3-Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

 

 

 

Yesterday was one of “those” days… you all know what I’m talking about.  The days you come home from work and you don’t want to talk to anyone.  The days where you find yourself looking forward to a nice glass of wine.  The days when you need chocolate therapy.  

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

Lucky for you guys, when I have a bad day I spin that negative energy into creativity with cooking or baking.  Seriously, some of my favorite and best recipes are a result of “those” days.  Also, wine helps everything.  So I came home, took Teek on a long walk, poured myself a glass of wine, and decided to bake an Easter-friendly treat.  What do you do to turn the switch?

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

My thought was not April Fools, but Easter desserts.  We are going to a friend’s place for an Italian-inspired Easter dinner.  Of course, since I love to cook, I want to bring something to share.  I already volunteered to bring a cocktail, but I also thought how fun would it be to make a Holiday-themed treat.  My girlfriend is already making a bunny butt cake (how cute is that idea?!?!), so I figured why not bring the bunny tails?

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

These macaroons are simple, require only 3-ingredients (if you don’t count the dark chocolate bottoms), and most importantly they are delicious.  I whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks, which makes the macaroons wonderfully light and chewy.  No additional sugar in this macaroon recipe, since the sweetened shredded coconut is sweet enough for my taste.  I make the macaroons bite size, that way I can justify eating a handful….right ;)

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

 

Oh and the chocolate bottoms…well that’s just the perfect finishing touch.  It gives a great presentation to the macaroon and gives me an excuse to dip fruit, pretzels, and my fingers in the left over melted chocolate.  Too much information?  Oops.

3-Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: ~25 mini macaroons

The Players: 

2 egg whites
1 t pure vanilla bourbon extract
2 C shredded sweetened coconut

optional: 1 C dark chocolate chips or chunks for dipping macaroons in

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together egg whites and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
  3. Fold in shredded coconut, until well incorporated.
  4. Drop macaroons onto your baking sheet, using a cupcake corer, cookie scoop, or teaspoon.  (Note: You want the macaroons to be dense and formed in the shape you desire, they will not expand while they bake)
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool ~10 minutes.
  6. Optional Dark Chocolate Coated Bottoms: In a microwave-safe dish, melt chocolate chips by microwaving for 45-60 seconds and stirring every 15 seconds.  Dip bottom of macaroons in chocolate and place bottom-side up on your cookie sheet.  Place in freezer for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to harden.  Store macaroons in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Who else loves the taste and more importantly the smell of cinnamon?!?!  Seriously, cinnamon reminds me of Autumn…my favorite season.  I might be slightly biased since I am born in November, but hello all great things are associated with Autumn.  Football season, changing colors of the leaves, cozy layers, everything pumpkin, the start of Holiday Season…oh yes Fall is perfect.

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

I am a firm believer that cinnamon-boosted baked goods should be enjoyed throughout the year.  Everyone smiles a bit wider when they walk through the door and are engulfed in the aroma of cinnamon and know a yummy baked treat is waiting.  It’s almost as exciting as walking through the door to your excited puppy.

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

I decided to surprise Andrew with some fresh from the oven, cinnamon swirl muffins this week.  I did not want to make any special trips to the grocery store so I decided to get creative with my pantry and refrigerated goods.  Usually I feel that baking is a science, but these muffins seriously came together with no effort.  They are moist and not too dense.  The perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar.  They taste even better warmed up in the morning with a cup of piping hot black coffee.  Hello work day, with a little extra swagger in my step!

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Look who wanted to be a part of the photo shoot or wanted a bite of muffin hehe.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

The Players: 

For the batter: 
1/3 C egg whites
3/4 C brown sugar
1 C greek yogurt
3/4 C coconut water
1 t vanilla extract
2 C flour (I used 1 C whole wheat + 1 C coconut flour)
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

For the cinnamon swirl: 
1/4 C coconut oil, melted (I microwave for 15-30 seconds)
2 T brown sugar
1 T cinnamon

The Rules:

  1. Preheat over to 350 F and line cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Combine dry ingredients for the batter in a small mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar.  Add greek yogurt, coconut water, and vanilla extract mixing until well combined.
  4. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Do not over-mix the batter.
  5. Whisk together ingredients for the cinnamon swirl.  Set aside.
  6. Scoop muffin batter evenly into muffin tins ~3/4 full.  Divide cinnamon swirl among muffins, ~1/2 tsp per muffin, and use a knife to swirl into muffin batter.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.  Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Magic Bars (7-Layer Bars)

This weekend I spent an unforgettable weekend in Leavenworth, WA.  Our group of friends started the Quarterly Crew with our Oktoberfest trip this past Fall.  We had such an amazing time hanging out the cabin, exploring the city, cooking, hot-tubbing, playing games.  We knew this needed to become a tradition.  This wasn’t one of those situations where you say you will do something and then never follow through.  We were determined.  After all we live in the PNW, there are so many amazing things to do year-round, and cabin trips are never a bad idea.

Magic Bars (7-Layer Bars)

I even had my first lesson and successful snowboard mission!!  No sore butt or wrists.  I do have the best instructor.  Andrew grew up in Alaska and has been snowboarding since he was 10.  He even graduated high school early and spent the time before college snowboarding.  Talk about living the dream?!?!  Well I am determined to pick up this hobby and make my man proud.  Thankfully, our relationship survived the day at Steven’s Pass ;)

Magic Bars (7-Layer Bars)

So how do these Magic Bars come into the picture.  Well when I go on group trips I tend to take charge of the food.  I was able to create a main grocery list so 30(+) people could survive the weekend without worrying about running to the store.  However, I thought it would be fun to bake the treats instead of store bought.  A few of us girls volunteered to bring the goodies.  Personally, I like making cookie bars for large groups because they are less time-consuming than cookies, cupcakes, cakes, or pies.  Honestly, aside from making the graham cracker crust all you do is layer toppings.  Now that’s a dessert I can get down with!  Also, my secret ingredient is the sea salt.  When you’re ingredient list is basically all sugar, the taste of sea salt with each bite is an amazing surprise for the palette.

Magic Bars (7-Layer Bars)

These bars a) ARE FREAKING FANTASTIC b) pretty much make themselves c) are definitely not healthy.  So you should probably make your way over to your kitchen and whip up a batch!

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Servings: 24 bars

The Players: 

1 sleeve honey graham crackers (9 whole crackers)
(Note: if using pre-bought graham cracker crumbs you will need 1 + 1/2 C)
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 C chopped pecans
1 C butterscotch chips
1 C chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
1 C shredded coconut
1 t sea salt

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and coat 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place graham crackers in resealable gallon-size bag and seal.  Use a rolling pin to crush the crackers to a bread crumb consistency.
  3. Combine butter and crumbs in your baking dish and press firmly to form a crust.
  4. Spread condensed milk over the graham cracker layer.  Top evenly with remaining ingredients.  Using a fork press down firmly on toppings.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Use a sharp knife to cut into 24 bars.  Store in an air-tight container.

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

Let me just say that I love 3-day weekends!  Today is President’s Day and one of the many perks of working at a Federal Hospital is getting to take those Federal Holidays off.  Everyone deserves a little personal time.  Part of me feels guilty that Andrew had to work, but the other part is doing a celebratory dance because I was able to spend an entire day doing what I wanted.  I slept-in, cleaned, did laundry, made dinner, went on a 9 mile run, walked Teek, and blogged :)  I think the world would be a better place if there were more 3-day weekends…just saying!

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

Okay now for the fun stuff –recipe time.  Cinnabon® cinnamon rolls are a treat that I used to enjoy when I had long layovers at airports or during a particularly difficult work shift, when I worked at the mall in high school.  Let’s be honest…those cinnamon rolls are finger-licking good.  They are so rich, fluffy, and gooey.  But they definitely come with a high-calorie price tag.

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

Don’t get me wrong, you should be able to have your cake and eat it too.  I am one of those individuals that works out religiously so I can eat whatever I want.  I am a lover of all foods and definitely indulge; however, I try to eat fairly healthy throughout the work week so I can splurge on the weekends.

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

Due to this philosophy I am constantly trying to create a healthier version of a not-so-healthy recipe.  I work in the Digestive Disease Center and am constantly impressed by the patients that adapt their diet due to food intolerances.  So I decided to create a dairy-free cinnamon roll recipe.  I know…what was I thinking?

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

But they turned out pretty great!  I actually even brought some of the cinnamon rolls out to the bar with me (yep, I am that girl).  My girlfriend saw the picture and told me I was not allowed to leave the house without a roll or two for her.  Her husband was shocked when he realized he was eating a healthier version of a cinnamon roll.  I’d say with a response like that, this a successful twist on a recipe :)

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

I use whole wheat flour for my recipe and almond milk, but you can substitute white flour and any non-dairy milk (or regular milk if dairy is not an issue for you).  I stuck with the healthy coconut theme that was in the dough and filling and carried it through for the icing too.  I used coconut cream sweetened with honey.  It was a great substitute for the usual sugar-packed icing other cinnamon roll recipes provide.   Also don’t limit yourself by the filling ingredients below.  You can get creative and add minced dates, raisins, orange zest…the possibilities are endless.  I love nuts and pecans are so great in desserts so I went with pecans in half the rolls and plain for the remainder —next time I’m going all pecan.

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

If you need anymore convincing that these cinnamon rolls are thebomb.com I leave you with this: Andrew splurged and inhaled 4 cinnamon rolls after work one day.  I seriously do not understand where he packs it in?!?!

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 1 hr 30 min
Cook time: 25-30 min
Servings: 10 cinnamon rolls

The Players: 

For the dough
2 3/4 C + extra whole wheat flour (alternatively use all purpose or cake flour)
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 packet instant yeast
1 T ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk (alternatively use soy or regular milk)
1/3 C coconut oil

For the filling: 
2 T coconut oil, melted
1-2 T ground cinnamon
1/3 C granulated sugar
optional: 1/2 to 3/4 C pecans, roughly chopped

For the glaze: 
1/4 C coconut cream
1 t honey
1 t ground cinnamon

The Rules: 

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/2 C flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, yeast.  In a microwave heat coconut oil and almond milk for 1-2 minute, whisk to combine.  (Note: temperature should be similar to bath water, not too hot or yeast may inactivate and not too cold or yeast won’t activate)
  2. Pour almond milk and coconut oil over dry ingredients and mix to form dough.  Add remaining extra 1/4 C flour if needed; the dough should form a ball and be sticky.  (Note: I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the bread dough hook attachment)
  3. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and transfer dough to surface.  Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes, adding additional flour as needed.  Form a ball with the dough.  Spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place dough in the mixing bowl.
  4. Cover the bowl and place in a warm area for 1 hour.  Allow the dough to double in size.  (Note: I preheated the oven to 225 F and turned it off, then I placed the dough in the oven)
  5. Line a flat surface with wax paper, punch down on the dough and place on wax paper, using a rolling pin flatten dough and shape into a rectangle ~1/4 inch thick (~9 x 12 inch).
  6. Brush the surface of the dough with melted coconut oil.  Sprinkle cinnamon, sugar, and optional pecans evenly over surface.  Be as generous as you would like with the filling ;)
  7. Use the wax paper to help tightly roll the dough into a wheel.  (Note: Roll the longer side so you form a cylinder shape)
  8. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 10 pieces.  Transfer the cinnamon rolls to a greased 9-inch cake pan.  (Note: I used coconut oil non-stick cooking spray)
  9. Preheat oven to 350 F and allow the cinnamon rolls to rise while the oven is preheating.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool 15 minutes.
  11. While your cinnamon rolls are cooling, prepare the icing.  Place all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for ~5-10 seconds and stir to combine, adjust seasonings to desired sweetness.  (Note: just microwave to soften coconut cream, you don’t want it to liquify)
  12. Drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rolls and enjoy warm.  Store in an air tight container and reheat cinnamon rolls in microwave for ~30 seconds to enjoy throughout the week.