Archive for August, 2015

Fail Brown Butter Coconut Bars that are still mm mm good


I wasn’t even going to post this, because the actual cookies that inspired this fail are SO GOOD that they deserve a perfect post. Like seriously, I’ve made them right like two times and failed them three times, but that is because I was rushing and not really committed to making them right.

They are are mostly coconut + butter and not a lot of flour + egg. The flavor is rich and warm and brown and toasty, and the texture is chewy with a lovely crispness around the edges. I don’t want to talk about them too much anymore, because they are now infecting my head, but just take my average words that they are incredible. I don’t even make any cookie recipe more than once.


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So I wasn’t going to post it, but now I am, because the process shots turned out soooo lovely, and I wanted to show off my rare manicure that I got on The Day That I Did Everything Wanted To Do. It was such a great day, but seriously, the below shot is pointless. Spot the coconut. The above shot of the brown butter is not pointless. Headlong dive.


What should have been beautiful cookies turned into mashed bars because I didn’t cool the butter and could have added a little more flour to the dough after the first sheet came out. OH WELL, flavor was still on point, even if the texture was lacking.


Doing everything want to do, one day a year,


Fail Brown Butter Coconut Bars 

These bars were supposed to be these cookies from smitten kitchen, which are so wonderful. If you want to make the cookies, don’t follow my fail recipe below.

1 cup (225 grams) butter
1 ice cube
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Slightly heaped 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups (240 grams) dried, unsweetened coconut chips

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Once it is a deeply fragrant, almost nut-brown color, remove from heat and pour butter and all browned bits at the bottom into a measuring cup. Stir in the ice cube.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Pour the browned butter and any bits into a large mixing bowl. Add both sugars and beat the mixture together until fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed, then vanilla. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Pour half of flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined, then add remaining flour and mix again, scraping down bowl if needed. Add coconut chips in two parts as well.

Scoop dough into approximately 2 tablespoon-sized balls, and arrange a few with a lot of room for spreading on first baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Take the cookies out when they’re deeply golden all over. If you’re working by my fail recipe, then the cookies should have spread out and run together.

Cool cookies on baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring the dough to a small pan. Press the dough firmly into the pan, let cool and cut into squares. Store in the fridge.

What being a food photographer is really like


Maybe my toes have accidentally touched your cookies what do you think about that.


Pipe Dream #184: To Use All the Blubber, Revisited – Banana Bacon Skillet Cake


I can’t remember if I told you about the time when I made a banana cake with bacon fat and a brown butter glaze and squished big hunks of it into a box for greedy fingers to scoop out and in at unholy speeds after church one day. It wasn’t a beautiful cake, but omheavens it was delicious and started me saving leftover bacon grease for bakes. It’s a “use the whole buffalo/whale” approach and now a best practice for life.


This is not that cake, but it is an approximation of it, an overlay set at 50% opacity, a quiet echo of that inspired cake nosh. I tried a new cake recipe that is easy and lands somewhere between a cookie and a cake. And I subbed the glaze for cream cheese frosting. If you wanted to try the original, you might try something like this banana cake baked into two round pans and subbing in bacon fat for the butter + this browned butter glaze. Stack and slice.



Other skillet recipes for your consideration:




Banana Bacon Skillet Cake

Adapted from Joy the Baker

1/2 cup solidified bacon fat

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 medium ripe banana, mashed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the bacon fat in an 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.  Remove from heat, and whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

When the sugar and butter mixture has cooled slightly, add the egg and whisk until smooth. Add the mashed banana, cinnamon and nutmeg, whisking to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir carefully until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add the pecans and fold together. Smooth the batter in the skillet.

Bake for 18-25 minutes until mixture is dry on top, but still slightly soft in the center. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Top with ice cream and serve warm OR, let cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Hemp Macaroons (Low THC)


I’ll be honest, I did a little research on the difference between hemp and marijuana because I just remembered that they are the same thing. But then I found out that they are not the same thing, so don’t worry, you won’t get high if you make these macaroons. In fact, you’ll just get a dose of protein and essential fatty acids, whatever that means.

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Cute, quick, healthy, hemply. I bought hemp at The Co-Op because I wanted to add hemp milk to my ever-growing list of experimental nut milks and cold brews. I may never buy it again.



Hemp Macaroons

Adapted from my name is yeh

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat the honey and coconut oil in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring until the coconut oil is fully melted. Stir in the vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Line a loaf pan with a piece of wax paper large enough so that wings hang off the sides. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the loaf pan. Freeze for 15 minutes. Use the parchment wings to lift the mixture out of the pan, and then use a sharp knife to cut squares. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator.

Pipe Dream #337: To Run a Sustainable Farm? – Cold-Brew Cacao


In a series of drinks experiments lasting the better part of two Saturdays, I have come to the conclusions that I really, truly, never need buy anything except Oreos and Skippy. I can make everything else myself.

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Not that I want to. The patience and investment it takes to extreme home cook or run a self-sustainable farm is not a life goal. Girl has other priorities.


And also, nothing compares to eating food someone else made for you.  I’m like, “I’m not too tired to enjoy this.” I take great delight in paying people to take all the individual ingredients out of the fridge and assemble a decent salad or sandwich. Or in letting someone else buy a wood-fired pizza oven so that the crust is just so. Or in paying someone else to get sticky and sweaty and peeved trying not to overcook the meat.


BUT WHEN I DO RUN MY OWN SUSTAINABLE FARM CHOOSE TO MAKE THINGS FROM SCRATCH, it’s usually pretty cool to me. Not worth it every day, but somedays. Saturdays.

Here are my drinks experiments:

  • Cold-brew cacao
  • Cold-brew cacao + coffee
  • Cacao-infused milk
  • Cacao-infused coconut milk
  • Date-sweetened chocolate almond milk

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You know about the almond milk already, but the brewed cacao was the actual cool thing. It is like coffee, except slightly less caffeine and more CHOCOLATE. Because cacao beans make chocolate, did you know that? And don’t ask me how to pronounce “cacao,” because you will embarrass me. Actually, you won’t, but please still don’t ask me.

I drank it like I would have done cold-brew, with a little milk or cream. I mixed it into cocktails. I drank it straight. I also brewed the cacao with coffee to make a chocolate-coffee cold-brew hybrid. It is summer chocolate dreams over ice.

You’re welcome.


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Cold-Brew Cacao

Adapted from Jenni Avins

6 ounces (170 grams, or about 1 1/2 cups) of roasted cacao nibs

½ gallon of cold water

Grind your nibs using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle to a texture that’s fine but not powdery. I used a super cheap coffee bean grinder and pulsed it until it looked approximately like Frech press ground coffee.

Line the pitcher with a nut-milk bag and dump the cacao grounds inside. Fill the bag-lined pitcher with cold water, and stir to make sure to get all the grounds wet. Cinch the bag, cover the pitcher, and leave it at room temperature for about 16 hours. If your home is very hot, put it in the refrigerator, but add a few hours to your brew time. Remove the nut-milk bag and squeeze all the liquid into your pitcher. Store in the refrigerator.

Stir before serving, as cacao particles will settle toward the bottom. Enjoy over ice, straight or with your favorite kind of milk.

Fun Optionals:

  1. Replace 3 ounces of the cacao with coarse-ground coffee for a cold-brew coffee/mocha thing.
  2. Bold brew any kind of milk in the fridge with cacao for a sophisticated chocolate milk. I tried coconut milk, whole milk and almond milk.
  3. Use the cacao in cOcKtAiLs like this cacao Manhattan.

The Cacao Manhattan

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This cocktail requires brewed cacao, about which I will post next week. I’m trying to give you a reason to keep coming back to this site and get my site traffic up so.

Haha jk. But seriously, brewed cacao recipe coming soon, and it is a WINNER. Imagine sophisticated Yoohoo + whiskeyyy. I’ve never actually had Yoohoo, keeping it real.

Oddly, this drink tasted good, but it smelled SO GOOD. I used a lemon peel because I had to, but go for an orange peel when you make this.


The Cacao Manhattan

Adapted from Jenni Avins

2 parts cold-brew cacao (recipe coming soon!)
2 parts Old Overholt rye whiskey
1 part sweet vermouth
1 dash angostura bitters

Combine the cacao, whiskey and vermouth in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a rocks glass. Add a dash of bitters and garnish with an orange twist.

Possible bestselling memoir title: I Drink All the Milks – Chocolate Almond Milk + Malted Coconut Coffee Ice Cubes

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Let me tell you about my relationship with milk. I know this is why you are here. To learn about these extremely interesting aspects of my life that should totally be shared on the Internet and get millions of shares. Perhaps I should write a memoir.



When I was a kid, I was super grossed out by milk in all its forms. Eventually, I came around to drinking milk and loved it, but I still took issue with soy milk, almond milk, all the milks. They do not taste the same as regular cow milk. But then I figured out that maybe they don’t have to taste the same, like the difference between instant coffee and cold press–they are just different foods altogether that serve different purposes and needs. So now I’ve come around to those, too, and I drink all the milks. My plan is to graduate to drinking straight whipping cream.


I figured out that it is so easy to make almond milk that I decided to make fancy ice cubes to go with it. It’s like a chocolate coconut coffee malt, practically.

A couple notes: don’t worry about the milk separating in the fridge. Just shake it up a lot, it’s fine. Also, add more dates. Just like, two more. I liked it, but my roommate said it wasn’t sweet enough.



Chocolate Almond Milk + Malted Coconut Coffee Ice Cubes

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

1 1/2 cups raw almonds + 4 cups water for soaking

4 cups water

4-6 dates

1/3 cup unsweetened cacao powder (may also use unsweetened cocoa powder)

1 vanilla bean, seeds removed (or 1 tablespoon vanilla)

pinch of salt

Chocolate Almond Milk

Add the almonds to a 4-cup glass measuring cup or bowl and cover with around 4 cups water. Allow the almonds to sit overnight or at least 1 hour. Drain the almonds and rinse well under cold water. Add the rinsed almonds to a high powdered blender or food processor. Add 4 cups of water and the dates. Puree until the almonds are very finely ground, about 2 minutes.

Line a bowl or glass pitcher with a double layer of cheese cloth, a nut milk bag or a thin cloth kitchen towel. Slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the cloth. Gently squeeze the bottom of the cloth to release the milk. This with take about 3-5 minutes to get all the milk out.

Rinse out the blender and pour the milk back in. Add the cacao powder, vanilla bean seeds and a pinch of salt. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.

Pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Shake well before drinking and serve with the malted coconut coffee ice cubes.

Malted Coconut Coffee Ice Cubes

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons malted milk powder
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed (or 1 tablespoon vanilla)
  • 1 cup strong black coffee

In a blender, combine the coconut milk, malt powder and vanilla bean seeds. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture among 15-18 ice cube molds, leaving at least half the mold for coffee. Pour the coffee over the coconut milk. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Serve with the chocolate almond milk.

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