Friday, February 19, 2010

Crunchy Coconut Cookies

Coconut Cookies

Be careful, these are addicting! This is another great cookie to use whole wheat flour in it, the flavor and texture nicely compliments the coconut. This dough can also be used for a variety of cookies. In the picture they are just plain drop cookies, but the dough is also perfect for little sandwiches with a chocolate ganache filling or maybe passion fruit curd? They could also be rolled and cut out into various shapes and decorated- they would make a great Easter cookie.

Coconut Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or All Purpose Flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream the butter and sugar together until all the powdered sugar is mixed in (be careful, too much creaming and the cookies will spread too much- a bad thing if you are rolling the dough out). Add the egg and vanilla and cream until creamy and smooth. Mix all the dry ingredients together and mix into the butter. This dough can be scooped, it can be formed into logs and sliced or it can be rolled out and cut (will keep it's shape). If you decide to roll the cookies refrigerate the dough in a 1" thick disk before trying to roll out. You can also freeze the dough after formed to bake later

Bake at 375 for approximately 8-15 minutes (depending on how thick/big they are).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Baked Apple Pancake

Baked Apple Pancake

This baked apple pancake is a great alternative to the standard breakfast options- pancakes, waffles, french toast. It's quick and easy and can easily serve quite a few with little effort and maybe more importantly all at once! This could also be served as a dessert paired with some ice cream or maybe whipped cream. While the leftovers are good to snack on you want to make sure to serve this right away. The batter portion could be made ahead of time though. This is a variation on what's called a Dutch Baby which is basically the same thing only baked without the fruit. I have used a raw cane sugar for some added interest but you can easily substitute in brown sugar or even white sugar. I also used whole wheat pastry flour with great results but you can also easily use all purpose white flour if you prefer.

Baked Apple Pancake serves 6 (adapted from Sunset Magazine)

3 Tbs butter
1/4 cup raw cane sugar (turbinado)- you can substitute light brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 large baking apple peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour- you can substitute all purpose white flour
1/2 cup milk (non-fat works fine, but a higher fat milk would make a richer pancake)

Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a blender mix the eggs, salt, flour and milk on high until uniform. Set that aside while you cook the apples. You will need an 10-12" oven proof skillet, preferably cast iron. Heat the pan over medium heat and add the butter and sugar. Let them melt and add in the apples and cinnamon and cook them over a medium heat until they are tender but not mushy. After the apples are ready smooth them out so they are one even layer on the bottom of the pan. While the pan is still hot, pour the batter right from the blender,over the apples and immediately into the oven. This bakes for about 15 minutes or until the middle is set and firm. It will be puffed up and fall as it cools. Serve immediately. The classic garnishes for this is a spritz of lemon juice and a dusting of powdered sugar.

You could easily substitute other fruit for apples, like pears or bananas. Another variation is to leave the fruit out of the pancake making it a traditional dutch baby and saute the fruit and serve it on top after the pancake is baked. If you do that, I would still melt the butter in the pan as normal, and add the sugar into the batter mixture.