, I found this winning coconut mashed sweet potato recipe which the kids love. Regardless of allergies, one whiff of the coconut milk from the mash will surely bring everyone to the table. Continue reading

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies

30 Aug

Though the Bushes have been out of the White House for some time now, and a bit removed from the public eye, Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies are unforgettable.  Imagine if you could combine all of your favorite cookies into one—the result would be the cowboy cookie.  With the mixture of cinnamon, oatmeal, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips, you can’t go wrong.  Your Democratic and Republican friends alike will easily devour the three dozen cookies that this recipe yields.  Serve them at your next get-together (an election day party, perhaps?) or send them with your kid to sell at the school bakesale.  With prep time around 25 minutes and baking time around 20, these will be out of the oven and onto the cooling rack before your episode of The West Wing is over.

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies Recipe


3 cups flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups packed light-brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
2 cups chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350°.

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

In another bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.  Gradually beat in sugars, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.  Beat in vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconuts, and pecans.

Roll dough into balls, about ¼ cup each and put on ungreased baking sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart.

Bake in oven for 17-20 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.  Rotate sheets halfway through. Take cookies out of oven and place on rack to cool.

Banana Bread for Banana Lover’s Day

27 Aug

Happy Banana Lover’s Day!

I have just the recipe to celebrate—the winner of the infamous We Work Labs banana bread bake-off.

Over the holidays, Matt Shampine, founder of We Are NY Tech, ordered way too many bananas for We Work Labs.  I’m guessing that he thought every bunch he ordered was a single banana, so we’re talking about a lot of bananas.

When we returned from Christmas break, the bananas were way too ripe to eat, but we couldn’t just leave the whole mound sitting there; that would have been wrong.  Before we knew it, a casual conversation about banana bread turned into a fierce competition between Andrew Tider and I.  We both baked two kinds of banana bread, and this was the favorite of the group.

I have adapted it from these two different recipes.  While the banana-lime flavor combo might sound strange, it adds that extra something to traditional banana bread.  I don’t know about you, but when I eat banana bread, I always need to add some sort of glaze or spread to it anyways, so this is my new go-to.

Coconut Lime Banana Bread Recipe


1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
3 tbsps dark rum
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the glaze:

2 tbsps lime juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 300°F.  Grease four 7×3″ loaf pans.  In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.  Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar.  Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon.  Mix in salt, baking soda, and flour.  Stir in nuts.  Stir in coconut.  Divide into prepared pans.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut.

Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread.  Cool completely on wire rack.

What kind of banana bread will you be making today?

Buttermilk Coconut Pie

1 Aug

Whenever she brings it to a picnic or dinner party, everyone raves.  They act like it’s the world’s biggest unsolved mystery and think it must have taken forever to prepare.  Second helpings, and sometimes even thirds, are absolutely necessary.  Her guests cannot wait for the next time she will make it.

She makes it because her grandma always did, as it was her go-to dessert recipe.  It reminds her of potluck dinners in the basement of her Nanny’s Methodist church, where little old southern ladies, dressed in their Sunday best, flocked together to share their most-prized creations—their pies.  My mom makes many pies, but this Buttermilk Coconut Pie, from middle Tennessee, that is so close to her heart but so mysterious to those around her, is her favorite of all.

It’s perfect to bring to people’s houses because, in the words of my mother, “it is so easy to make, but everyone always thinks it’s this great masterpiece!”  When she admits that making this pie is in fact pretty effortless, they think she’s just trying to be modest.  So when you make it and bring it to your next dinner party, you can just keep the secret to yourself and leave your friends in awe!  Unless you’re not a fan of coconut, there is no way a slice of this pie won’t leave you begging for more.

It only takes about 15 fifteen minutes to prepare, and 35 to bake.  And though my mother would love to claim this recipe, credit is actually due to Norma Gammon, who submitted it to the Nolensville United Methodist Church Cookbook in Nolensville, Tennessee

Buttermilk Coconut Pie Recipe

  • ¾ stick margarine or butter
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tbsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Melt margarine or butter in large bowl.  Mix together flour and sugar; add to margarine or butter.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well.  Add vanilla, buttermilk, and coconut.  Pour into 9 inch unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until filling is set and golden brown.

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