Stir together flour, cocoa powder, coconut, yeast, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
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.
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).
Chocolate Caramel Shortbread
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
- 1/4 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.
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.
This basic dessert recipe is super simple, though it does require that you prepare it ahead of time. The silver lining is you can make it in advance and store it in the fridge!
Salted Chocolate Ganache
Heat cream, chocolate and salt in a double boiler over low heat, stirring constantly.
Add butter, stirring until smooth and glossy.
Stir in rum.
Pour into prepared crust and let cool.
Place in refrigerator for at least an hour.
Top with raspberries, fresh whipped cream, and chopped hazelnuts.
Shortbread Pastry Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade, pulse together 1 cup of all-purpose flour and sugar. Pulse in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press firmly into the bottom of prepared pan of choice.
Bake for 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm and slightly golden. Set aside to cool.
What do you make when your husband requests dessert, but you’re fresh out of eggs? The first thing that came to my mind was pie! I had a pound or so of apples on hand, but I was afraid they would create a skimpy pie. After putting on my thinking cap, I decided to try my hand at an Apple Turnover.
Spiced Apple Turnover
Adapted from Bon Appetit Just Desserts
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp wheat germ
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4-8 tbsp ice cold water
- 1 1/2 pounds cooking apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp dried currants
- 1 tsp spiced rum
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (it could’ve used a smidge more)
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 6 tsp plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade, pulse flour, sugar, wheat germ, and salt. Add butter, pulsing between additions until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 4 tbsp ice cold water, pulsing until just combined. Add additional water until dough ball just forms. Divide dough into 6 balls, mine weighed 2 1/4 oz each. Wrap separately in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients through lemon juice. Let stand 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
- Preheat oven to 400. On a floured work surface, roll out dough balls individually (leaving remaining balls in fridge) into an 8 inch circle. Scoop 1/2 cup apple filling onto bottom half of the round, leaving a border around the edges. Dot filling with 1 tsp butter. Lightly brush edges with juice in the filling bowl. Fold dough over filling and roll edges towards center to seal. Repeat for remaining 5 dough balls.
- Using a small, sharp knife, cut 2 slits in the top of each turnover to allow steam to escape. Melt remaining butter and mix with remaining juices from filling. Brush butter mixture over turnovers and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake turnovers until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.