Saturday, April 27, 2013

Coconut Patty Brownies

I feel like there are not many people out there who like coconut as much as I do, but Mr. Vittles is an exception.

As I told you last year, he loves coconut patties in particular.  I was reminded of this at Easter last month when his mom gave him one of his childhood favorites, a giant coconut egg, and he refused to share with me.  He claimed that she gave it to HIM not "us."

While I highly doubt this (and he did eventually offer me a slice regardless),  I can understand his desire to covet the coconut egg.  Coconut drenched in chocolate - especially of the dark variety - is a magical experience.  Not much can beat it.  Except maybe coconut drenched chocolate... on top of a fudgy brownie.


Mini Smalls better get ready to love coconut or she's going to have a tough childhood.

But alas, since we don't even have teeth yet, we're still working on things like watered-down peas and bananas.  Though I am happy to report that she has gotten over her aversion to most "1st foods" (except oatmeal - still brings tears to the Mini's eyes) since my last post.

In fact... she turned 6 months this week!

"Who, me?"

Time flies when you're eating coconut patty brownies.  (Which, let's face it, is one & the same as "having fun.")

Coconut Patty Brownies

  • an 8"x8" pan of your favorite brownies (I like this recipe; you could also use a mix)
  • 3 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C. confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 C. loosely packed sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 C. chocolate chips 
  • 1 T. coconut oil (optional)

Combine sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and confectioners sugar in a medium bowl.  Add coconut and mix until evenly distributed.  Using a rubber spatula, spread thinly over surface of cooled brownies.  (If the mixture is too sticky, spray the spatula with a little nonstick spray before spreading).

In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted.  (The coconut oil is optional, but imparts a slight coconut flavor & also makes the mixture more runny & therefore easier to pour/spread).  Spread melted mixture over coconut layer.  Allow to set (you may place the brownies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to speed this up) and cut into small squares.  Makes 16 brownies.

Original Recipe

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Carrot Cake Cookies

I wanted to make something festive for Easter, and now (almost 2 weeks later!) I am finally getting around to posting it.  Luckily it's not something in the shape of bunnies - these are good anytime.

Mr. Vittles thought these should have some cream cheese frosting to make them more like carrot cake - actually, the original recipe was for a frosted cookie, but I was looking for a plain one.  If you agree with him, you can always whip some frosting after they cool.   I happen to think they are tasty un-frosted, but that's just me!

We had a nice holiday at my in-laws' house, although of course the Mini decided she was not going to nap and was a bit of a disaster.  But she did have some good moments, particularly toward the end of the day, where she just hung out on her Aunt Melissa's lap or with my father-in-law.  She also looked incredibly adorable in her polka dot dress!

In other news, Miss Mini is intent on bringing me back to the Vampire World of last fall.  She has been waking up multiple times in the night since she caught a cold a month ago.  In the midst of all this, we stopped feeding her before our bedtime (around 10:30 PM) however I do not think the cause is hunger.  While the cold itself is gone, the congestion is not - so I suspect that is what's waking her up.  We just give her a pacifier and go back to sleep, but that still requires getting out of bed.

And can be anywhere from 3-7 times per night.

This is a very mean April Fools joke to play on your tired parents, Mini Smalls!  Months ago you showed us you had the ability to sleep all night without making a peep... and now you've yanked the proverbial rug out from under us.  Not nice.

Which basically sums up the majority of her behavior, actually.  Mr. Vittles told her, "You have to start being nicer to people."  Of course she doesn't know what that means... or that she's not being "nice" in the first place.  But it's the truth!  He and I have seen her smiling, laughing, & happy more than most, just because of the sheer amount of time we spend with her.  But people like my dad & stepmom, who only get to see her for an hour or so per week, have seen mostly grumpiness and crying.

Thankfully, now that it's getting warmer, we're figuring out that she really likes the outdoors.  It doesn't always work, but her demeanor seems to be better when we're either outside or "on-the-go."  I guess there's more to look at and keep her busy little brain occupied.

<Sigh.>  Someday I'll be able to just bribe ol' Grumpelstilskin with carrot cake cookies.  That is, assuming she ever decides to eat solid foods.  So far we've tried oatmeal and sweet potatoes, and both have essentially been a bust.

Oatmeal was a complete failure.  Her immediate reaction was wailing, 3 days in a row.

Our journey into the land of the sweet potato seemed much more promising...

...but still ended in despair.

My dad suggested we try carrots next, he said those were my favorite when I was her age.  (Apparently... some things never change!)

Carrot Cake Cookies
  • 1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/3 C. white sugar
  • 1/2 C. brown sugar
  • 2 T. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 C. flour
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1/3 C. sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/3 C. old fashioned oatmeal (not quick-cook)
  • 3/4 C. finely grated carrots
Line baking sheets with parchment, or grease with non-stick spray, and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until evenly distributed.  Set aside.

In large bowl of stand mixer, cream butter & sugars until light & fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Beat in cream cheese, egg, and vanilla until well-combined.

Add flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain.  Add coconut, oatmeal, and carrots.  Stir to combine.

Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto prepared cookie sheets.  Bake 11-14 minutes in preheated oven until edges are lightly browned.  Cool 2 minutes on sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 20 cookies.

Recipe Adapted from Land O'Lakes


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