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.


coc brown 1

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.

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