It’s Pi Day!

It’s March 14th, otherwise known as Pi Day! So named, because of the irrational number 3.14 that goes on infinitely. So, enjoy some pie today in honor of the day. Not a fan of pie, have a slice of pizza from a pizza pie or try your hand at a savory pie, like a quiche. Or, you could out on a limb and have some cheesecake. I actually baked a cheesecake a few years ago in honor of the day. I’ve also made a Banana Cream Pie and a Blueberry Pie as well to honor the day.

I was in search of a new pie to make for today and was stumped. I flipped through an entire book dedicated to pies and nothing popped at me and then I remembered I had a bag of shredded coconut in my cabinet that I had purchased to make crispy coconut cookies – which I haven’t gotten around to – so, I decided on a Coconut Custard Pie. This is actually one of my favorite pies from my youth. I remember my Dad bringing home the Entenmann’s version from the supermarket when I was a kid. Unfortunately, Entenmann’s has discontinued it, so the flavor is a distant memory now. I actually tried making Coconut Custard Pie once before and it came out horrible because I didn’t use whole milk and I think the missing fat from the milk was the leading culprit of my failing. The custard never formed.

Thankfully I had no issues with this pie… The custard formed, the shredded coconut rose to the top during baking and it was the perfect balance of the coconut flavor and sweetness.

 

 

Coconut Custard Pie

Ingredients:

1 homemade or store bough 9-inch pie crust*

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 eggs, at room temperature, beaten

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract**

nutmeg

 

*I used a frozen deep-dish one

**For a more of coconut flavor used coconut extract

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate.

In a large bowl combine the butter, eggs, flour, sugar, coconut, milk and vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer to blend all of the ingredients together. Make sure the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, covering the edges of the pie with aluminum foil for the first 25 minutes and then remove. Pie will be ready when the custard has puffed up – sides and center.

Remove from the over and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Bunny’s Warm Oven

Coconut Cinnamon Popsicles

Whenever I go to Target I can never stick to the items that are on my list. Somehow, someway other things creep into my shopping cart. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I just can’t resist walking down random aisles to see what’s available; my favorite though is passing by the end caps to see what items are on clearance. You never know when you can pick up a nice dish, a colorful shower curtain or a cute notebook at a ridiculously low price. That’s how I found the ice pop molds I used to create the Coconut Cinnamon Popsicles I am sharing with you today. I randomly saw them sitting on an end cap for more than 50% off so I figured why not… The deal was too good to pass up and I really liked how the molds sat on the base. Not your typical ice pop mold!
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These ice pops couldn’t be more simpler. In a large bowl I combined cream of coconut, coconut milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and shredded coconut and mixed them together with my hand mixer until everything was well combined. I then transferred the mixture to a measuring cup to make pouring it into the molds easier (and less messy!) Once that was done I placed them in the freezer overnight so they could harden.
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And the next day I had a delicious (and cold – which is imperative for these final dog days of summer) coconut treat that had a hint of cinnamon! I can’t wait to try out some other flavor combinations with these nifty ice pop molds!
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Coconut Cinnamon Popsicles

Ingredients:

1 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk

1 15oz. can of cream of coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together with a hand mixer until well blended. Transfer the mixture to a measuring cup and pour into ice pop molds.

Freeze until solid, 3-4 hours, preferably overnight

Coconut & Lime Cupcakes

Happy Cinco de Mayo! It’s the perfect day to enjoy some guacamole, a few tacos, a shot of tequila or a nice cold margarita. That brings me to today’s post. I’ve made some delicious treats in honor of this day in the past – churros, tres leches cupcakesMexican wedding cookies and sopapilla cheesecake – and this year I was thinking of making Margarita Cupcakes. But, since I didn’t have any tequila on hand (all the recipes I came across had this margarita staple in the ingredient list) I opted for something non-alcoholic and just as festive… Coconut & Lime Cupcakes – a coconut cupcake with a key lime cream cheese frosting.

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To begin I made the coconut cupcakes… In the bowl of my stand mixer I mixed together sugar and butter until it was light and fluffy – about 5 minutes on medium speed.

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I then reduced the speed to low and added in three eggs – one at a time.

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Next I added in buttermilk, and a sifted mixture of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I alternated between adding the two beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Oh, and can I just take a moment to say that I love this silicone bowl to add things into my running mixer. It’s completely flexible so I can form it into the perfect shape to pour the flour into the bowl and not have it fly all over the place. I used to use a pouring shield but I always had the flying flour issue with it. Check out this link if you have been searching for the perfect bowl to add dry ingredients to your batter while mixing.

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Once the batter came together I folded in sweetened shredded coconut.

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And finally, using an ice cream scoop I divided the mixture among a 12-cup paper lined muffin pan and baked it in a 325 F preheated oven for 25 minutes.

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Once they were out of the oven, I let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing them and letting them cool completely on a wire rack in preparation for frosting them.

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After letting the cupcakes cool I got to working on the frosting – a key lime cream cheese frosting that has the perfect combination of sweetness and citrus flavor. I began by creaming together cream cheese, butter, key lime juice and key lime zest until it was creamy. Next I added in 2 cups of sifted confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time – mixing well after each cup. Just to note, if want more of a lime flavor you can add more of the lime juice, but, you may have to balance that with more confectioners’ sugar since you don’t want your frosting to become too thinned down. Prior to frosting the cupcakes I popped the frosting in the fridge for about 10 – 15 minutes so the frosting would be firmer to pipe with.

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And after frosting each of the cupcakes I sprinkled them with a bit of lime zest.

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Coconut Cupcakes – Adapted from here

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium speed. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl down after each addition. Add in the vanilla and almonds extracts and mix well.

4. In three parts, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the coconut.

5. Fill each cup of the muffin pan to the top – an ice cream scoop is the perfect size to fill the cups. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are slightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 1/2 tablespoons key lime juice

1 teaspoon key lime zest

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

Cream together the cream cheese, butter, key lime juice and zest until creamy. Add in the sugar, one cup at a time, and continue mixing until all of the sugar is incorporated. If you find that the frosting is too soft, pop it into the refrigerator for a few minutes so it can firm up before using it.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Coconut is one of those things that people either love or hate. For me, I love coconut. Come the summer I can never pass up getting a Coconut Italian Ice and while I enjoy most flavors of Chobani Greek yogurt my favorite by far is the Almond Coco Loco Flip. So, it’s pretty surprising that I have never had a Coconut Macaroon. I’ve always wanted to make them, but, some other treat makes its way into my oven instead. I finally got around to making them and I must say I wish I had made them sooner!

These were by far one of the easiest cookies I have ever made… They didn’t require a hand or stand mixer and were easily prepared in one bowl. You can’t beat simplicity like that. I began my mixing together shredded sweetened coconut along with sugar, flour, and salt.

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I then added in egg whites and almond extract and mixed the ingredients until they were well blended. Then using a cookie scoop I scooped up the coconut mixture…

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And dropped them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and baked them in a 325 F preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

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Once out of the oven I immediately transferred the macaroons to a wire rack to cool completely.

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After they cooled it was time to dip them in melted chocolate. Conveniently I had half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in my fridge. I melted the chocolate in the microwave and then dipped the bottom of each of the macaroons in the chocolate and then placed them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and put them in the fridge so the chocolate could set.

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And since I had some chocolate left-over I decided to enjoy a mid-afternoon snack of chocolate dipped pretzels… You can’t go wrong with sweet & salty!

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Overall these macaroons were delish… With the combination of coconut, almond extract and chocolate they were reminiscent of an Almond Joy candy bar!

 

Coconut Macaroons

Makes 3 Dozen

Ingredients:

1 14oz. package sweetened coconut flakes (5 1/3 cups)

2/3 cup sugar

6 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line two cookies sheets with parchment paper.

2. Mix coconut, sugar, flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in eggs whites and almond extract until well blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonful (I used a small cookie scoop which yielded 26 macaroons) onto prepared cookie sheets.

3. Bakes for 18-20 minutes, or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy as is, or dip in melted chocolate for an extra sweet treat!

Tropical Oatmeal Cookies

I came up with the idea for these cookies a while back and while I am sure there is a recipe somewhere floating around on the internet for them, I decided to take a chance and create my own recipe, albeit with some assistance from a few of my favorite cookie recipes. I really had no idea how they would come out, but, in the end they were delicious and incredibly soft and the add-ins of the white chocolate chips, shredded coconut, crushed pineapple and macadamia nuts complemented one another wonderfully.
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To begin I mixed together the dry ingredients – flour, salt and baking soda – and set it aside and then moved on to creaming together butter, sugar and light brown sugar.
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I then added in two eggs – one at a time.
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And then the vanilla extract.
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After adding in the flour mixture – I really did use flour for these cookies even though I don’t have a picture of it – I then added in quick oats.
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And finally I folded in my “tropical ingredients:” white chocolate chips, sweetened shredded coconut, crushed pineapple and macadamia nuts.
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After folding in all of the add-ins I used a cookie scoop to drop mounds of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
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I baked them in a 325 degrees preheated oven for 11 minutes and then let them cool on the cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

And while you may think these cookies would be on the sweeter side with the sugars, sweetened coconut and white chocolate chips, the measurements of each of the ingredients produced a cookie that was just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Tropical Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 36 cookies
Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F.
2. Combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda & salt – and set aside
3. Cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and then the oats.
5. Fold in the white chocolate chips, shredded coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts.
6. Drop rounded tablespoons (a small cookie scoop) of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes.
7. Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Enjoy!

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I bought a bag of sweetened shredded coconut a while back and kept changing my mind as to what I wanted to make with it. Initially I bought it to make Coconut Macaroons for Easter, but, after making a Carrot Cake I opted not to make them. I then came across a recipe for Coconut Almond Macaroons that sounded yummy, but, I soon changed my mind on making them. And then I saw a recipe for an Apricot Coconut Cake that sounded amazing, but, while flipping through my recipe binder I discovered a Coconut Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing recipe that I had ripped out from the September 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine and I immediately settled on what I wanted to use that bag of shredded coconut for.

To begin I assembled all of my ingredients for the cupcakes together: butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & buttermilk.

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And you can’t have Coconut Cupcakes without the coconut…

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While the recipe calls for sifting the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt – together after creaming the sugar and butter together, I opted to do this first this way it didn’t interrupt the flow of making my batter.

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I then creamed together the butter and sugar until the mixture was light and fluffy – per the directions.

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While the butter and sugar were mixing I got my eggs ready. I used to just crack my eggs right into my batter, but, after having to fish out egg shells once or twice I decided cracking them into a separate bowl is a better idea and it also makes the process of adding them to the batter a lot quicker.

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After adding in the eggs and the vanilla & almond extracts the batter was now ready to come together with the addition of the flour mixture and the buttermilk. I added them by alternating between the two – beginning and ending with the addition of the flour mixture.

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And then it was time to fold in the coconut. The recipe only called for half of the 14 ounce bag which was approximately 1 cup.

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Then the fun part… Scooping the batter into the paper lined muffin tin. The recipe called for filling the liners to the top with the batter – this is the one thing I would do differently next time I make these. By filling them so much the tops of the cupcakes were enormous.

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After baking for about 30 minutes there were ready to come out of the oven. Ultimately I ended up with 23 cupcakes.

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Once they cooled it was time to make the frosting.

I started off by blending together butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and almond extract.

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While the recipe called for 1 1/2 pounds of sifted confectioners’ sugar I decided to only use 1 pound this way it wouldn’t be too sweet. I tried to take a shortcut and sift the powder right into my mixing bowl – definitely won’t do that again. I ended up with sugar all over my counter.

After mixing for a few minutes the frosting was nice and smooth and ready to be spread onto the cupcakes.

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Once I frosted the cupcakes I sprinkled each of them with a little shredded coconut. These cupcakes were amazing! Definitely a recipe I will be making again. And since I still have about half a bag left of the shredded coconut I am sure I’ll be making one of those other recipes I mentioned earlier soon.

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Coconut Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Food Network Magazine September 2012

Makes 18 to 20 Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces coconut.

4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup to the top with batter. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

5. Make the cream cheese icing: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment blend together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

6. Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese icing and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.