Coconut Blondies

Good morning, friends!  I can’t believe it’s December already.  This past weekend my sister and Momma came into town (they’re actually still here) for my baby shower.  It was such a treat to be spoiled and loved on by all our local friends and I feel so lucky that family traveled to join us.  I’ll talk more about the shower when I do my pregnancy recap of weeks 30 and 31.  I have one more shower coming up next month and that will be in Charlotte with mostly family.  But today I have a delicious treat for you!

I loved these blondies, Maggie loved them, Momma loved them and Big Guy loved them.  This is a winning recipe.  These sweet treats are loaded with chopped pecans (I used Trader Joe’s roasted and salted pecans) and sweet coconut.  These are in no way “light” but they are delicious and a treat that would be perfect for gifting or having around during holiday gatherings.  The recipe is rather fool-proof and involves mixing together only a handful of ingredients before baking and allowing to cool.

Don’t forget to line the pan with parchment paper – this makes removing the bars and cutting SO much easier.

blondies

I was afraid these bars might be a little too sweet but they were the perfect mix of nutty, sweetness.  Don’t get me wrong – they’re sweet – but one bite won’t send you to the dentist.

Add these to your holiday baking list!  You won’t regret it.

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Apple Crisp Muffins

I didn’t mean to disappear on y’all but life sometimes happens.  For those who sent me “feel better vibes” – thank you!  My stomach/pregnancy issues have been tamed but now I’m stuck with a nasty cold.  Let’s hope that I lose the cough and runny nose ASAP.  Thankfully I didn’t let my ailments slow us down this past weekend as we headed to Ocean Isle Beach for the Oyster Festival.  Last year we kind of started a tradition with two couples and it’s a fun weekend getaway that we look forward to each fall.  We ate good food (the crab cake wrap at the festival is insane), laughed and laughed some more, enjoyed golf cart rides, listened to beach music and just enjoyed each other’s company at one of the most relaxing places on earth.  Last Thursday I made a batch of muffins to take with us to have around in case we needed a little snack.

And it turns out that these apple crisp muffins are amazing.  I’m not one to “toot my own horn” but all the guys couldn’t stop gushing about them.  And while the recipe isn’t necessarily “healthy” it sure beats store bought muffins.  These muffins are loaded with apple flavor thanks to applesauce and fresh diced apples.  The best part is the crumb topping – crumbly and buttery.  Instead of cinnamon, I used apple spice seasoning since I had some on hand which simply has a few more spices in addition to cinnamon but it’s totally not a necessary swap.

applemuff

I highly recommend you bake a batch so you can have a sweet treat (or breakfast!) right at your fingertips.  Bonus points if you’re able to pick your own apples! (p.s. that’s definitely on my bucket list for one fall in the near future.)

 

 

 

Brownies for Two

Saturday was just one of those days.  We were out late on Friday night at the Zac Brown Band concert (I haven’t seen 1am in a long time and I don’t plan on seeing it again until baby girl arrives) and then up early on Saturday to go to the noon Pirate football game.  And then the weather turned sour – aka it felt like August and then I got rained on.  Basically, I was over Saturday before 3pm hit.  Big Guy headed out to the grocery store once we arrived home from the game and I decided to turn my frown upside down.  I made some hot tea and I made a small batch of brownies.  

There is just something comforting about being in the kitchen for me.  Sometimes in life things seem out of your control but when I’m in the kitchen with a recipe, everything (well, almost) is in my control.  I love small batch dessert recipes because I don’t need a full batch of chocolate brownies at my fingertips.

These brownies are dairy-free and gluten-free and are absolutely delicious.  They are chocolatey without being overwhelming and are incredibly light.  I enjoyed one both Saturday and Sunday evening while we caught up on all our shows on DVR and slowly but surely, my mood shifted.

brownies

A tip for these brownies – allow them to cool completely and then transfer to the fridge BEFORE cutting.  When serving, warm in the microwave for a few seconds for a delicious chocolate treat.

(p.s. Everyone has bad days – and while my pregnancy has been a cake walk, I still have some crazy hormones which is what I’m blaming for my mini-breakdown on Saturday.)

Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been day dreaming of these cookies for weeks now!  When I first ran across the recipe I knew I had to find a reason to bake a batch.  And football season is the perfect excuse to bake something sweet to share with others.

potatochipcookiedough

The cookies are sweet and salty and the perfect combo of crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside (thanks to molasses).  The potato chips don’t really give the cookie any flavor other than saltiness but they do add a little texture.  I simply crushed the cookies between my hands before adding to the batter.  And there’s not one but two kinds of chocolate – dark and mini chips.  I also really appreciated that I didn’t need to allow the butter to come to room temperature – simply cream cold butter with sugar for these cookies.

Make sure not to overcook the cookies – they crisp up as soon as you remove them from the oven.

potatochipcookies

Now if only I had one right now….

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

That’s right, a five ingredient, gluten-free cookie that is PACKED with peanut butter flavor.  Big Guy was a little hesitant at first about these cookies because of the two words “gluten” and “free” but I promised him that these would not taste healthy.

They are indulgent and rich and you only need one to tame that sweet tooth that you get post-dinner.  They are super simple to make and they’re also freezer friendly.  So you better believe I have a stash that I’ve hidden for those nights when I want something sweet but I haven’t gotten around to making anything.

Here’s what you do:

Whisk together 2 cups of coconut sugar with 2 eggs.  Add in the vanilla and salt.

Add an entire 16 ounce jar of peanut butter and mix with a spatula.  Add in the chocolate chips and stir.  Now let the bowl of deliciousness literally “chill out” in the fridge or freezer for at least 15 minutes.

Using a cookie scoop, arrange on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 11 to 13 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan.  Then allow to cook completely before storing.

5ingredcookies

Note:  These do not spread out like regular cookies.  They are more round and almost like cookie bites.

Now where did I stash those cookies…

 

Ginger Ice Cream with Chocolate Bits

Oh, hey!  I would apologize for not posting the past several days but I’m not sorry.  I’ve been soaking up time with the family at the beach and it was glorious.  I didn’t even Instagram or take pictures of food while I was away.  I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July.  I swear, the days just keep going by faster and fast.  Slow down, Summer!!!!

Tuesday was brutally hot at the beach and this coming weekend doesn’t look any better around here.  I see lots of pool time and cold beverages in my future.

To keep you cool, here’s a refreshing and incredibly “different” ice cream recipe that I beg you to try if you’re a fan of ginger.

gingericecream

Ginger Ice Cream with Chocolate Bits has a touch of spiciness from the ginger but it’s still smooth, refreshing and creamy thanks to whole milk and half-and-half.  The little bits of chocolate are like finding a little treasure in each and every bite.

The key to good homemade ice cream is to give yourself plenty of time to freeze the base of the ice-cream maker (we keep ours in the freezer); cool down the ice cream base; churn and then time to let the ice cream set up in the freezer for a few hours.  I try and start the day before I’m ready to scoop.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor on a hot summer day?