Cherry Coconut Cookies

Cookies, Unfussy
Pretty much a kitchen sink cookie – this combo with dried cherries, coconut, rice crispies, and almonds turned out to be a winner, but you could mix it up with just about anything (chocolate chips, nuts, potato chips, cornflakes, pretzels, raisins, etc). Choose your own adventure.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unfiltered coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cherries
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup rice crispies
  • 1 cup slivered or chopped almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spread almonds in a single layer in a sheet pan and toast until lightly brown and fragrant – about 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Cream butter, coconut oil and both sugars on medium speed until light, fluffy and uniform in color. Scrape down bowl as needed.

Beat in vanilla and eggs, one at a time.

Stir in baking soda and salt. Stir in flour until just mixed.

Combine almonds, cherries, crispies and coconut in a medium bowl. With mixer on low speed, add to the cookie dough until mixed thoroughly.

Scoop or shape into balls using about 1/4-1/3 cup of dough per ball. Place on prepared cookie sheets at least 2″ apart.

Press down slightly to flatten each cookie.

Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets half way through, until just starting to brown around the edges.

Coconut Banana Bread

Bread, Unfussy
Here’s a springy little quick bread – lots of coconut, a bit of banana, and a smidge of pineapple.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup AP, 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 medium bananas (200g), ripe
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″x 5″ loaf pan, or line with a parchment sling.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Combine sugar and eggs in a medium bowl and whisk until light in color. Whisk in melted coconut oil.

Combine sour cream, bananas, pineapple and coconut in a medium bowl.

Add egg mixture to flour mixture and fold until combined with some dry patches remaining. Add sour cream mixture, folding until smooth.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until it springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Let cool for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely before slicing.

Slathering with cream cheese is not a bad idea.

Sugared Shortbread

Cookies, Unfussy
I’ve been watching Ted Lasso lately and it has resulted in two things: saying “I appreciate you” with a little twang, and making sugared shortbread. Both are equally enjoyable.
  • 3/4 lb. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8″ square baking pan with a parchment sling – cut one piece of parchment 8″ wide and about 14″ long so it lines the bottom exactly and extends over two of the sides so you can lift out the shortbread easily.

Melt butter and cool slightly.

Process powdered sugar, flour, almond flour and salt in the food processor until mixed well. Pour in melted butter and vanilla extract and pulse until a dough has formed.

Press the dough into the prepared pan – try to make it flat. Using a bench scraper or other straight edge, press the dough around the edges of the pan to even them out. Cut the dough down the middle of the pan so you have two 4″ halves. Now cut the dough perpendicular to that cut into 1″ strips. You will have sixteen 1″ bars.

Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the shortbread is dark golden brown.

Sprinkle liberally with granulated sugar and let cool completely.

Lift shortbread out of pan and cut again following the cuts you made before. Be appreciated.

Marzipan

Candy, Unfussy
This is my favorite marzipan recipe. Vera would eat the entire batch if I let her. It mixes up quickly in the food processor with the almond flour I usually have in the freezer. Cut it or mold it in shapes, dip it in chocolate, cover a cake, fill a Stolen, etc…

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 egg white

Pulse the almond flour and powdered sugar together in the food processor until combined. Add almond extract and egg white and process until a smooth dough has formed.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Or eat.

Butterfinger Candy

A little bit fussy, Candy
I’m not sure it’s a good thing to know how to make butterfingers. I made them for Valentine’s Day and I am already thinking about when I can have an excuse to make them again.

  • 1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 TBSP butter

Special equipment:

  • candy thermometer
  • silicon molds

Preheat oven to 200°F. Stir peanut butter and salt together in a large, heatproof bowl. Place bowl in preheated oven to keep warm.

Combine vanilla and baking soda in a small bowl and keep handy next to the stove.

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once sugar has dissolved, attach a candy thermometer and cook until the syrup reaches 285°F.

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla – the mixture will foam.

Carefully take peanut butter out of oven and fold in foaming syrup – fold together until the mixture is somewhat combined but there are still streaks of peanut butter throughout. The mixture will become quite stiff.

Working quickly while the mixture is still warm, divide among your silicon molds. Any molds will work, but I like these to be about 3/4″ to 1″ thick, so I don’t fill my molds all the way to the top. Any extra can be molded on parchment paper. The cooled bars don’t cut well, but you can break them up into shards which are just as tasty.

Let the butterfingers cool and harden for a couple hours or overnight. Remove from molds and dip in chocolate. Crispity crunchity.