Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Tropical Party In Your Mouth

Chewy Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies. Let that sink in for a minute. Sugar cookies that are crisp on the edges, yet soft and chewy in the middle, that have shredded coconut and zesty lime in them. Yes please! As my friend said, these were a tropical party in her mouth. I've wanted to make coconut lime cookies for awhile now. Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod shared them on her blog last year and I was set to make them until I saw a different recipe on Foodbuzz shared by Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures. Tracey made both versions and said these were the best she had tasted. Well that solves that problem!

I made these a couple weeks ago and I was intrigued by them because they have a couple ingredients that set them apart from other sugar cookies. Firstly, there's cream cheese in them that contributes to their softness. And there's a combination of melted butter and vegetable (or canola) oil in these that helps with the ever slight crispness on the edges and the chewiness in the center of the cookie. Finely chopped shredded coconut also plays a large part of the texture here as well. The taste of the coconut was really subtle but it was the lime zest that was the star. Because of the softened cream cheese, the melted butter and the oil, the cookie dough was really soft, so handle these as little as possible and work quickly.

I have to tell you a funny story about these cookies though. I shared a few with a couple different friends as well as my mother. My friends ate theirs slowly, savored them and shared only with a select (lucky) few, declared them fantastic, then regretted sharing them because they were gone so quickly. My mom opened up her plastic baggie of cookies, inspected them and asked if I had dropped them on the ground before giving them to her. She saw flecks of lime zest in the cookies and thought it was grass! ha ha! Don't really know if that was a compliment or not, but as least our grass is green and not brown :-)

Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies from Cook's Illustrated via Tracey's Culinary Adventures

Printer Friendly Version

  • 2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz.) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 1/3 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Combine 1 1/2 cups of sugar, the lime zest, and cream cheese in a large bowl (no need to stir them together yet). Put the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a pie plate and set aside. Pour the warm butter over the cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine - the mixture won't be completely smooth yet, that's fine. Whisk in the oil then the egg, milk and lime juice. Mix until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet, until a soft dough comes together.

Portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheets with a cookie scoop, using about 2 tablespoons for each cookie. Working quickly (if you handle the dough too much you're more likely to wind up with flat cookies), roll the dough into a ball with your hands then roll in the sugar set aside in the pie plate previously. Repeat until you've used all of the dough, placing 9 cookies on each baking sheet. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the dough balls into discs that are about 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the remaining sugar in the pie plate, using about 2 teaspoons per sheet of cookies.

Bake the cookies, 1 tray at a time, for about 11-13 minutes, or until the edges are set and beginning to brown. The tops will be puffy and slightly cracked. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to the rack to cool completely.

Makes 24-28 cookies.

I had my cookies with a refreshing limeade. Pour chilled Sprite into a glass filled with ice. Squeeze fresh lime into Sprite and stir. Garnish with a girly umbrella straw.

For a cherry limeade- Make drink as above, add marachino cherry syrup (from the jar) as well as a few whole cherries. Enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Reaching Into The Archives

I'm reaching into the archives today for this recipe. I made this bread back in August of last year and forgot to post it, then winter came along and it didn't seem very seasonal to share then and it just got lost in the shuffle. And since zucchini is plentiful at the moment, it just seemed like a good time to share this with you. I'm sure many of you have recipes that are backlogged....right? Please tell me I'm not the only one! I hope not, because there are more where this one came from.

Now that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy in the kitchen, because I have. In the past couple weeks, I made almond jam bars for a friend, chewy coconut lime cookies (that I'll share soon!), Mr. H's grandmother's homemade vanilla ice cream, and today I made a rustic apple pie with a secret ingredient. I'll share all of those recipes in due time, but today it's about a simple tea bread flecked with vibrant orange and green veggies- carrots and zucchini.

The original recipe was for two loaves of bread so I cut it in half to make one. It also called for a handful of candied ginger, but since I'm not a fan of the sweet heat, I left it out. Please feel free to include it in your loaf if that's what you fancy. I liked this bread because it was simple in flavor, not too sweet, and had a nice texture thanks to the shredded veg. Just like carrot cake or other zucchini breads, the carrots and zucchini add a healthful aspect and moisture without tasting like you're eating vegetables. It would be a nice addition to a bread basket, great with coffee or tea and a breakfast treat you don't have to feel guilty about. This would make great muffins too.

Carrot Zucchini Bread adapted from Baking With Lisa Printer Friendly Version
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 cup minced candied ginger, optional
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated zucchini

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease an 8.5×4.5 inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda. Whisk in the salt and candied ginger, if using.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and foamy. Add the canola oil, sugar, and vanilla, whisking hard until well combined. With a rubber spatula, stir in the carrots and zucchini.

Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir/fold until just blended. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for about 1 hour, until the loaf is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 1 loaf.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Cake Slice: Baking With Maranda

I have a special "Cake Slice" cake for you today. "What makes it so special?" you may be asking yourself. It's special because I got to co-bake with my fellow Cake Slice Baker- Maranda of Jolts & Jollies! I first met Maranda in person back in December when she was visiting family and friends over the holidays. We wanted to bake together but time was limited. Lucky for me, she just moved back to Texas a few weeks ago, so hanging out together in the kitchen was finally possible.

Every month we get to vote on a selection of cakes and usually there is a definitive winner. However, this month there was a tie between Lime Chiffon Cake and Fresh Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Chips so we got to choose which one we wanted to bake. Maranda made one and I made the other. So today, you get two recipes for the price of one!

Maranda actually made her cake a couple times. She had issues with the first one and wasn't so pleased with it, but the second one came out beautifully- it was tall, light and airy. She even added a glaze to it to send it over the top. The step by step recipe for the Lime Chiffon Cake can be found on her blog- Jolts & Jollies.

My strawberry white chocolate chip cake came together really quickly and effortlessly. I did forget to dust my strawberries in flour before I folded them in, but it turned out just fine. The fresh strawberry flavor came through, there were sweet little buttery pockets from the white chocolate chips, and the lemon zest, was just enough to brighten it up without making it taste like lemon. It was really moist from the addition of the sour cream and I thoroughly enjoyed this cake. So much that I may or may not have eaten it for breakfast a couple days in a row :-) It was a little plain jane looking, but a little sweetened whipped cream and a strawberry garnish go a long way.

Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Cake from Cake Keeper Cakes

Printer Friendly Version

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and dust it with flour, knocking out any extra. Set aside.

Combine the egg, egg yolk, sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla in a large glass measuring cup and lightly beat. Combine 1 1/4 cups. flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.

With the mixture on medium-low speed, pour the egg mixture into the bowl in a slow stream, stopping the mixture once or twice to scrape down the bowl.

Turn the mixture on low speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.

Combine the strawberries and remaining 1/4 cup of flour in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Fold the flour covered berries along with the chocolate chips into the batter with a rubber spatula.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake the cake until it is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely. (I let mine cool in the pan). Cut into 9 squares and serve.

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Be sure to check out all the other Cake Slice Bakers' cakes!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cookies For The Man I Love

A couple of years ago I saw Jacque Torres make these incredible chocolate chip cookies on the Martha Stewart Show. Not only were they huge, plate sized, cookies, they were also different because they used fancy European butter and chocolate discs, rather than just chocolate chips. The cookies were clearly something special. I didn't have a laptop at the time, so when I saw a recipe I was interested in, I would jot it down on a yellow notepad and stash it away. That's what I did with this recipe, but because they were working so fast, and I was copying down the recipe just as quickly, I missed a few measurements and steps.

I didn't have the complete recipe, but I never forgot about those cookies. I knew they would make an appearance in my future. I even bought a pound of expensive Plugra butter from a specialty store and I saved it til the time was right. I was intimidated by the recipe because, in my head, I made them out to be so much more complex than they ever were. I continued to save the butter until I was ready. Sadly that time never came and when I pulled the butter out of the chilled compartment and brought it to room temperature, to smear on my toast, it tasted like fridge. It was gross. But what should I have expected? I only "saved" it for about a year!

Then I came across a similar recipe from the New York Times that everyone was raving about. I wanted to make them for my hubby for his birthday last year. That didn't happen. I planned to make them for Father's Day. That also didn't happen. But 2011 was my year and I finally conquered the chocolate chip cookie! You know what? They're not too hard or complex, they just require time and patience. I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to make them. They really are special cookies and if you top them off with a sprinkling of sea salt before they bake, as the recipe suggests, then you'll end up with something a little sweet and salty, even slightly savory. I preferred them without the salt, but to each their own. At least try one with salt before you make up your mind.

I'm not only glad that I made these cookies and can check them off my baking "bucket list" but I'm glad that my husband really enjoyed them. He's a big chocolate chip cookie fan and these were quite satisfying. They're also really huge and one goes a long way. I preferred them slightly warm out of the oven, while the chocolate was still soft and gooey with a tall glass of ice cold milk, but they were also great, albeit a little crunchier, over the next couple of days. A good thing about this recipe is that you can prepare the dough ahead of time and bake them as you want them. Just think, you can make the dough for these now and have warm-out-of-the-oven cookies, all weekend long for that special Dad in your life. Yes, that's a good way to say "I love you".

I love you my handsomely scruffy faced husband. I could not have been blessed with a better partner or Dad to our boys. Happy Father's Day!

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies from NYT

Printer Friendly Version
  • 2 cups minus 2 Tbsp. (8.5 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cup (8.5 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 larges eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate discs, at least 60% cacao content
  • sea salt

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, about 5-10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough can be used in batches and may be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

Scoop 6 (six) 3 1/2 ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally and chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle slightly with sea salt and bake until golden but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto a rack to cool for a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking the remaining batches the next day. Eat warm with a big napkin.

Makes 18 5-inch cookies.

You better believe anytime I am baking, Autumn is never too far :-)


The winner of the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Giveaway according to is:

Commenter #10- Lynn Thompson who said "Congratulations on reaching the 24 week mark in your pregnancy. My daughter is also 24 weeks pregnant with my first grandchild and we are so excited. If I win the chocolate I will give them to her and we will talk about your journey to this point!"

Congratulations Lynn on your win and for being a soon-to be grandma! I hope you and your daughter will enjoy the beautiful chocolate creations from Guylian! Please email me with your address and I'll have Guylian send out your special box of sea shell chocolates.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bake To Show Your Appreciation

These bars. Oh, these bars! They are delicious. I first saw these bars in an issue of Everyday Food a few years ago. I just love Everyday Food recipes because they're simple and not fussy, but they're consistently good. When I first made them, I used plum jam and took them to a friends' house for brunch. Then it seems that I lost the recipe. I looked for a long time through my old issues to find it with no such luck. Why it never occurred to me to just google it, is beyond me. Alas, I smartened up and found it on Martha's website. In my experience, not all of her recipes work for me, but this one is a keeper!

This time when I made the recipe, I chose to use Fredericksburg Peach Jam. Plum jam is my absolute favorite, besides homemade strawberry, but I used peach because Mr. H bought a half gallon of it from Costco a few weeks back. Okay, so I exaggerate slightly, but it was a 40 oz. jar...and that's a lot of jam! This batch went to my good friend Lori, who gifted me with my new logo. How do you express gratitude for something without spending a lot of money, yet you want to give something more than just a card? You bake something special and buttery, with quality ingredients and you hand deliver it. It doesn't get much better than that.

These bars really are great. They're crumbly and crunchy, yet sandy and buttery. The sliced almonds add nice crunch and flavor and worked well with the peach jam and they're perfect for dessert or a weekend brunch. I may have had one or three for breakfast too :-) They're just really flavorful. One note of advice though, if your jam is really sweet then cut back on the sugar in the crust by a couple tablespoons. Feel free to substitute any flavor jam or preserve that you like. Make them for yourself or as a gift, just make them!

Almond Jam Bars from Martha Stewart

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup fruit jam (cherry, plum, peach etc.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy; beat in egg yolk. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in almonds.

In a small bowl, whisk jam to loosen. (Stirring the jam with a fork or a whisk will enable it to spread smoothly over the dough.)

Gently press half of dough into bottom of prepared dish. With the back of a spoon, gently spread jam over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border so the jam doesn't stick to the sides of the pan. Sprinkle remaining dough over top all the way to the edges; press gently to form top layer.

Bake until top is golden, 25 to 35 minutes; cool completely in dish. Cut into bars with a serrated knife.

This buttery and gooey bite is just for you. Open Wide!

Friday, June 3, 2011

24 Weeks, A New Logo and A Guylian Chocolate Giveaway! (Giveaway Closed)

We're celebrating today at Lick The Bowl Good!

On Wednesday I reached the viability mark in my pregnancy. I'm sure many people wouldn't think twice about this date, but for me it's a milestone. Of course this baby isn't done baking, but at this gestation he could survive outside the womb if he were born early. That's huge! Now I don't want him to come any earlier than September but at least I can breathe a little easier knowing he'd be okay. As of yesterday, according to his measurements at the anatomy scan, baby weighs about 1 lb. 7 oz. Grow baby grow! Here's what we both look like :-)

The next thing we are celebrating is my new logo! My wonderfully talented friend Lori from LFE Photography gifted me with a new logo from On The Spot Studio. Lori and I met a few years ago after the losses of our sons. We met at a support group but it was more than grief that led us to be friends. She is a sweetheart, a wonderful mother and wife and as I mentioned, a talented photographer. Lori has taken our holiday pictures for the past 3 years and I trust her wholeheartedly- she's creative with an artistic eye. If you're in the central Texas area, I highly recommend you check her out!

Lori is also really generous and thoughtful. She visits my blog often and thought I needed a more professional look for my logo rather than just typing in 'LTBG' on my photos- she was right. OTSS created a logo for LFE Photography and she did such a great job fulfilling her wants that I knew she'd create something just as wonderful for Lick The Bowl Good. I didn't want anything too literal so I opted out of a logo with a mixing bowl on it. Instead I wanted a layer cake (my favorite thing to bake) on a cake pedestal (I'm obsessed with them!) with strawberries (my favorite fruit). Notice there are three little strawberries- one for each of my boys :-) I just LOVE it! Thank you Lori!

Because of all the greatness going on here, I'm offering a giveaway from Guylian Belgian Chocolates to celebrate. A couple months ago, Guylian sent me a sampling of their beautiful sea shell chocolates. Several years ago my uncle gave my aunt a box of their milk and white chocolate sea shell chocolates for Valentine's Day. I thought they were so unique and special- better than anything that could come in a heart shaped box. They are almost too pretty to eat, but definitely do eat them because they're delicious. They're filled with a hazelnut praliné, are so creamy and just melt in your mouth. They also now make a dark chocolate version and individually wrapped sea horses, which are adorable.

Guylian has offered to send a box of their Original Chocolate Shells to one lucky reader! All you have to do to is leave a comment on this post to be entered. Open to U.S. residents only.

Be sure to leave your e-mail address, or a way to contact you if you should win. One comment per person please. Giveaway ends Friday, June 10th, 2011 at 11:59 pm (CST). The winner will be chosen using

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