Samoa Donuts | Desserts

For his birthday treat, Forrest requested Chocolate Donuts with caramel and coconut.  I spent a little time brainstorming with Goggle and came up with Samoa Donuts.  They were dense yet moist and got better as they aged.
Chocolate Cake Donut
1 cup  flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut 
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of baking soda
1/4 cup butter, softened
6 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk

Stir together flour, cocoa powder, coconut, yeast, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.  

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg, vanilla, and yogurt; mix until combined.  

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time, alternating with milk and mix just until combined.  

Drop into pregreased donut pan.

Bake in preheated 350 oven for 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean.

Let cool 5 minutes and remove from pan to cool completely.

    Caramel Coconut Sauce
    1 cup sweetened condensed milk
    1/2 cup coconut milk
    1 tbsp light corn syrup
    2 tbsp salted butter
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup shredded coconut 
    1/4 cup milk
    Spread coconut on baking sheet and lightly toast in a 200 degree oven for about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

    In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, corn syrup, and butter.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat slightly and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring continuously  until mixture thickens into a spreadable consistency, but it still fluid. 

    Remove from heat and add vanilla, coconut, and milk.  Stir to combine.  

    Samoa Donut Assembly

    Melt 4 oz dark chocolate.

    Dip cooled donut into warm caramel sauce.  Place in fridge for a few minutes to let firm. Repeat until desired thickness in reached (I did it twice).

    Drizzle top of donut with melted dark chocolate.  Place in fridge to set.

    Remove from fridge and enjoy at room tempterature.  

        Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

        Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

        • Adapted from Bon Appetite Desserts



        • 1 cup all purpose flour
        • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
        • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
        • 1/4 teaspoon salt
        • 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cubed
        • 1 tablespoon coldwater
        • 1 large egg yolk


        • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
        • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
        • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
        • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • ounces semisweet chocolate chips
        • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
        • Flaked sea salt 
        • DIrections


        • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 11x7x2-inch metal baking pan. Blend first 4 ingredients in processor. Add butter. Using on/off turns, blend until coarse meal forms. Add 1 tablespoon ice water and egg yolk. Blend until moist clumps form. Press dough onto bottom of pan; pierce all over with fork. Bake until golden, piercing if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.


        • Whisk ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, butter melts, and mixture comes to gentle boil. Boil very gently until caramel is thickened, stirring constantly, about 6 minutes. Pour caramel evenly over crust; cool 15 minutes to set.

        • CHOCOLATE:

          Melt chocolate and cream in microwave on defrost in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Spread chocolate over warm caramel; sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.

        Homemade Peppermint Patties

        Peppermint Patties have always been a favorite treat in my house.  We used to keep bags of bite sized York Peppermint Patties in the pantry to always have an after lunch treat.  Once we went natural, the originals were replaced by Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Mint Creams.  Now, the poor TJ’s version has been replaced by these homemade treats.

        Homemade Peppermint Patties are easier than you’d think.  The downside is, they don’t last very long!  I imagine I’ll have to make a batch a week to keep up with demand.

        Homemade Peppermint Patties
        Adapted from Design Sponge


        • 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
        • 2 1/2 tbsp cold water
        • 1 tbsp coconut oil
        • 1 tbsp light corn syrup (Wholesome Sweeteners makes an organic option)
        • 2 tsp peppermint oil
        • 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
        • 1 tbsp coconut oil
        1. Combine powered sugar, water, coconut oil, corn syrup, and peppermint oil in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until it comes together.  
        2. Dampen your hands and form mixture into a ball.  Place on parchment paper and flatten into desired thickness.  Add powdered sugar as necessary to keep from sticking.  Use a small cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes.  
        3. Place shapes onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Put finished shapes in freezer for 30 minutes.  
        4. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and coconut oil, stirring until smooth.
        5. Coat peppermint shapes with chocolate mixture, working quickly to avoid too much softening.  I don’t worry about the messy extra chocolate, it’s just bonus chocolate! 
        6. Allow candies to set in refrigerator on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Store in refrigerator. 

        Key Lime Pound Cake

        Unseasonably warm weather in Virginia Beach has us longing for beach days despite of the date on the calendar. To make it feel just a little bit more like summer, we enjoyed this Key Lime Pie Pound Cake.

        Key Lime Pound Cake
        Adapted from Southern Living

        • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened
        • 2 cups sugar
        • 6 large eggs
        • 3 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
        • 1/8 teaspoon salt
        • 1 cup milk
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 1 teaspoon lime zest
        • 1/4 cup Key lime juice
        • Double Batch of Key Lime Glaze (Recipe Follows)

        1. Preheat oven to 325°. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
        2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. At low speed, beat into butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch loaf pan.
        3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
        4. Cover with Key Lime Glaze and enjoy!

        Key Lime Glaze


        • 1 cup powdered sugar
        • 2 tbsp key lime juice
        • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
        1.  Whisk together and use immediately!

        Profiteroles with Ice Cream & Chocolate Sauce

        I remember as a kid, my Mom loved Chocolate Éclairs.  While I thought they were pretty good, when given the choice at the bakery, I much preferred the sparkly butter cookies covered with a rainbow’s worth of colors.  Looking back, I realize éclairs were always the superior choice, my childish taste buds just didn’t know it yet.

        I started this recipe with the intention of making Éclairs.  I wasn’t happy with the shapes I was able to get out of the dough, and ended up with swirly poofs called Profiteroles.  I had a batch of ice cream already in the freezer, so I decided the pastry cream could wait until next time, as well.  While not the same as a creamy éclair, the Profiteroles with Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce we the perfect introduction to a once intimidating pastry called Choux.

        Choux (pronounced “shoo”) are puff shells made from a thick batter of butter, flour, eggs, milk and water. The mixture is cooked on the stovetop, then piped into a variety of shapes and sizes and baked in a hot oven. The moist interior and crisp shells are ideal for savory or sweet fillings. Store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or make them ahead and freeze for up to 1 month.

        Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Baking


        • 1/2 cup milk
        • 1/2 cup water
        • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
          1/2-inch pieces
        • 1/4 tsp. salt
        • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
        • 4 eggs


        Position 2 racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 425°F.

        In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, water, butter and salt and bring to a full boil. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat, add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until blended. Return the pan to medium heat and continue stirring until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from the heat and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes.

        Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk 1 of the eggs. When the batter has cooled, add the egg and beat with the spoon until incorporated. Whisk each of the remaining eggs one at a time, then stir into the batter. After each egg is added, the mixture will separate and appear shiny but will return to a smooth paste with vigorous beating. Let the paste cool for about 10 minutes before shaping.

        To shape small puffs (ideal for profiteroles), fit a pastry bag with a 3/16-inch plain tip and fill the bag with the paste. For each puff, pipe about 1 tsp. of the paste onto a prepared pan, forming a mound about 1/2 inch in diameter. Space the mounds at least 2 inches apart to allow for expansion.

        To shape large puffs (ideal for cream puffs), fit a pastry bag with a 5/8-inch plain tip and fill the bag with the paste. For each puff, pipe about 1 Tbs. of the paste onto a prepared pan, forming a mound about 2 inches in diameter. Space the mounds at least 2 inches apart to allow for expansion.

        To shape logs (ideal for éclairs), fit a pastry bag with a 3/4-inch plain tip and fill the bag with the paste. Pipe out logs 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. Space the logs at least 2 inches apart to allow for expansion.
        Bake the puffs for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and continue baking until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more for the small puffs and 15 to 20 minutes more for the large puffs and logs.

        Remove from the oven and immediately prick the side of each puff or log with the tip of a sharp knife. Return to the oven, leave the oven door open and allow the pastries to dry out for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the pastries cool completely on the pans before filling.

        Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

        Starbucks thinks they’re really clever, offering tiny Vanilla Bean Scones that are just big enough to make you fall in love, and just small enough to leave you wanting more.  I decided to seek out an at home version of these addictive pastries, and as always, The Pioneer Woman was there for me.

        Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
        Adapted from The Pioneer Woman



        • 3 cups all-purpose Flour
        • ⅔ cups sugar
        • 5 tsp baking powder
        • ¼ tsp salt
        • 2 sticks unsalted butter, ice cold and cubed
        • 1 egg
        • ¾ cups cream
        • 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste


        • 2 ½  cups powdered sugar, sifted
        • ½ cups whole milk
        • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
        • dash of salt


        Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

        Stir vanilla bean paste into cream. Set aside for 15 minutes.

        Sift together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry cutter (or food processor!) to cut the butter into the flour. Keep going until mixture resembles crumbs.

        Mix vanilla cream with egg, then combine with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork just until it comes together.

        Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick.  Use a knife to trim into a symmetrical rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 12 symmetrical squares/rectangles. Next, cut each square/rectangle in half diagonally, to form two triangles.   Cut into scone like shapes.

        Transfer to a lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until very lightly browned . Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

        To make the icing, stir vanilla bean paste into milk; allow to sit for awhile. Mix powdered sugar with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency the right thickness. Whisk until completely smooth.

        With scones on a slotted cooling rack, drizzle glaze over the top. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour.

        Salted Caramel & Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream

        For this super special ice cream dish, I made 2 batches of ice cream and gently stirred them together before full freezing to create a tasty treat.  The salted caramel ice cream takes a little extra work because you have to make the caramel, but the chocolate is SOO easy!

        Chocolate Ice Cream
        From Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

        • 2 cups milk
        • 4 tsp. cornstarch
        • 1 cup heavy cream
        • 1/2 cup sugar
        • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
        • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
        • 3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
        • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
        • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
        • 1/2 cup sugar
        • 1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate


        1. Make the ice cream: In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside. In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture.
        2. Make the chocolate sauce: Bring cocoa, brewed coffee, and sugar to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat; cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate.
        3. Stir sauce into ice cream base. Pour mixture into a plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set.

        Salted Caramel Ice Cream
        From Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

        • 2 cups whole milk
        • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
        • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
        • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
        • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
        • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
        • 2/3 cup sugar
        • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


        1. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
        2. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
        3. Mix the cream with the corn syrup in a measuring cup with a spout.
        4. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
        5. Heat the sugar in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Stand over the pan of sugar with a heatproof spatula ready, but do not touch the sugar until there is a full layer of melted and browning liquid sugar on the bottom with a smaller layer of unmelted white sugar on the top. When the edges of the melted sugar begin to darken, use the spatula to bring them into the center to help melt the unmelted sugar. Continue stirring and pushing the sugar around until it is all melted and evenly amber in color — like an old penny. When little bubbles begin to explode with dark smoke, give the sugar another moment and then remove from the heat. Immediately but slowly pour about 1/4 cup of the cream and corn syrup mixture into the burning-hot sugar. Be careful! It will pop and spit! Stir until it is incorporated, then add a bit more cream and stir, then continue until it is all in.
        6. Remove from the heat and, stirring constantly, slowly add a bit of the cream and corn syrup mixture to the caramel: It will fizzle, pop, and spurt. Stir until well combined, then add a little more and stir. Keep adding the cream a little at a time until all of it is incorporated.
        7. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the milk. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
        8. Bring back to a boil over medium-high and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. If any caramel flecks remain, pour the mixture through a sieve.
        9. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and whisk. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
        10. Pour into frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.
        11. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.
        12. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.