Mini Toasted Coconut Bundt Cakes

I couldn’t love spring more if I tried. I was the lucky one out of my siblings and I don’t have to worry about wheezing at the sight of the beautiful cherry trees in our front yard or getting itchy red eyes if the windows in my car are left open.  Typically, spring can also be a stressful time of year for me, but I didn’t have to take my end of year jury at MSM and I only have a few days left of school before I start my senior internship. It’s crazy how time flew by after all of my college acceptances!

DSC_2501I know I’ve mentioned it here before, but my mom runs a pretty cool website called The Weiser Kitchen, and now that I have time (???) it’s fun to test out her recipes once in awhile. These bundt cakes were given to me because the first time they didn’t turn out too well, but the addition of coconut oil and some RTTC magic, and presto, some delicious bundt cakes. Enjoy!

Mini Toasted Coconut Bundt Cakes: A TWK/RTTC Original

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups toasted coconut

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the coconut oil and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before the next addition. Add the vanilla paste (or vanilla extract).
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
  3. Alternate adding the coconut milk and the flour mixture until just combined. Add the toasted coconut and fold in until just combined.
  4. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

We can put off the whole “get fit for summer trend” until next week, right? 🙂

-Rayna

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Pomegranate Coconut Pumpkin Butter

Wow, is it nice to be back! I seriously missed blogging when I was insanely busy doing college applications, schoolwork, signing up for (one too many) extracurricular, and other high school stuff. While it’s all far from over, yesterday, I was able to record my tapes for pre-screening (the step before auditions), so now I can finally submit all of my applications and have that part of the process done with!

One of the crazier things that I’m doing this year is playing in 5 separate chamber ensembles. If you’re a musician, you can realize how much I actually signed myself up for, but even if you aren’t, that means that I’m rehearsing 7 hours a week without counting any orchestra or solo practice. What’s fun about it is that they are all different groups (as in the structure of the group), so it’s not like I’m playing 5 pieces all within the same category. For example, I’m in a flute quartet at MSM, which is the first time I’ve played chamber with a flute player. Not to mention, all of the music I’m playing is just spectacular, which can never get boring.

But that’s enough about me. It’s time to get to the real deal stuff- this pumpkin butter. I love fall baking (although by the amount I’ve been posting recently you can’t tell), but I didn’t want to have to worry about the mess that I tend to create when I bake. And, since the rule in my house is I have to clean up everything after I bake, I wanted to make something that would be delicious but at the same time save a lot of clean up time. So, I found this pumpkin butter over on Smitten Kitchen that I knew would fit the bill exactly. It’s a nice blend of spices that create the warm, fuzzy feeling that we all love about pumpkin baking, but I wanted to have more than just pumpkin puree heated up with some spices, so I added coconut milk and pomegranate juice. The pomegranate gives it enough of a bite that you get flavor as soon as you taste it, but the coconut milk makes it creamy, so as not to make the entire thing too acid. Really, you can add whatever flavors you want, but I like this variation.

rayna's pumpkin butterPomegranate Coconut Pumpkin Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree, approx. 3 1/2 cups
  • 3/8 cup pomegranate juice
  • 3/8 cup coconut milk (I used Blue Diamond)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup vanilla coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Juice of half a lemon

Directions

  1. Combine pumpkin, pomegranate juice, coconut milk,  spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice, or more to taste. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

Sometimes a simple homemade butter can brighten up your early school mornings. More recipes coming soon!

-Rayna 🙂

 

 

Coconut Cookies

Happy Sunday everyone! Nothing too extraordinary has been going on this weekend, but there is some news happening later in the week. It’s my birthday! I’ll be turning 16 and am eligible to get my learner’s permit. I’ve been reading the driving manual at night and doing all sorts of practice tests in order to prepare for this. Although I’m a little nervous to get on the roads, I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it!

These coconut cookies are so good, it’s dangerous. I had made them for my aunt who loves coconut and was able to stop by for a visit one weekend. These are not your conventional cookie recipe. Instead of creaming the butter and the sugar, add the eggs, etc., these can be made entirely in a food processor. Cool, right? It gave the cookies some chewiness, similar to a coconut macaroon. Plus, you probably have all of the ingredients sitting in your pantry right now! Delicious cookies that come together quickly? Count me in!

Coconut Cookies- from Martha Stewart

  • 1 package (14 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut (5 1/3 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 2 loosely packed cups of coconut on a plate. Place remaining coconut in a food processor along with sugar, and baking powder; process until finely ground. Add butter, and process just until no lumps remain. Add egg and vanilla; process just until smooth. Add flour; pulse until a crumbly dough begins to form, scraping sides of bowl as needed (do not overmix).
  2. Forming 5 or 6 at a time, scoop level tablespoons of dough, and place in reserved coconut. Roll into balls, coating with coconut.
  3. Arrange balls, about 2 inches apart, on baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, 23 to 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I’m telling you, these are dangerous!
-Rayna 🙂

Banana Chocolate Chip Coconut Muffins

This week has involved TONS of baking- the best kind of week. Despite the fact that I try to post on a regular basis about what’s going on in my kitchen, I frequently don’t actually get a chance to bake every week, especially since my Saturdays are spent at the Manhattan School of Music most of the time. I actually baked for my English class this week, and the post on the pound cake that I made is coming soon. First up is these muffins.

Over Memorial Day weekend, my mother had some of her culinary school buddies come up and enjoy the lovely, 90 degree weather with us. In my last post, I talked about how I had made some muffins before my mom’s friends came up, and we had some very ripe bananas that were begging to be made into a delicious muffin. The coconut and the chocolate chips just make this muffin irresistible, and you won’t regret these being a part of your breakfast. 🙂

Something that I’ve realized is vital in the world of food blogging is taking great pictures of food, so hopefully, with the help of my mom’s Nikon D90, I’ll be able to take photos that will leave you drooling. 🙂

Banana Chocolate Chip Coconut Muffins- From Technicolor Kitchen

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 280 grams all purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150 grams sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare 12 muffin tins.
  2. Sift the flour and the baking powder in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer, combine the canola oil and the sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Once combined, add the mashed bananas. Add in the dry ingredients in multiple additions until just combined.
  3. Remove the batter from the stand mixer and fold in the coconut and the chocolate chips until evenly dispersed. Using an ice cream scooper or a spoon, fill up the muffin tins 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

Such a simple muffin that guarantees lots of smiles. 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Condensed Milk Coconut Pound Cake

School has finally calmed down after midterms, and now that second semester has rolled around, I can actually spend my Sundays doing more than spending copious hours with my biology and U.S. history textbook. This means that my time to bake has gone up considerably, making for a very happy Rayna :). Gymnastics is in full gear now, so it’s not like I actually get to relax, but compared to my usual schedule, I basically have nothing to do!

When my dad’s family was over at our house a couple of weeks ago, my coconut-loving aunt came to visit. While I had made the Soft Gingersnap Cookies for my grandmother, I wanted to make something coconut-y. Well. this pound cake hit the spot. I added in extra coconut to make sure that the coconut flavor came through, and the end result was a moist, dense coconut-y pound cake. Grab a mug of Honey Vanilla Chamomile Tea get me one while you’re at it and go enjoy this pound cake.

Condensed Milk Coconut Pound Cake

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free and it turned out great)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (or the entire bag) sweetened shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  2. Mix together the flour and the baking powder in a medium bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and the sugar, and once creamed, add in the eggs one by one until combined. Add in the vanilla extract. Stir in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Mix in the coconut.
  4. Bake for 70-80 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body

So just relax and eat a slice of this pound cake. Enjoy!

-Rayna 🙂

(P.S. Don’t you love my baby piglet spatula?)

Vanilla Crunch Muffins

Yep, that’s me, the dork that goes to chamber music camp over the summer. It’s only about a 1/2 hour away from my house, and when I found out that I had 4 hours of classes a week, although I had signed up for the sleep away program I just came home at night. Which means I get to bake. More like I was determined to bake, because it had been far too long since freshly made muffins were present in my house. And these Vanilla Crunch Muffins from How Sweet Eats just sounded too good to pass up. 🙂

Vanilla Crunch Muffins- Makes 15

From How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup vanilla sugar **
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans+ more for garnish
  • Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado Sugar) for garnish
  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 15 muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, applesauce, greek yogurt and egg until creamy and light yellow. Add the vanilla extract. Add the flour and the baking soda. Add the milk. Mix! Add in the chopped pecans until fully incorporated.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean

**Note: Vanilla Sugar is just granulated sugar that has a few vanilla beans in the container with it. Granulated sugar is fine. If you would like to add a vanilla bean along with granulated sugar, that works too.

Excuse me while I go inhale the entire plate 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

When you have an aunt that LOVES coconut and happens to live in the same town, you can be sure that there’s no shortage of coconut desserts around my place. If I had made these correctly (A.K.A. read the directions…) then the cupcakes would have turned out better. However, the coconut buttercream was top notch, due to the help from my soon-to-be-chef mom. 🙂

My best friend Deanna certainly knows that my family is not one that lacks for…unusual ingredients, let’s say. We’ll have date paste and dried chrysanthemum flowers, but a stick of butter is no where to be found. This leads to me choosing the wrong type of coconut (*rolls eyes*) and instead of the sweetened coconut, I chose the dried unsweetened coconut, which resulted in the cupcakes not quite having the texture I was looking for. Meh.

These tasty delights were modified from Martha Stewart’s website:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, and 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions: (Makes 21)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour and baking powder.
  2. With and electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until smooth.
  3. Once smooth, add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and coconut milk.
  4. Reduce the speed of the mixer, and slowly add in the dry ingredients.
  5. Once fully mixed, add in the sweetened shredded coconut.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Completely cool before applying frosting, about 30 minutes.

Coconut Buttercream

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) ROOM TEMPERATURE unsalted butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Up to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions: (Makes 2 1/2 cups)

  1. Beat butter with electric mixer until nice ‘n’ creamy. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar with the mixer on low until the sugar mixes in with the butter.
  2. Add vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons heavy cream slowly. If your frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of heavy cream and mix, and if needed, another one. If too thin, add powdered sugar by 1/4 of a cup.
  3. Mix in the sweetened shredded coconut.

TA DA. There’s a coconuty-creamy-fatty-delicious cupcake to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. My soon-to-be chef mother suggests toasting some coconut and sticking it on top of these delicious delights in order to furthermore enhance the coconutyness of it all. Enjoy!