Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookie Bars

Happy Lord’s Day readers!  I hope that today was a beautiful day for you all.

It rained here.  Awwwesomme!

I have something for you too.  Mmm hmm.  I think you’ll like it too.  They are cookies.  Bar cookies with dark chocolate (Ooo!) and coconut (Ahh!).

The cookie part is basically a butter cookie.  Delish.  The topping is dark chocolate and sprinkled with coconut.  Could you ask for any more?  Nope.  That’s pretty much all you need.  Butter + dark chocolate + coconut = happiness.

Here’s a photo~

DSCN0985

I’ll not keep you waiting any longer with my chit-chat.  Here is my Sunday gift to you! :)

Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookie Bars 

makes 12 cookie bars

ingredients~

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly butter a baking sheet.

In a medium sized bowl, beat together the brown sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat gently.  Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together.

DSCN0981

Spread the dough out on the baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, just until lightly brown.

DSCN0982

Pull the pan from the oven and sprinkle on the chocolate.  Return to the oven for 1 more minute.

DSCN0983

Now, remove the pan from the oven and the chocolate chips will be soft and melty.  Spread them out with a spatula or butter knife to coat the cookie in the melted chocolate.

Sprinkle on the coconut and let the bars cool.  Then if you are really patient put them in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to get them all nice and cold.  OOHH my are they good cold.  It’s worth the wait!  :)

DSCN0985

So, enjoy these and share them with your favorite people.  :)

Bon appetit!

♥,  Hannah

Oatmeal Creme Pies

In the summer, I am vendor at the Kewaskum Farmers Market.  I bake cupcakes and cookies to sell and it is sooo much fun.  :)

These are my best selling cookies.  These are the cookies everyone loves.  So here they are, just waiting to find their way to your mixing bowls, ovens, and mouths.  Please do not wait another day to make these.  It would be cruel.

DSCN0898

Oatmeal Creme Pies

makes 6 to-die-for cookie sandwiches

ingredients for the cookies~

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups organic oats (not quick)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips  (optional)

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

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add the egg and beat just a little bit.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add to batter and beat well.

Fold in the cinnamon and oats (and white chocolate chips if using).

DSCN0899

Roll into 12 equal sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheets.  Sprinkle the dough balls with a bit of flour and press down to a 1/4 inch thickness.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to brown lightly.  You want these cookies soft!

Cool for five minutes on the baking sheet and then finish cooling on a wire rack.

DSCN0892

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting~

ingredients~

  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • heavy cream, to reach desired consistency

Beat together the butter, cream cheese, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.  Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat well in between each addition.  Drizzle in heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time, to reach the desired spreadable yet thick consistency you need.

DSCN0893

Spread on the underside of a cooled cookie and place another cookie on top to sandwich the frosting in.

DSCN0895 DSCN0896

There you have it!  The cookies are great as plain, unfrosted cookies too.  And the cookie dough?  OH MY.  It is sooo good.  It’s my favorite cookie dough.  :)

DSCN0898

Bon appetit! ♥

A Day of Baking #2

Hello readers!  I hope this post finds you all well and joyful.

Today I’m doing another baking day story.  This time I did it with a friend.  Mrs. Ferrell at Thankful Homemaker had me over for a day of gluten-free baking.  We made three different treats, and all were gluten-free and delicious.  :)

First, we made some Gluten-Free Butter Cookies found on Elana’s Pantry.  They were made of simple, real ingredients and were rich and soft.  I would definitely make these again!

DSCN0797

Then we mixed up some Gluten-Free Banana Bread.  It didn’t taste much different from regular banana bread and was moist and well-flavored.  I love banana anything so this was a favorite of mine.  :)

DSCN0801

And last but not least, we made cupcakes!  I have never made cupcakes with almond flour before so this was new territory for me.  The cake was moist and had a nice texture.  You could definitely taste the almonds but I love almonds so it was fine by me!  :)

DSCN0802

For the frosting, we made a regular vanilla buttercream which went well with the cupcakes.  You can use your favorite frosting recipe to go with these cupcakes.

So there you have it!  It was a lovely day and I had such a nice time with Mrs. Ferrell.  We even took a selfie.  Haha.  :)

11304139_10153192895596391_1481836798_n

♥, Hannah

Saturday #1

Happy Saturday readers!

Today my sister, Emma, and I went on a bike ride to Kewaskum, the town 3 miles away.  We love to do this in the warmer months and this was our first of the year.

To start, we went to our library to pick up Big Hero Six for some siblings at home who are quite crazy about that movie right now.  I still haven’t seen it and everyone keeps telling me I need too.  :)

DSCN0918

DSCN0917

Next we headed to my favorite place in Kewaskum, a little coffee shop and bistro called Coffee Corner.  I go there all of the time.  They use local foods and bake and cook everything fresh.  It’s the best.

DSCN0908

LOOK AT HOW CUTE IT IS.  Seriously.  I love Kewaskum.

To drink, I got a iced coffee with almond syrup and Emma got a shake with hazelnut and espresso called Vienna Cream Puff.

DSCN0907

For food, we got a Cinnamon Chip Scone to share.  To a cinnamon freak like me it was truly perfect.

I had almost finished my half when I realized that I hadn’t taken a picture of it and so I snapped one of what was left.  Haha.  :)

DSCN0916

We played way to much tic-tac-toe and Emma wouldn’t let me stop because she kept winning.

She also snatched my Nikon and took some photos of me savoring my iced coffee.

DSCN0912 DSCN0913

So everyone this was my Saturday.  :)

Hope yours was nice too!

♥,  Hannah

Banana Cinnamon Granola

Granola is a staple for me.  I love nothing better than a bowl of yogurt and granola for breakfast.  Or a midnight snack.

There are endless possibilities to granola.  If you search granola on Pinterest you could scroll for hours.  Seriously.  It’s a bottomless pit of pure granola bliss.  (That’s an imperfect rhyme!  I should become a poet.)

I love nutty, fruity, crunchy, crisp granolas best.  Not the ultra-sugary typical boxed stuff.  I like the homemade kinds.  Oh it’s so good with natural sugars, healthy nuts, and organic oats.

I have done three other granolas on here before.  The first was my Maple Almond Granola, the second was my Pumpkin Spice Granola, and the third was Gingersnap Granola. (Click on the names to check them out!)

Here is the newest addition to my granola collection, Banana Cinnamon Granola.  Bananas because bananas are perfect and beautiful, and cinnamon for the same reasons.  :)

So, let us begin.

Banana Cinnamon Granola

makes about 14 cups

ingredients~

  • 1/4 cup (4 TBS) coconut oil
  • 2 TBS raw, local honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large banana, mashed well
  • 12 cups organic, gluten free oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp real sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups unsweetened banana chips, broken into smaller pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan melt together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla over medium heat until bubbly.  Remove from heat and whisk in the mashed banana.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, toss together the oats, coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and salt.

DSCN0883[1]

Next, pour in the coconut oil/banana mixture and stir well to coat the oats.

DSCN0885[1]

Now mix in the water and stir the granola well.  Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 10 minutes.  Stir to prevent the granola from burning.

DSCN0887[1]

Bake for another 10 minutes and stir again.  Guess what?  Bake for ANOTHER 10 minutes and stir and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees F.  Guess what?! Bake for 10 minutes more!  Then you are done!

DSCN0889[1]

Remove the pans from the oven and let the granola cool in the pans.  When it is cool, stir in the banana chips and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

DSCN0891[1]

I love this granola.  It’s healthy, tasty, and made wonderful by bananas.

Bon appetit! ♥

Portobello Mushroom & Brie Melts

Ahh.  Back to a brie recipe.  I have done a lot of sweets lately, (nothing wrong with that!) so it’s good to work with brie again.  :)

If I could have only one cheese for the rest of my life it would be brie.  It’s creamy, dreamy, and oh so indulgent.  How about you?  What is your favorite cheese?  :)

I have never really liked mushrooms.  I have memories from being a little girl and trying a breaded and deep-fried mushroom and thinking, “This is gross.  I  don’t like mushrooms!”  Haha.  But not all mushrooms are deep-fried.

Hobbits like mushrooms you know.  I remember watching Fellowship of the Ring for the first time and when I saw how excited Hobbits got over mushrooms, I thought, “Eww, why do these cute little Hobbits like those nasty mushrooms?”  Haha.  Well, for years I steered clear of mushrooms.

But then, my Mom made these melts.  These melts.  With my cheese, my brie.  Oh my, oh my.  Mushrooms where have you been?  I always thought of the deep-fried soggy sadness of my first mushroom tasting.  But these melts defied those and made mushrooms an entirely new thing for me.  They were tender and flavorful, meaty and juicy.

I asked my Mom to show me how to make these open-faced sandwiches, and she gladly complied.  She is such a wonderful chef and teacher!  (I know she’s reading this.  Hi Mom!)

So, here they are.  Succulent, flavorful, and sure to cure any mushroom hate.

Portobello Mushroom & Brie Melts   makes 4 melts

ingredients~

  • 4 slices bread
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 6 TBS. olive oil, divided
  • 8 thin slices of brie
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Toast the bread.

DSCN0809

Heat a griddle to medium – high and drizzle on 3 tbs of the olive oil.

Place the mushroom caps face down on the griddle, like so~

DSCN0815

Cook for 6-8 minutes, until starting to shrink and brown nicely.

Flip and cook for another 6-8 minutes.  Drizzle on the remaining 3 TBS olive oil.

RSCN0822

Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

Place the toast on a baking sheet and place each mushroom on a piece of toast. Top each with 2 slices of brie.

DSCN0818

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and drizzle on the balsamic vinegar.

DSCN0824

Serve immediately.

Bon appetit.  :)

Fruit & Veggie Chicken Salad

Hello friends!  Today I have another chicken salad recipe for you.

This one is very different from my first.  My first was a Curried Chicken Salad which was warm and slightly spicy.

This new one is more cool and refreshing.  Perfect to satisfy in the hot summer months to come!  :)

The ingredients are simple, real, and full of flavor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fruit & Veggie Chicken Salad

ingredients~

  • 3 cups cooked and cubed organic chicken
  • 3 carrots, julienned
  • 1 1/2 cups red grapes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, carrots, grapes, and onion.  Add in the mayo and sour cream and stir together until well combined and creamy.

Add in the spices and stir the chicken salad very well.  You want everything coated in the spices!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And there you have it!  Easy, cooling, and oh so tasty.  Serve it on your favorite bread, crackers, or just use a fork.  I like to add a little spice to mine with some crushed red pepper.  :)

Bon appetit!