Tag Archives: almond

coconut ohmygosh bars

28 Oct

This isn’t really a “new” recipe. In fact, it’s not much of a recipe rather than a last-minute bake-off to use my shredded coconut before it expires – because letting anything expire in your pantry is just so sad. But my oh my, this accidental treat is yummy yummy yummy in my tummy (and a problem for my hips!). These bars are SO sweet and decadent, yet there is something about the combination of caramel and coconut and hazelnuts that is just to die for. The caramel brittle at the bottom just has the right combination of salty crunch and sweet caramel, and the coconut layer is chewy and delicious, and of course you then come aross the bittersweet chocolate layer on top with the added crunch of the toasted nuts. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry because I have no more bars left. You can seriously substitute everything in this recipe and just use my recipe as a guideline, and create your own ohmygosh bars with whatever you have lying around in your pantry. Seriously, all you need is a yummy caramel base, and top it with whatever your heart desires. I simply used my pecan praline caramel cracker recipe and then modified it slightly. Trust me, make double the recipe, keep half for yourself and give the other half away. That way, you’ll seem like the most amazing and generous friend in the world – while eating your own stash secretly in the privacy of your own home. You can have your ohmygosh bars and eat them too ;) Seriously, I have found a new religion in these bars.

stacks and stacks of "ohmygosh, these are amazing" bars

stacks and stacks of "ohmygosh, these are amazing" bars

look at all that gooey chewy coconut filling on top of that crunchy caramel brittle, smothered in chocolate!

look at all that gooey chewy coconut filling on top of that crunchy caramel brittle, smothered in chocolate!

who am I kidding - no one eats these with a fork

who am I kidding - no one eats these with a fork

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 40 salted soda crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 can) condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts

How-to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.
  2. Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers, covering all parts.
  3. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the coconut and the condensed milk. You can use more of the condensed milk if you find the coconut mix to be too dry, but I found that 1/2 cup was just enough to bind the coconut together and provide the right amount of sweetness.
  5. Spread the coconut mixture evenly over your caramel-covered crackers.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, making sure that the corners of the caramel or the coconut layer doesn’t get too dark. You want it to be golden.
  7. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle your chocolate chips evenly over the coconut. Return to the oven just for 2 minutes, to soften the chocolate.
  8. Using an off-set spatula, spread the chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts over top, and feel free to drizzle even more chocolate on top. Since I also had sliced almonds on hand, I sprinkled those on top too. The more, the merrier =)
  9. Enjoy!

xo dessertchick

pecan praline caramel crack(er) bars

15 Jun
I am a HUGE fan of Deb from Smitten Kitchen. I love the photography, the food, the desserts, the blog posts, the desserts and the desserts. Have I mentioned I love Smitten Kitchen? When I saw this recipe a while ago, I bookmarked it, gave it a thumbs up, added it to my favourites, emailed myself a copy and the link, and wrote it into my blackberry as a reminder. As you can see, I really really really wanted to make this. And let me tell you – this was the best decision I have ever made in my entire 21 3/4 years that I’ve been alive. Deb from Smitten Kitchen has dubbed them, tongue-in-cheek, as chocolate caramel crack(ers) because these babies truly are addicting. As in, once you try one, you won’t and can’t stop until you have finished every single crumb – or until someone has the courage to try to sneak them out from under your nose.
I didn’t have matzo crackers, so I opted for salted soda crackers, which were fantastic! I adjusted the recipe ever so slightly: I used a bag of pecans that I bought a week ago, and made praline to sprinkle on top of these crack(er) bars, as well as the toasted almonds. Hmm, I don’t know about you, but I love the taste and smell of toasted, crunchy, sugary pecans and the nutty toasted flavour of sliced almonds. Oh, and I drizzled more chocolate on top for good measure. The combination of the chocolate, nuts  and caramel crack(er) bars and you’ve got yourself a winner and a one-way-ticket to heaven. This recipe was ridiculously (and dangerously) easy. Proceed, read on, and make these crack bars, at  your own risk. =)
a whole sheet of insanity

a whole sheet of insanity

how can you go wrong with so much goodness in one bar?

how can you go wrong with so much goodness in one bar?

yumminess comes in all shapes and sizes...

yumminess comes in all shapes and sizes...

...either giant wedges of crack(ers)

...either giant wedges of crack(ers)...

...or neat little squares of crack(ers)....

...or neat little squares of crack(ers)....

...one (or two or three) will never be enough.

...one (or two or three) will never be enough.

So just resign yourself to eating the whole bowl.

So just resign yourself to eating the whole bowl.

And don't tell your friends about them.

And don't tell your friends about them.

That way, you can have your crack(er) bars AND the crumbs all to yourself.

That way, you can have your crack(er) bars AND the crumbs all to yourself.

Recipe

(adapted from Deb at Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 40 salted soda crackers
  • 1/2 cup  butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds slices
  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

How-to:

  1. First, let’s make the pecan praline. In a pan, toast the pecans over medium heat while watching and stirring carefully. Once you can smell the pecans toasting (about 5 to 8 minutes) add in the sugar, and mix well. Stir continuously, making sure the sugar melts thoroughly and doesn’t burn. The goal is to caramelize the sugar without turning too dark and bitter. It should turn nice and brown and smell like delicious caramel. Spread onto a sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate until you’re ready for it later.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.
  3. Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers, covering all parts.
  4. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
  5. Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.
  6. Take your praline out of the fridge and break into small pieces.
  7. Remove your caramel-covered crackers from the oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. Now, sprinkle the chocolate with the praline pieces and the toasted almonds. If you want, drizzle more chocolate on top.
  8. Once completely cool (just pop it into the fridge for 20 minutes), break it into pieces and store it in a container.
  9. Test out your willpower by eating only once – and then watch your willpower fail you.

xo dessertchick

lemon almond toffee biscotti – homemade is best

21 May

I work at Starbucks, and even though the pastries are pretty mundane, I found myself buying the biscotti like there was no tomorrow. Between the sugar overdose and the plastic-taste, the biscotti really had nothing to boast about. I figured I’d give making biscotti a try, since I do love to curl up with a cup of coffee or tea, a cookie and a book. And biscotti are the cookie’s healthy cousin. Sort of.

Anyhow, it turns out that biscotti is uber easy, and took no time at all to prep – the baking time is longer than making cookies, but the pay off is huge. The basic recipe stays the same for all biscotti, and you can just mix and match what kind of flavours you want. I chose to go with lemon, almonds and toffee because those were the ones I had on hand =)

Oh, and I did dip them in chocolate and then drizzled them in more chocolate. Just because I could.

more pretty martini glasses courtesy of my parents

more pretty martini glasses courtesy of my parents

plain and yummy: almond, toffee and lemon

plain and yummy: almond, toffee and lemon

less plain and even yummier: chocolate dipped and chocolate drizzled!

less plain and even yummier: chocolate dipped and chocolate drizzled!

up close and personal with my favourite sin: chocolate

up close and personal with my favourite sin: chocolate

coffee & biscotti - what a match

coffee & biscotti - what a match

a sneak peek to what's awaiting you!

a sneak peek to what's awaiting you!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • zest of two lemons
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds with skin
  • 1/4 cup toffee pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

How-to:

  1. Toast almonds in a 475 degrees F oven for about 8 minutes. Coarsely chop the almonds, set aside and allow to cool.
  2. Combine sugar, butter, lemon zest, and vanilla extract in a large bowl, then add in almonds and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined.
  3. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 loaves on an ungreased large baking sheet.
  5. Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer loaves to a rack and allow to cool 15 minutes.
  6. Cut loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife. Arrange biscotti, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. About 10 minutes in, flip biscotti over.  Transfer to rack to cool completely.
  7. Dip in chocolate and/or start eating them.

xo dessertchick

quadruple chocolatey melting moments cookie sandwiches

3 May

Move over, triple chocolate chip cookie! Move over! A new cookie has come to town, and it’s going to own y’all old-fashioned, traditional cookies! Well, at least that’s my opinion on how this showdown would go down between these melting moments (with a new twist) and any other ordinary chocolate cookie. Yes, tradition and simplicity has its time, but tonight was not it. My kitchen senses demanded that I attempt these melting moment cookies after a failed attempt that I did not dare blog about. Let’s just say that rocks would have been tastier than those cookies. Anyhow, this time, they were indeed MELTING and not shattering my teeth, which is always an indicator of success! These cookies are taken from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2 (I’m currently in love with her book!) but with a twist! Since I still had almond meal left over, I substituted 1/2 cup of flour for 1/2 cup almond meal. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon for some added depth, and then of course the major changes: dark chocolate shavings inside the batter (because shavings melt easier in your mouth!), semi sweet chocolate dipping for one half of the cookies, white chocolate dipping for the other half of the cookie, and a rich chocolate ganache that is probably in sandwich heaven between two melting moment cookies.

Bon appetit & you’re welcome =) Also, I do not take responsibility regarding the breaking of diet vows and such!

melting moments: naked and simple

melting moments: naked and simple

do dip in chocolate! the chocolatier, the merrier!

do dip in chocolate! the chocolatier, the merrier!

For some....this may be adventurous enough...

For some....this may be adventurous enough...

....but for others, this is the holy grail!

....but for others, this is the holy grail!

Behold the ultimate melting moment cookie sandwich!

Behold the ultimate melting moment cookie sandwich!

hmmm the money shot!

hmmm the money shot!

Recipe

Meltin Moments Ingredients (adapted from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2)

  • 6 oz butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chocolate shavings (or mini chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate for dipping
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine butter, icing sugar, and vanilla in bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in flour, almond meal, cornstarch and cinnamon until combined.
  4. Place the mixture into a piping bag, and pipe 1inch rounds onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silpad. Allow some room for spreading.
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe can be found here.

Final Assembly

  1. Melt semi sweet chocolate and white chocolate in separate bowls. Use double boiler or microwave.
  2. Dip half the cookies in the semi sweet chocolate, and the other half in white chocolate. Lay on parchment paper until cooled and dry.
  3. Spread the chocolate ganache onto one side of the melting moments, and top off with another, making sure it’s always white & semi sweet chocolate covered melting moments together.
  4. Eat, eat, eat!

xo dessertchick

coconut butter thin yumminess

30 Apr

I still had almond meal left over from the almond logs I made, so I figured I might as well make these delicious coconut butter thins from Tuesdays with Dorie. I came upon this adaptation of the original recipe on The Brown Eyed Baker, and since adaptation (and running out of ingredients) is the mother of invention, I thought I’d give these a go with a few tweaks.

Since my blog is called Chocolate Fool, it is hard to make something that doesn’t involve chocolate – and why would I want to? =) I didn’t have enough macadamia nuts and couldn’t run to the store at 1am, so I used half chopped macadamia nuts and half chopped almonds. I also only had a really sad looking, shrivelled lime, so I used the zest of two lemons. And since I still had some almond meal, I substituted 1/2 of flour for almond meal. These beauties came out wonderfully – they had the lacy edges that Dorie spoke of, and the combination of coconut/almonds/macadamia nuts and lemon was amazing.

The dipping in chocolate was really not necessary, but it does give these cookies an extra push – and the sprinkle of coconut flakes on top is just oh so pretty!

what rows of beauties!

what rows of beauties!

for those who don't like too much chocolate...

for those who don't like too much chocolate...

....but for me, a cookie without chocolate, is a sad cookie.

....but for me, a cookie without chocolate, is a sad cookie.

lemony & nutty - what a perfect combination.

lemony & nutty - what a perfect combination.

and yet, the chocolate, lemon and almonds combination certainly kicks ass

and yet, the chocolate, lemon and almonds combination certainly kicks ass

Recipe

(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, who adapted it from Tuesdays with Dorie)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground coriander
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut + extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup semit sweet chocolate

How-to:

  1. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt and coriander.
  2. If you want to get a little more flavor out of the lemon zest, put the sugar and zest in the
    mixer bowl and, using your fingertips or spoon, work the zest into the sugar until the sugar is
    moist and the mixture fragrant.
  3. Working with a stand mixer or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and zest on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until smooth.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear.
  5. Add the coconut and nuts and pulse to incorporate them.
  6. There will probably be some dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl – don’t work them in with the mixer, just reach into the bowl and knead them in.
  7. Transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9×10 1/2-inch rectangle that’s ¼inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag,
    pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days.
  8. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  9. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  10. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the dough out onto the board
    (discard the bag), and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut it into 32 squares,
    each roughly 1 ½ inches on a side.
  11. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them.
  12. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at
    the midway point.
  13. The shortbreads will be very pale – they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack and cool to room temperature.
  14. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth. Dip half of the cookies in the chocolate, and lay on wax paper to cool. Sprinkle with coconut flakes before the chocolate sets.
  15. Wow your friend and family – but make sure to keep some for yourself!

xo dessertchick

roll up your sleeves for some almond logs!

30 Apr

I love almonds. I mean, I absolutely adore almonds, and will pretty much snack on them whenever I can. In an attempt to find something that will top the deliciousness of my chocolate almond florentine cookies, I thought I’d give baking with almond meal a shot. After seeing how yummy these cookies turned out on Baking For The Cure, I whipped a batch up at 12am and had to wait until the next day to actually bake them, because these babies do require lots of refrigeration.

The dough is quite easy, as is the dipping and rolling in almond slices. The only time consuming part is the waiting for the dough to harden up enough to roll into logs, and then harden up once more after the rolling in almonds and before they go into the oven. In the end, this light and lemony butter cookie complements the toasted almond favour to a tee. I will definitely make these again, and my mom approved – and mom knows best!

almond logs right out of the oven

almond logs right out of the oven

I've decided to invest in wax paper, to save my sanity from the messes I make

I've decided to invest in wax paper, to save my sanity from the messes I make

a bowl full of goodness

a bowl full of goodness

meet the regular almond log...

meet the regular almond log...

...and now meet its cooler cousins, the chocolate almond logs

...and now meet its cooler cousins, the chocolate almond logs

look! the buttery, crumbly, citrusy, delicious inside!

look! the buttery, crumbly, citrusy, delicious inside!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • zest from 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup finely ground almonds
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups almond slices
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate

How-to:

  1. In a bowl, mix together the butter, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla extract until combined.
  2. Add the flour and the almonds and mix just until getting a dough. Cover, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.
  3. When dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 330F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or your trusty silpad.
  4. I like to use a pan, and dry roast the almond slices until golden brown to give them an extra nutty flavour. I found that the baking time in the oven didn’t brown the almond slices enough to make them nice and crunchy. Once toasted, put the almond slices into a bowl and set aside to cool down.
  5. Form the dough into 1 1/2inch long and 1/4 inch diameter rolls from the chilled dough. I found that the dough was very buttery, so the warmth from my hands would melt start melting them after I made 2 rolls. I had to keep washing my hands in cold water to keep the dough from melting and sticking.
  6. After all the logs have been formed, dip each roll in the egg whites, and then in the toasted sliced almonds. Gently press the almonds to the cookie rolls. Place cookies on the baking tray, and chill for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cookies are golden.
  8. Melt the chocolate and drizzle over cooled cookies.
  9. Munch away!

xo dessertchick

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