Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

Man, sometimes being an adult really sucks! In two days I have had a frozen and broken dishwasher pipe, a leaking sink, and a small chimney fire. If bad things come in 3’s, then I better be good for a while!

In the midst of all this, all I have really wanted is a glass of wine and a cookie as big as my head. Since I am trying to lose a little weight though and not eat my feelings, I have been turning to these little lifesavers to satisfy me.

Energy balls have been all the rage in the last year or two, and for good reason. There are hundreds of varieties, they are super customizable and a great way to sneak in some good for you foods like flax and chia seeds.

I love the combo of coconut and peanut butter in these, and of course I was going to add some chocolate chips. Don’t like peanut butter? Use your favorite nut butter. Not feeling like chocolate chips? How about some dried cranberries? The possibilities are endless!

Recipe adapted from Beaming Baker

Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts or add-ins (mini chocolate chips, raisins, etc.)
  • Wet Ingredients
  • ¾ cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
  • ¼ cup honey

Instructions

  • Slightly melt peanut butter in microwave, about 30 second. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients using a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Scoop mixture into your hands and roll into bites. I like my bites to be about 1 ½ tablespoons. If the mixture is too dry, add in a bit more honey.
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    Coconut Crusted French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

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    How was your holiday? Wonderful, I hope! I know many of you still have guests or may be home on vacation, or maybe guests for New Year next week. I have a killer breakfast recipe for you that will impress anyone!

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    Delicious sliced of french toast, coated in crunchy coconut, topped with sweet caramelized bananas and a caramel syrup. It’s a brunch lovers dream! You can change this recipe up slightly by leaving out the rum, and even substituting the milk for coconut milk if you want it to be extra coco-nutty.

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    Use caution when cooking the french toast, you don’t want the coconut to burn. Make sure to cook them on  medium so they cook through and the coconut has time to get nicely browned.

    Coconut Crusted French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 4 large eggs
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
    • 1 loaf French bread, sliced 1 inch thick
    • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
    • Oil of frying (I used coconut oil.)
      Banana Caramel Syrup
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
    • 3 tablespoons whipping (heavy) cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 4 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
    • 2 bananas, thickly sliced

    Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium. Whisk the first five ingredients together in a baking dish or large bowl.
  • Pour the shredded coconut onto a plate. Pour enough oil in the skillet to completely coat the bottom. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture for 15-20 seconds per side. Then dip the slices in the shredded coconut on both sides for an even coat.
  • Cook for 1 minute per side. Watch for a crispy golden-brown crust. The coconut may turn a deep brown, but avoid burning! If the coconut burns before the crust has formed, turn the heat down a little.
  • Add more oil as needed and continue with the rest of the bread. Serve the french toast warm with the banana caramel syrup
  • For the banana caramel syrup: In a pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and mix to combine. Once the butter and sugar are incorporated together, stop stirring and let the mixture come to a low boil. Without stirring, let the sugar mixture boil for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the whipping cream and whisk to combine. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. Add the rum and banana slices. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute or until the bananas begin to soften, but you don't want them to turn mushy.
  • Spoon the bananas and caramel syrup directly over the french toast. Serve immediately.
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    Lemon Coconut Biscotti with White Chocolate

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    This holiday season, I have decided to switch things up a bit and not make my normal “traditional” recipes. Instead of the same cookie and candy tray I usually make, I think I will give homemade granola for gifts, or these biscotti. Recipes that will keep for a long time, but aren’t as sweet as the expected holiday fare.

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    These biscotti are so light and lemony, the perfect treat with a cup of tea. I love the combination of lemon and coconut and the white chocolate on top give the perfect amount of sweetness. They ship well and keep for a long time. Wrap individually and they will stay fresh even longer.

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    Recipe adapted from Laughing Spatula

    Lemon Coconut Biscotti with White Chocoate

    Ingredients

    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about one medium lemon)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
    • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
    • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
      Garnish:
    • 1 cup shredded coconut
    • 1 package white chocolate chips

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter, sugar, salt, lemon rind, almond extract, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the lemon juice and eggs. Slowly add the flour and coconut, mixing until smooth. The dough will be sticky, I recommend flouring your hands or spatula when shaping the dough.
  • Tun the dough onto a large baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat.. Shape it into a log that’s about 13" long x 3" wide x 3⁄4" thick. Try to straighten the sides and smooth the top the best you can.
  • Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool on the pan anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes.. Reduce the oven heat to 325°F.
  • Use a serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1⁄2" slices.
  • Place the biscotti back on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 30 to 35 minutes, till they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden around the edges. Biscotti will harden as they cool, so do not over-bake. Cool biscotti on wire rack.
  • While biscotti cool, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Place the coconut on a large plate. Dip biscotti into chocolate, then in coconut. Allow chocolate to set. Store biscotti in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.
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    Caramel Apple Recipe Roundup

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    I’ve compiled a round-up for you of all the Caramel Apple recipes from Caramel Apple Week’s 2014 & 2015, all in one handy list. I hope you find an idea to inspire you, and that caramel recipe really to die for! If you don’t feel like taking the time to dip the apples, try my Salted Caramel Sauce for a delicious dip for apple slices!

    #blondegirlcravings and show me your caramel apple creations!

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    Caramel Apple Popcorn

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    Tropical Caramel Apple

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    Granola Crunch Caramel Apple

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    Cookies & Cream Caramel Apple

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    Apple Pie Caramel Apple

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    Chunky Monkey Caramel Apple

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    Peanut Butter Lovers Caramel Apple

    167

    Turtle Caramel Apple

    133

    Smore’s Caramel Apple

    146

    Samoa Caramel Apple

    109

    Cranberry Bliss Caramel Apple

    116

    Almond Joy Caramel Apple

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    Kitchen Sink Caramel Apple

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    Ball park Caramel Apple

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    Tropical Banana Bread

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    Some may call me crazy, but I already have most of my Christmas shopping done. Purchased at least, anything that needs to be crafted or assembled will happen closer to the holiday.

    Since most of the gifts are bought, I thought I should start getting a leg up on purchasing holiday baking ingredients. I love to bake more than ever around the holiday’s, but it can get expensive!

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    One ingredient that I always have on hand? Bananas! A few always seem to brown before they get eaten, so into my freezer they go. This banana bread is a fun twist on the traditional loaf. I took all the ingredients I loved in my Tropical Blondies and added them to a super quick and simple bread. Delicious!

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    Tropical Banana Bread

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
    • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
    • 1 cup chopped dried pineapple
    • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 to 3 medium bananas)
    • ⅓ cup coconut oil, in its liquid state
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spay a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray, set aside.
  • In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat toast the coconut and macadamia nuts until they become lightly golden. Remove from the heat immediately. Set aside.
  • Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  • Mix together the eggs, banana, coconut oil,and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine.
  • Stir in the coconut, nuts (reserve some for the top if you like) and pineapple. Pour into the prepared pan. Top with reserved coconut and macadamia nuts.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You may have to tent the top if the coconut or nuts start to get too brown.
  • Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
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    Recipe adapted from Cookies & Cups

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    German Chocolate No-Churn Ice Cream

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    Being single and living alone (at least when the kids are with Dad) had created some “single person behaviors” in me. The least embarrassing one I am willing to admit? I only eat ice cream straight from the carton when I am alone. Call me crazy, but I swear that it tastes better that way. And while I’m at it, I might also eat it for dinner. What?? I’m an adult, I can do what I want!

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     This ice cream is nothing short of amazing. No churn chocolate ice cream, brownie pieces- box mix is just fine here!- and coconut pecan frosting. I am not a cake person, so to me this combo blows german chocolate cake right out of the water!

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    I am obsessed with no churn ice cream. I love the ease and not having to cook anything. Just two steps and done!

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    German Chocolate No-Churn Ice Cream

    Ingredients

    • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
      Frosting
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
    • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups chopped brownie pieces

    Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine your condensed milk and your vanilla extract.
  • Whip your heavy cream and cocoa powder in a large bowl until stiff peaks are formed, about 5 minutes on high.
  • Fold your whipped cream into your sweetened condensed milk.
  • For the frosting: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cream, egg yolk, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly as the butter melts. Once boiling, cook another 3-5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in pecans, coconut, and vanilla. Cool to room temperature. If making ahead of time, refrigerate in an airtight container then microwave in 5-10 second intervals or until spreadable.
  • Pour half of your ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container. Layer in half the brownie pieces and swirl in half the frosting. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Freeze 4 hours.
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    Tropical White Chocolate Blondies

     

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    As much as I love blogging and I love reading the blog posts of others, I can’t help but get a little frustrated when I think I have a brilliant idea for a new recipe, only to open my inbox and see that someone else has beat me to it. That happened to me not once, but twice this week! I guess I should just feel confident that it is a good idea if someone else posted an extremely similar idea??

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    Someone else posting a similar recipe didn’t stop me from sharing this recipe with you because these blondies are so stinking good! And not only are they delicious, they really couldn’t be any easier and they keep for days. A win-win!

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    I love the texture of all the add-ins in these blondies. Crunch from macadamia nuts, chew from the candied pineapple and coconut. Delicious!

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    Tropical White Chocolate BLondies

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or rum extract)
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup chopped toasted macadamia nuts
    • 1/2 cup chopped candied (dried) pineapple
    • 1/2 cup toasted coconut
    • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the flour and stir until just combined, don't over-mix. Stir in the nuts, pineapple, coconut and white chocolate chips. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  • Bake for about 22 to 26 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow blondies to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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    Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

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    Almond Joy No-Churn Ice Cream

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    Most of the time when I go grocery shopping I am a bargain hunter. Other than ketchup, most items that are not name brand are okay with me. Ice cream is an exception to that rule though. I hate spending close to $7 for a gallon of ice cream in my small town, but the store brands are really terrible. You should never be able to count how many cookie dough pieces are in the carton!

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    That being said, if I am going to make homemade ice cream I am going to do it right. Lots of texture, and tons of mix-ins.

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    I am not shy when it comes to the almonds, toasted coconut and fudge pieces in this no-churn ice cream. It comes together quickly and tastes a million times better than anything you would but in the store. The fudge pieces stay nice and soft and chewy, and the almonds add the perfect amount of crunch.

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    Almond Joy No-Churn Ice Cream

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
    • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
    • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup toasted sweetened shredded coconut
    • 1/2 cup sliced or chopped salted almonds (I used a combo of both)

    Instructions

  • To make ice cream: Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks occur, careful not to over whip. The cream will be done when you pull the beaters out and it stands at attention. Gently fold in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla with a spatula, slowly incorporating so it stays light and aerated. Transfer the mixture to an insulated tub or paper container. Add in fudge pieces, coconut and almonds. Freeze for 4-6 hours.
  • To make fudge pieces: In a small saucepan set over low heat or a double boiler, melt chocolate, corn syrup, and cream until chocolate is melted and mixture forms a smooth paste. You can also do this in the microwave, heating the ingredients on half-power inn 15 second intervals, stirring in between.
  • Pour chocolate mixture out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spread into an even 1/4-inch thick layer. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap, pressing onto surface of chocolate, and chill until firm. While ice cream is churning, remove plastic wrap from chocolate sheet and turn onto a cutting board. Cut into 1/2-inch squares. Return pieces to sheet pan and freeze until ready to use.
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    Fudge Chunk Recipe Source: Love and Olive Oil

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