coconut Archives - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Chocolate Marble Pumpkin Bark ‘Bars’ with a Nutella Cookie Bottom, and Salted Pepitas, for SRC

October 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Candy, Cookies, Holiday, SRC | 51 Comments
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I have never made any kind of chocolate bark.  No idea’s one of simplest treats you can cobble together in no time, and the add-in possibilities are endless.  I’ve also never met or known a guy named Nigel who isn’t British, but that’s beside the point.  There have been a lot of  nevers in my life.  We all have a lot of nevers in our lives and some of them should stay nevers, but chocolate bark isn’t one of that should stay a never, for most.

Well..I just crossed the chocolate bark never off my list.  BUT, this did not come about until I made a no-bake cookie by my Secret Recipe Club blog assignment..Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic.  I love her blog..I loved all the goodies I could choose from..I loved her no-bake Nutella cookies, which I chose after mulling over many goodies.

There are these Caramel Coconut Bars and these luscious looking meatballs..not to mention her array of other no-bake treats, (I was feeling the no-bake this month) but the two former choices were guest posts, so even if she made their recipes, I figured I would stick with something that was 100% hers or something she adapted or decided on herself.

Continue Reading Chocolate Marble Pumpkin Bark ‘Bars’ with a Nutella Cookie Bottom, and Salted Pepitas, for SRC…

Crunchy Coconut Lime Chicken Strips (or nuggets) for SRC

April 9, 2012 at 11:58 am | Posted in Appetizers, Dinner, Lunch, Poultry, SRC | 74 Comments
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Crunchy Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Yogurt Dipping Sauce

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog, Edesia’s Notebook  (love the name) authored and photographed by Lesa.  For the first time since I joined, I didn’t have the urge to grab some gorgeous dessert, which Lesa has plenty of, and play with it.  Instead, the same thought kept going through my head.


Crunchy Baked Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce.

You don’t often see posts where I just make dinner, nothing fancy, nothing outrageous, nothing you would only make for a special occasion.  It’s not that I don’t have a decent amount of simple recipes, but I just felt the need to cook dinner and blog it.  I chose her Crunchy Lemon Chicken.

Crunchy Baked Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce | Parsley, Sage and Sweet

Of course, I ended up futzing with it, because I truly believe it’s nearly impossible for me not to futz with recipes.  I cut each breast into strips, used limes instead of lemons, and added soy sauce and garlic to the marinade.  I also added dessicated coconut to the panko bread crumbs and beat the eggs with coconut water for the breading station.  Add to that a few other minor alterations, like the baking time and temperature, and there you have it.

Otherwise, it’s just dinner, and it was delicious.  I think these are the crunchiest, most delicious baked chicken fingers I’ve ever had, and kids would go absolutely berserk over these.  Just my completely unbiased opinion..I swear.

Even though they were flavorful enough as is, I decided to made a dip to go with them – what I call a garbage dip, where you rummage through your fridge and cabinets and just throw something together.  It was interesting and tasty, (it looks kind of gross in the Thousand Island dressing that sat out too long, doesn’t it?), but, again, the chicken fingers had so much flavor, it really wasn’t needed.

Crunchy Baked Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce.

That said, I hope you try these little delights of crunchy chicken, and I hope you enjoy them!

Crunchy Coconut Lime Chicken Strips (or nuggets)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: About 4 servings
These seriously taste deep-fried! Chicken adapted from Lesa at Edesia's Notebook
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 chicken breasts (About 1 lb) cut into 1-inch wide strips. Cut each strip in half to make 'nuggets'.
  • 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅔ cup dessicated coconut shreds
  • ¾ cup flour
  • salt and pepper to season flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 4 tablespoons of coconut water (you can use coconut milk if you can't find coconut water)
  • Oil spray, doesn't matter what kind
Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Asian chile-garlic sauce
  • 1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a bowl, stir together lime juice, zest, light olive oil, ginger, light soy sauce, garlic and salt. Add the chicken strips and stir until they're completely coated with the marinade. You can also pour the marinade with the chicken strips, into a ziplock bag, which is what I did. Marinate for 4 to 5 hours at the most..stirring the strips in the bowl of marinade or squeezing around the bag every hour to an hour and a half to insure even marinating.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with oil. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in one bowl, the beaten eggs and coconut water in a second bowl, and the panko and dessicated coconut in a third bowl. Remove the chicken strips from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Lift up each chicken strip and shake off some of the marinade so it isn't overly-saturated (I just ran two impeccably clean fingers down each strip, sliding off the extra marinade). Coat each chicken strip in flour, knocking off the excess, then dip and coat well in the egg mixture and then dredge it in the panko - dessicated coconut mixture, pressing it onto each strip. Place each chicken strip on the oiled baking sheet and continue until all chicken has been coated.
  4. Lightly spray some oil on the breaded chicken strips, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. IMPORTANT - Do not let them sit on the baking sheet once out of the oven. Transfer them to a rack if not eating within a few minutes, or the bottoms will get soggy.
  5. Make the Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip. Mix all the ingredients together, then cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors blend

If you get a chance, please click on the blue frog below to see all the amazing dishes recreated by Group A of The Secret Recipe Club.  Also, click on over to Edesia’s Notebook for some fantastic sweet and savory recipes!

Crunchy, Baked Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Yogurt Dipping Sauce

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Banana Carrot Cake with Cream of Coconut – Cream Cheese Frosting

July 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Cakes, Dessert, Fruit, Giveaway, Vegetables | 66 Comments
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Warning – I’m all over the place today, so bear with me.

I preface a lot of my blog entries, don’t I?  Well, here’s another one before I get to this post.  I couldn’t take part in this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge because of time constraints due to another obligation – a sort of last-minute obligation, but a good one, which you will all see soon.

However, I’m kind of bummed because the challenge was the classic french cake ‘Fraisier’, hosted by Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes, and I was reeeeaaaally looking forward to making it.  I will make one and post it eventually, but until then, please take a few moments to check out the beautiful Fraisier’s created by all the talented Daring Bakers, via clicking on the links to their blogs, HERE.

Banana Carrot Cake with Cream of Coconut - Cream Cheese Frosting

Since I don’t have a Fraisier to show off *sniff*, I present to you a carrot cake I made a few weeks ago – after I preface once again…

It’s funny how the weirdest things from early childhood stick to your brain eternally.  I can still remember the lyrics to every chorus class song between the ages of 8 and 13 yrs old.  When I try to impress people by reciting all 50 states in alphabetical order, super fast, it’s because ‘Fifty, Nifty United States’ permeated my fresh, young brain, permanently, not because I was born with this amazing ability to recite the states in alphabetical order on a whim.

Banana Carrot Cake with Cream of Coconut - Cream Cheese FrostingThese are not real carrots, they are macadamia marzipan carrots and yes, I made them.  The carrot fronds are real.  I did not make those, just an unfortunate, inedible decoration decision that didn’t turn out as I’d hoped.

When I was maybe 4 or 5, there was a TV interview with Shaun Cassidy (I think it was Shaun Cassidy (???).  Apparently it was his birthday, and the host asked what his favorite cake was.  He said carrot cake.  Ewwww..a cake with carrots in it??  Yuck!  I couldn’t believe anyone would eat a cake with vegetables in it!

Several years later, I tasted some for the first time.  Oh my Gahh, moist, spicy, sweet, delicious..and the cream cheese frosting..I was in love.  I spit bullets when I order a slice of carrot cake and the frosting is buttercream or anything other than cream cheese frosting.  I feel the same about red velvet cake, but I’ll get to that another time.  My point is, I still think of that interview every time I bite into a slice of carrot cake.  No idea what to make of it – especially since I was never a Shaun Cassidy fan.

Banana Carrot Cake with Cream of Coconut - Cream Cheese Frosting

SO, I had an urge to make carrot cake a few weeks ago. and not just any carrot cake – a carrot cake I’ve been coveting for some time at (I shall covet thy carrot cake!).  I think it’s been in my saved recipe box for at least 5 years.  It’s a tropical carrot cake and it contains macadamia nuts instead of the usual walnuts or pecans, and pineapple and coconut.  Normally, I don’t flip over cooked pineapple unless it’s doused with sugar and grilled.  I have similar feelings about strawberries, but again, I’ll get to that another time.

As always, I digress – this was supposed to be a tropical carrot cake, but the only two things, outside of your basic carrot cake that made it tropical, were, the macadamia nuts, and this luscious sounding coconut – cream cheese frosting, containing cream of coconut.  Cream of coconut, not to be confused with coconut cream, is this amazing, thick, glossy sweetened, condensed milk like can of coconut something or other concoction.  I really don’t know exactly how it’s made, but I do know I’ve actually eaten it with a spoon right out of the can.  It’s sosososo bleepin’ good.

Banana Carrot Cake with Cream of Coconut - Cream Cheese Frosting

That said, I didn’t want pineapple in this cake and wasn’t feeling most other tropical fruits like mango or papaya.  I had an urge for banana, and three, ripe mashed bananas did the trick.  I’ve always liked (yes, liked, kind of have to be in the mood for it. so that does not qualify as ‘loved’ to me) banana bread and banana cake, and I was in the mood for it.

The cake and frosting turned out terrific..the cake is superdupercalifragilistic moist with a hint of warm, gingery heat surprising you with each bite, and the frosting, PHENOMENAL, although the heat wave wouldn’t let me get decorative with it (my rosettes keeled  – then morphed into lumps).  It was hard not to ditch the layer cake deal and tear off hunks of cake to dip in the frosting, but somehow, I managed.  However, I broke one of my cardinal rules when it came to decorating it.

I don’t believe in ever putting inedible* things on anything edible, whether it be a plate of food, sweet or savory, a cake..whatever.  Not only did I do it, but I OVERDID it.

Banana Carrot Cake with Cream of Coconut - Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot fronds jammed into homemade macadamia marzipan (omit coffee) carrots.  I got the frond idea from Martha Stewart (I only used orange gel paste).  Martha Stewart only puts one small frond in each carrot.  I thought a bunch would look cool, especially hanging over the sides of the cake.  Once I looked at the photos, after it had already been cut into and attacked with savage, voracious ferocity, I hated it.

Regardless, I wasn’t going to make another one any time soon – we had our fill, so here it is in all it’s greenery glory and 70’s psychedelic orange background.  Ignore that and make this cake.  It’s worth it.

One final noteCarrot fronds are not inedible, but they don’t taste good (unless they’re from baby carrots), especially with cake.

Banana Carrot Cake with Cream of Coconut - Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
This cake is 'stick to your fork' moist, and the frosting is to die for!
Adapted from Epicurious
Carrot Cake*
  • 2⅓ cups sifted all purpose flour (sifted, then measured)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts, toasted
  • ¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger *
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon*
  • ½ teaspoon fresh, grated or ground nutmeg
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely grated peeled carrots
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed, with some chunks remaining
Cream of Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting **
  • 4½ 8-ounce packages (36 ounce total) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks), plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López or Goya)
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon (scant) pure coconut extract
Optional Decoration
  • Toasted coconut shreds of flakes
  • Macadamia marzipan carrots or frosting (tinted orange and green) piped carrots
For the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1½-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Combine ⅓ cup flour and next 3 ingredients in processor. Process until nuts are finely chopped. Whisk remaining 2 cups flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Beat in flour-spice mixture. Stir in coconut-macadamia mixture, then carrots and mashed bananas.
  3. Divide batter among pans ( I weighed out close to even layers..about 1 lb 6 oz batter per pan). Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on racks for 15 minutes, then run knife around edge of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.
For the Frosting
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, then cream of coconut and both extracts. Chill until firm enough to spread, about 30 minutes.
Assemble Cake
  1. Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread heaping cup frosting over top of cake. Top with second cake layer, flat side up. Spread another heaping cup frosting over the top. Top with third cake layer, pressing slightly to adhere. Spread thin layer of frosting on top and sides of cake. Chill cake and remaining frosting 30 minutes. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange whole nuts and ginger (or whatever decor you decide on) around top edge of cake. Chill 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)
* For a less spicy cake, reduce crystallized ginger to ¼ cup or just use 2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger and reduce cinnamon to 2 teaspoons.
**This recipe makes a lot of frosting. I originally developed it to do a basket weave piping around the cake, but changed my mind, so I was left with a lot of frosting, which I used for cupcakes the next day. You can cut the recipe in half and still get a decent amount to fill and frost the cake.

Banana Carrot Cake with Cream of Coconut - Cream Cheese Frosting

Finally, the winner of the hunka hunk of Grana Padano Riserva cheese, and $40.00 worth of custom goodies from (I thought today was the 27th! So sorry for being a day late!).

#93 is Barbara of Barbara Bakes, one of my favorite blogs!  Congrats, Barbara!  Sending you an email to get your info so the cheese can be mailed out asap, and will send your email to so they can send you your coupon code for $40.00 worth of custom goodies!

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I Found My Thrill……With Coconut and Lime Plus the Winner of the Custom T-shirt Giveaway and another Giveaway!

July 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Cakes, Dessert, Fruit, Giveaway, Puddings | 158 Comments
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First off..Happy 4th of July to all in the USA, and Happy July 4th to everyone outside the USA!  I’ve got the blue and the white (well..yellowish) but not the red.  No matter, this dessert is pretty awesome, red, white and blue. or not.

So what do you do when you ask someone to pick you up blackberries, and instead they bring you blueberries?  Nothing, because summer berries are so interchangeable..and all will taste great in whatever recipe that called for one berry in particular.  Just my luck, about 5 minutes after receiving these blueberries, a tweet from Mark Bittman scrolled past.  Blueberry Pudding Cake.  I clicked on the link, then ditched my plan for a coconut blueberry custard pie.  I could essentially have all the components of my pie in this easy, quick, one batter cake.

I’ve made plenty of chocolate pudding, aka hot fudge, cakes in my day, and who hasn’t?  It’s one of the simplest cakes you could quick batter in a square pan, pour boiling water on top, and voilà, chocolate cake with a fudgy pudding/custard saucy deal underneath.  When rushed for a dessert, or a sudden bout of PMS chocolate craving, it was always a win-win situation, and it only took about 30 minutes from mixing bowl to table.  Before anyone/I could say ‘cake’ they/Iwere/was eating big scoops of cakey, chocolatey goo with vanilla ice cream.

Before anyone/I could say ‘cake’ they/Iwere/was eating big scoops of cakey, chocolatey goo with vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Coconut Lime Pudding Cake

This pudding cake is simple, but it involves eggs and the separating of eggs.  I don’t know why, but when I see a recipe that involves separating eggs and beating the whites, which are then folded in, I cringe a little.  It’s not that it’s difficult, but when I’m in a ‘simple recipe’ mindset, it’s kind of like someone telling me the elevator is out-of-order and I need to take the stairs…the number of flights depending on the number of eggs.

Sometimes I’m a rebel – and just crack the amount of whole eggs in as is.

Sometimes the issue is forced when there’s a lopsided amount of yolks to whites. I’m going to have leftover yolks or whites.  I’ll have to scour the net to find something to do with them outside of meringues, macarons and crème brûlée.  I’m not an egg white omelet person.  I like my omelets yellow.

In any event, I obeyed the recipe, and the results were worth it.  Of course, I made a few revisions to said recipe. As my usual mantra goes, I can’t leave most recipes alone..I always feel some could be better, or more to my liking.  I’m a futzer, a fiddler (a joker, a smoker and a midnight toker..sorry, had to) and I just can’t stop.  It’s a common thing in cooking, but baking not as much because baking is a SCIENCE and any little sway from the formula can completely change or destroy it.

My changes didn’t destroy it.  All I did was add some extra flavor, coconut and lime.  Kelapo Coconut sent me a sample of their coconut oil, so I used that instead of the melted butter, and I used lime zest in lieu of the lemon zest listed in the recipe.  Small changes, no big whoop, right?  Well..I felt it needed more coconut flavor, so I toasted some coconut and ground it with the sugar in the recipe.  Then, instead of plain buttermilk, I made coconut buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of  lime juice to the coconut milk.  The end result was perfect – plump, juicy blueberries floating in a sea of custard with a light, fluffy, slightly crisp, cake topping..a subtle background of coconut and the perfect hint of lime to cut the richness.

This is all great and good, but for the most part, you can’t tell that there’s coconut and lime in this cake pudding via the photos because I only had one lime and a bit of shredded coconut for the recipe.  When it came time for photos, I had nothing to top it with that said..’There is lime and coconut in this pudding cake!’.

Another reason I’m a bad food blogger.

I don’t think of these things until the last-minute, when it’s already too late.  As far as all of you can see, it’s just a blueberry pudding cake.  I suppose I could type ..’with coconut and lime’ under every photo, but I’m not that obsessive a person..I think…I hope.

Magic Blueberry Coconut Lime Pudding Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 8 x8 square pudding cake
Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, with my revisions. For the original recipe minus coconut and lime - click HERE. About 6 servings, but I prefer 4 big ones Total Time: About 1¼ hours, plus time to cool
  • 4 tablespoons Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil, melted, plus more for greasing dish
  • 1 cup coconut milk minus 1 tablespoon, plus 1 tablespoon lime juice (or lemon juice or cider vinegar)
  • 3 /4 cup sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut, toasted (sweetened or unsweetened, entirely up to you)
  • 3 eggs, separated, plus one extra white (extra white not necessary, but I like adding it for more fluff)
  • 1 /3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1½ cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
  1. Combine the coconut milk with the cider vinegar or lime juice..let it curdle. Grind ½ cup of the sugar and toasted coconut together in a food processor or blender. Set both aside. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease an 8- inch square ceramic or glass baking dish or a deep dish pie plate with Kelapo coconut oil.
  2. Put the coconut oil, coconut buttermilk, the ½ cup of coconut sugar, the egg yolks, flour, and salt in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Pour the batter into a bowl. Stir in the blueberries and lime zest and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the 4 egg whites until they hold soft peaks, then sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup sugar while beating until the whites hold stiff peaks.
  4. Fold the whites into the batter, gently but thoroughly.
  5. Turn the batter into the prepared dish and put the dish in a baking pan large enough to hold it comfortably. Add enough warm water to the baking pan to come to within an inch or so of the top of the dish. Transfer carefully to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the center is just set but slightly jiggly, about 50 minutes.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool the dish completely on a rack, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours, before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Now, the GIVEAWAY.  Part one is a yummy one. Jen from Kelapo Coconut contacted me a few weeks back and asked if I would like a sample jar of their virgin coconut oil to try.  Of course it was an affirmative, I love trying new things.  However, I thought it would be cool if she could also provide an extra jar to give away to my readers.  Affirmative again.  SO, when the winner is announced, Jen will personally ship a 15 oz jar of Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil to that winner.

Blueberry Coconut Lime Pudding Cake

I admit, at first I was iffy on coconut oil..I heard a buzz here and there that it was bad for us.  Apparently, new studies have reversed that charge and now they say it’s good for us.  UPDATE: a commenter named Jean said that only the virgin and unrefined coconut oils are good for you, so Kelapo organic VIRGIN coconut oil, IS good for you! Refined coconut oil is NOT good for you.

Good to know, because coconut oil is also a flavorful replacement for butter, which is a plus for those who are allergic to dairy or just dairy-free in general.  It’s great for vegan cooking and baking too, not to mention a good substitute for neutral oils in most recipes. Personally, I love the stuff because it tastes and smells amazing, and I wanna saute something savory in it soon.  Coconut seared chicken something or other keeps sprinting through my brain.  Also, my friend, Suzanne, just let me know that a health food store she shops at pops their popcorn in coconut oil.  Is that not a fantastic idea?  I’m definitely trying that!

The second part of this giveaway is the cookbook How to Cook Everything (10th anniversary Edition), by Mark Bittman.  I always wanted this cookbook, so I bought one for myself, and one for one of you!  It’s become sort of a habit now when I buy things.  One for me and one to give away here.

To enter this giveaway for both the coconut oil and the cookbook,
leave a commentFor extra entries, you can leave separate comments for all or any of the below;

1.  Follow @parsleynsage on Twitter

2.  Follow @kelapo_coconut on Twitter

3.  Like Kelapo Coconut on Facebook

4. Tweet the following: A Kelapo Coconut Oil & Mark Bittman cookbook GIVEAWAY @parsleynsage #giveaway

I’ll be choosing the winner 10 days from today using random integer.

Speaking of winners..the winner of the $50.00 worth of custom designed t-shirts from is…

…number 19, which lands on Carolyn of Cookin’ for my Captain!  Congratulations, Carolyn.  I will pass your email to Colleen at so she can email you the code for your $50.00 worth of custom printed shirts!  I’m sure you’ll have fun making them!

Magic Blueberry Pudding Cake - One batter morphs into cake, pudding and blueberry filling.Bookmark and Share

Milano or Mallomars? No need to run to the Supermarket.

July 27, 2009 at 12:08 am | Posted in Cookies, Dessert, Fruit | 159 Comments
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Alright, so I’m using the actual brand names of these cookies, when the copycat recipe of these are called Milan and Mallows.  Then again, I could have used some supermarket brand rip-off names… like Stop & Shop Chocolate covered Mallow cookies, or Shop-Rite Chocolate filled Vanilla Sandwich cookies (I’m just improvising the latter two), but really, who cares?  We could call them Atomic Ass Expanders and Big Butt Biscuits, and it wouldn’t make a difference.

Well, due to copyright infringements, Chicago pastry chef and co-owner of Tru, not to mention former Food Network maven, Gale Gand, has dubbed them Milan and Mallow (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies) cookies, in her attempt to recreate them.

Homemade Milano Cookies - Easy, just as delicious, and preservative free!


Homemade Mallomar Cookies

‘Fingerprint’ explained toward the end of this entry.

As usual, before I go on..OK, forget it, I’m not going to make any snarky remarks about the DB-BOT since I’d say it’s gotten a bit old.  OK, here it is, minus the sarcasm…maybe we could even be frien..wait, it’s a freakin’ computer program!!  I think I need to lay off the pain meds completely at this point!

The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.  Thanks, Nicole!

Homemade Marshmallow
Gooey marshmallow, ready to pipe.  I
like marshmallow in this form too, minus the gelatin so it doesn’t set, especially over ice cream or as a frosting for cakes/cupcakes.

For both cookies, we were given free reign when it came to flavors, fillings and chocolate (which is usually the case), so I suppose you could say I went a little (COUGH – extremely) crazy with both the Milano AND the Mallow, as you can see in the overabundance of photos.  Every photo of each cookie is clearly identified, so no need to type out every single direction I took with each and every cookie flavor, addition etc… twice!

Homemade Mallomar Cookies

Having said all that, I’ve always liked Gale Gand… a lot.  I own some her cookbooks, and most of the recipes are great and extremely creative.  However, I’ve run into some where the ingredient amounts or just something is off.  In this case, it’s the Mallomars, errr, Mallow cookies.  The recipe states that the yield is two dozen cookies.  Poppycock! (first time I ever used that word, I swear!).

The dough for the cookie base gives you about 8 dozen cookies and the amount of homemade marshmallow is enough to top about 4 dozen cookies, and the chocolate coating is enough for two dozen.  WTF?  I ended up just using half the dough, rolled 1/8 -inch thin and cut with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, which is exactly how the recipe reads – and I got 50 cookies!

I froze the other half of the dough since what was I going to do with 100 cookies, 50 of which contain no marshmallow, and 25 no marshmallow OR chocolate?   NO, I’m not making extra marshmallow and melting more chocolate.  Heck, I don’t even like marshmallows unless they’re toasted golden brown and gooey inside, atop a piece of chocolate on a graham cracker, OR, again, toasted golden brown on top of candied sweet potatoes, OR, at the end of a long stick around a campfire while telling ghost stories about the giant untoasted marshmallow that exploded in some guy’s stomach and killed him.

I guess you’ve already figured out that I only like toasted marshmallows.  A big EW to Marshmallow Peeps, although they are fun to nuke in the microwave (someone showed me this in college and those cute, little, sugar-coated chickies morph into giant marshmallow chickens before you can say ‘Stay-Puff’).

Homemade Mallomar Cookies in a Variety of Flavors

Top row: Left to right – Plain, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Blackberry Swirl.  Bottom Row: Left to right – Ancho Chocolate Swirl, Roasted Banana Caramel, Nutella.  All of the above flavors were dipped in either dark, milk or white chocolate.

There were some DB’ers who said they got exactly two dozen cookies, and the amounts were correct.  I don’t doubt them for one second, although I do wonder how small their ‘kisses’ of marshmallow were.  To be fair, I added fillings to some of the Mallows, which required more of a long, deep kiss of marshmallow instead of a peck, so that could explain the lack of marshmallow past 50 cookies.  At times, I can be pretty heavy handed with a pastry bag, so even the plain ones got a nice, big, globby swirl.  No perfect, little ‘mushroom cap’ rounds (LIKE the ones you buy at the market) on my Mallows.

Obviously, the main component of these are marshmallow, and if you’re a huge fan of marshmallow, you cannot bite into a slender, little strip or petite round of marshmallow between the cookie and the chocolate, and be completely satisfied, can you? (Yes, I am making excuses for my over piping ;D)

Homemade Milano Cookies - Plain and Black Sesame Green TeaIMG_5536 copy  Top: Basic Milano vanilla cookies filled with dark chocolate.  Bottom: Black Sesame Milanos with White Chocolate-Matcha filling.

All in all, the Mallows were fun to make, and those who took them off my hands loved them, especially the ones with the fillings, various chocolate coatings, and swirled flavors, as you can see in the Mallow collage.  Yep, the Mallows get mostly collages, while the Milanos get top photo billing.  Why, you ask?  Maybe because I LOVE Milano cookies.

Milanos..well, in this case, Milans, as Gale calls them, and I have had a romance for years.  I can scarf a whole bag of them pretty rapidly (although I do have to take sporadic rests).  As far as Gale’s recipe for them goes, I would say they were ummm, sorta’ close.  I don’t think they needed all that lemon extract.  I understand the recipe for her Milans contain orange zest in the chocolate filling, but I prefer the basic dark (one of the few cases where I tolerate dark chocolate) or milk chocolate filled Milanos, and the vanilla cookies definitely do not taste that lemony or even lemony at all.

I know the lemon extract is in the cookie to cut some of the richness and add some zing, but I still think it’s too much and it tasted different than the Milano’s I’m used to.  So, I decreased the lemon greatly, adding just enough to cut the richness, and they finally tasted like the Milanos I know and love. However, I did use some orange zest in the chocolate ganache filling in one of my takes on this recipe, along with cardamom, sandwiched between ground pistachio Milano cookies, but still went light on the lemon.

 Pistachio Milanos with Orange Chocolate-Cardamom filling                     Pistachio Milanos with Orange Chocolate filling.

I chose not to post any prep photos of of the Milano’s since they were all just boring lines of black sesame, dark chocolate, vanilla, marble, and **pistachio batter, each on its own baking sheet.  Oh, and the melted chocolate, which I’m sure you’ve all seen ohhh, maybe a few times before (besides, I covered all that with the Mallows).

Nothing new or scintillating there.

Regarding those boring lines of batters, I used the recommended 1/4-inch pastry tip for my first sheet of plain Milanos, and ended up with a thin, crisp ‘tuile like’ cookie, which most seemed to strive for in this challenge.  However, if you look at and bite into an authentic Milano, it’s got a little more heft to it, especially in the middle, so I used a 1/2-inch pastry tip for the second sheet, and ended up with what I thought was closer to a Milano in looks and texture.

By the third sheet of plain batter, no one could tell the difference between mine and a real Milano (obviously, those are the ones I chose to photograph), though not as light in color as a true Milano, (they just look lighter than they actually are in the first photo because they’re on a black plate) BUT, only some of the cookies – since I had quite a few that looked like silhouettes of Elvis and uhhh…part of the male anatomy below the waist.  Thin and a little thicker were equally good though, so that was just a matter of  ‘more cookie or less cookie?’

Dark Chocolate - Coconut Milano Cookies***Double Dark Chocolate Milanos with Chocolate-Coconut truffle filling dipped in melted chocolate and toasted coconut.  I was able to make good use of the leftover meat from that headstrong coconut in the last Daring Cooks challenge – a lot of use!

On a sucky note, the humidity monster decided to drop by and terrorize me the past two weeks or so, on and off, but mostly on.  Naturally, this affected the texture of the Milano cookie greatly.  Instead of crispy, I had flaccid, limp cookies.  Every time I would pick one up to spread the chocolate on it, it would keel over, and in slo-mo no less!  It was actually quite fascinating to watch, and I felt Vivaldi’s Lute Concerto in D Major Largo would have been the perfect musical accompaniment to it .

That said, I kept them in a turned off oven in hopes that they would dry out a bit, then miraculously, the next day was beautiful and dry, so I was finally able to work with them.  After that, I just kept them in a sealed container in the fridge, and they remained crispy.  Stupid humidity.

Ancho Mallomar CookiesI thought I should give at least one Mallomar/Mallow some room on the marquee.  Most loved the spicy ancho bite swirled into the marshmallow.  Even I liked it – although second to nuking the peanut butter and jelly Mallomar..seriously.

Finally, a word of advice regarding the chocolate coating for the Mallow cookies.  If you use dark chocolate, use the cocoa butter or vegetable oil, it sets up perfectly.  HOWEVER, if you use milk or white chocolate, do NOT use either.  The reasoning behind the white chocolate is simple, it pretty much IS vanilla flavored cocoa butter, so it’ll never set up properly out of the fridge, and even if you do refrigerate them – the coating softens within minutes of being taken out of the fridge.  I forgot about this, and had many a fingerprint on each one when I tried to plate them for photos, as you see in the second photo from the top.

The reasoning behind why the same problem occurred with the milk chocolate is also simple – I don’t know – but it just doesn’t set up fully.  SO, in conclusion and to reiterate,  melt those two chocolates dry, over a double boiler prior to dipping the cocoa butter or vegetable oil needed, or maybe half the amount of cocoa butter or vegetable oil for the milk chocolate.  You may not get as thin a coating as you would with the dark chocolate, but with a little care, you’ll come close.  As Renato pointed out in my comment section, you could also temper each of those chocolates for a better result.

Miniature Milanos!  Milk Chocolate Coconut and Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Marble with various chocolate fillings

Miniature Milanos!  Milk Chocolate Coconut and Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Marble with various chocolate fillingsI only had Halloween mini-muffin cup liners, but hey, they’re colorful!


OH, a little factoid.  Did you know they don’t sell Mallomars during the summer?  I just found that out a few days ago.  Can’t they pack them in coolers when they ship them off to AIR CONDITIONED supermarkets?  Then again, I wonder if it’s just area related?  Can’t find them in the NY area, according to my source.

Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies (2 dozen? Try 8 dozen!)

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350 F degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly – it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Homemade Marshmallow

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.

Milano Cookies
Adapted from  Gale Gand, via the Food Network website

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies

• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar
• 7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest or lemon extract (optional – but I do not recommend it)
• 1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour
• Cookie filling, recipe follows

Cookie filling:
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest or extract, if using.
3. Add the flour and mix until just combined.
4. With a small (1/4-inch (I used a 1/2-inch plain tip) plain tip, pipe 2-inch long strips of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart since they spread.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate.
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
9. When cool, spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.
10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

Black Sesame Milanos with White Chocolate-Matcha Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz good quality white chocolate
2 teaspoons Matcha powder*

1. To start, using the above Milan cookie batter, omit lemon extract, and use vanilla extract instead, or a combo of vanilla extract and almond extract. Stir about 1/2 to 1 cup of black sesame seeds into the batter, then proceed as directed above.

2. Scald heavy cream, then pour over chopped white chocolate in a bowl.  Let sit for a minute or two, then stir until uniform and smooth.  Stir in two teaspoons of matcha powder, and set aside until until thickened and spreadable.

*Matcha powder is green tea powder, and can be found in most specialty markets, Asian markets, tea shops, and some supermarkets. You can also order it online.

**If you want to add ground pistachios to the Milano batter for my Pistachio Milanos with Chocolate Orange filling; grind them as finely as you can, almost to a powder, and omit some of the flour in the recipe, depending on how much pistachio you add.  I didn’t subtract any flour, and my cookies didn’t spread as much as they should have.  OR, you can just forgo adding them to the batter, and sprinkle some finely chopped or ground pistachios on top of the plain batter after it’s piped. (I prefer a nice, pistachio flavor throughout the cookie, which is why I used the first method, but either way is great). For the filling, just add about a teaspoon of orange zest and if desired, a pinch of cardamom, to the cookie filling recipe above.

*** For the Double Dark Chocolate cookies, I omitted two tablespoons of the flour and substituted it with two tablespoons of dark unsweetened cocoa powder.  I also added two tablespoons melted semisweet chocolate to the batter.  For the filling, use coconut milk instead of heavy cream, plus a little pure coconut extract, in the cookie filling recipe above.

Don’t forget to check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll (also temporary) to see some of the cool ideas other Daring Bakers came up with for this challenge.

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Tuileapalooza – Tuile Cookies, Sweet and Savory

January 29, 2009 at 1:00 am | Posted in Appetizers, Cookies, Daring Bakers, Dessert, Fruit, Puddings, Seafood | 78 Comments
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First off, a warning.  This is a really long entry.

Now that I’ve warned you, I’d like to add another little blurb.  In case you were wondering why my blog seems to only contain Daring Bakers entries the past several months, it’s because I cannot cook or bake on anywhere near even a somewhat daily basis due to my injury.  Once I’m all healed up, you’ll be seeing a lot more entries along with the DB  and other challenges.

Not quite the Venus de Milo

With that said, I had to skip last month’s Daring Bakers challenge due to the rec kitchen being used for holiday preparations and services, and the many  steps in preparing the Buche De Noel.  Although I’m quite familiar with the Buche De Noel, and make several of them every Christmas, the layered, frozen version of it would have been extremely difficult to execute in my wheelchair due to the lack of available space.  Add to that the crazy amount of equipment my friends and family would have had to lug over – I didn’t want to burden them during the holiday fracas.

To say I was bummed is an understatement.  I was dying to take part in it, and found myself mentally concocting flavors and decor, even though I knew it was all for naught.  Due to the aforementioned bummer, I went a little crazy with this month’s challenge – Tuile Cookies.

Before I get to this month’s challenge, I’d like to update you all on my medical situation.  I’m home now, due to my insurance running out DUE to the whacky opinion of the first orthopedist and the 1 1/2 months I spent at the center trying to rehab a knee that wasn’t surgically repaired.  I wanted to leave the center using a cane, with the ability to get up my stairs without %$%#ing railings.  Well, you can’t have everything, right?

I have a physical therapist who comes to my home only twice a week, so my progress has definitely slowed down a bit.  However, we’re working on tackling the most important stairs for me, the stairs down to the kitchen, along with 90 degree knee bending, which is the worst, most excruciatingly painful part of this.

Back to the stairs to the kitchen, my favorite place in the world.  There are only two steps, but they’re big and steep, and, as mentioned above, there’s nothing to hold onto to get up or down them.  Even when I do manage to do it with comfort and I guess you could say ease, which still isn’t easy, the ability to cook and bake is null and void . Until I can use both hands to retrieve stuff from the fridge and cupboards and stand for long periods steadily, I’m out of commission en la cucina.

img_3275 untitled3

Because of all of the above, for this month’s challenge I gathered a rotating entourage of friends and family to bring the equipment and ingredients to the breakfast nook right above the Mount Everest of kitchen stairs.  I sit at a table, internally (and sometimes externally) bitching and moaning because I can’t do this stuff myself.  Their duties (heh) also include putting stuff in the oven and taking it out, which posed a slight problem in this month’s tuile challenge since you have such a small window of time to shape them.  Because of that, I didn’t do much shaping and stuck to basic squares, triangles, rectangles, circles.  I rolled one batch into Pirouette like cookies, so that was a ‘move fast’ feat in itself.

Regardless, I’m so thankful for their time and help, more than words could ever convey. Even the leftovers my parents brought me for lunch yesterday was more than appreciated (throw some scraps to the invalid is a running joke we have going).  When it came time to cook the coconut cream and limoncello-lemon curd,  I used an electric fondue pot.  Surprisingly, it worked well.  When you have an injury that prevents you from doing some of the most simple things in life, it’s amazing how resourceful you become.

Nutella - Cinnamon Sticks - Rolled Cinnamon Cookies filled with Nutella

Coconut Cream Bowls with Bruleed Bananas and Coconut Tuiles

Everyone was rewarded  (well, the absolute least I could do for them at this juncture) with a tuile dessert a week, for three weeks.  Although enjoyed, I’m pretty sure they’re sick of them by now.

Finally, onto this month’s Daring Bakers challenge.  As usual, I’d like to thank this month’s hosts; Karen aka Baking Soda of  Bake My Day! and Zorra aka Kochtopf at 1x umruhren bitte  This couldn’t have been a more perfect challenge for me in terms of ease and creativity, due to my current situation.

I decided to go with some sweet tuile batter variations of down home dessert  favorites such as lemon meringue pie, coconut-banana cream pie, and some sort of cinnamon cookie along the lines of a snickerdoodle, all with a twist.  I used the savory tuile recipe to make one of my ‘famous’ party appetizer recipes  The recipe is a version of boursin cheese using mascarpone instead of cream cheese, and served with homemade garlic-chive bread.

This time, I added a relish to it, a tomato – horseradish relish.  It’s not only aesthetically beautiful, but it’s a perfect flavor addition to this preparation.  But, when this month’s challenge was announced, I thought, ‘Why not some garlic-chive tuiles instead?’  They’re delicate and not as sturdy as the bread (so it’s probably better to spread the cheese on them instead of dipping), but they pair beautifully with the cheese.

First layer of  Limoncello Meringue Napoleon, or just serve like this, a pistachio tuile lemon meringue cookie sandwich!

With that said, I did encounter several catastrophes, especially with the Limoncello Meringue Napoleons.  A huge tray of gorgeous corkscrew tuiles crashed to the floor and I was only able to salvage a few corkscrew pieces for presentation.  With all the running back and forth to the oven to keep them pliable, that was an hour of my friend’s time and my asbestos hands, wasted.

Even worse, the fully assembled napoleons had to sit for an hour due to my forgetting to ask someone to bring me the mint and lemon peel for the final presentation.  I didn’t have another someone in the vicinity, so waiting was my only option.  This resulted in droopy, weeping meringue filling, which you can plainly see in the finished napoleon photo below.  I also broke about a million tuile bowls for the coconut cream bowls. Those became edible ART (see the first photo in this entry).

Here are the Daring Bakers master recipes for sweet and savory tuile batter, followed by my recipes.   Please scroll down through all the recipes to view more photos.

Sweet Tuile Recipe
From”The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.

Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example) Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

  • 65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
  • 60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
  • 2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
  • 65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
  • Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

Oven: 180C / 350F

1. Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.

3. Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.

If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones etc.

Alternative Baking:
Un-glutenize the batter given by substituting the flour for any nut meal or oat flour.

Savory Tuile/Cornet recipe
From Thomas Keller’s  The French Laundry Cookbook

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (65 grams/2.1/4 ounces) all purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (= 2/3 teaspoon table salt)**
  • 8 tablespoons (114 grams/4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch 
  • 2 large egg whites, cold 
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the softened butter until it is completely smooth and mayonnaise-like in texture. Using a stiff spatula or spoon, beat the egg whites into the dry ingredients until completely incorporated and smooth. Whisk in the softened butter by thirds, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary and whisking until the batter is creamy and without any lumps. Transfer the batter to a smaller container, as it will be easier to work with.

2.Make a 4-inch hollow circular stencil. Place Silpat on the counter (it is easier to work on the Silpat before it is put on the sheet pan). Place the stencil in one corner of the sheet and, holding the stencil flat against the Silpat, scoop some of the batter onto the back of an offset spatula and spread it in an even layer over the stencil. Then run the spatula over the entire stencil to remove any excess batter. After baking the first batch of cornets, you will be able to judge the correct thickness. You may need a little more or less batter to adjust the thickness of the cornets.

3. There should not be any holes in the batter. Lift the stencil and repeat the process to make as many rounds as you have molds or to fill the Silpat, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cornets. Sprinkle each cornet with a pinch of black sesame seeds.

4. Place the Silpat on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the batter is set and you see it rippling from the heat. The cornets may have browned in some areas, but they will not be evenly browned at this point.

5. Open the oven door and place the baking sheet on the door. This will help keep the cornets warm as you roll them and prevent them from becoming too stiff to roll. Flip a cornet over on the sheet pan, sesame seed side down and place 4-1/2 inch cornet mold at the bottom of the round. If you are right-handed, you will want the pointed end on your left and the open end on your right. The tip of the mold should touch the lower left edge (at about 7 o’clock on a clock face) of the cornet.

6. Fold the bottom of the cornet and around the mold; it should remain on the sheet pan as you roll. Leave the cornet wrapped around the mold and continue to roll the cornets around molds; as you proceed, arrange the rolled cornets, seams side down, on the sheet pan so they lean against each other, to prevent from rolling.

7. When all the cornets are rolled, return them to the oven shelf, close the door, and bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes to set the seams and color the cornets a golden brown. If the color is uneven, stand the cornets on end for a minute or so more, until the color is even. Remove the cornets from the oven and allow to cool just slightly, 30 seconds or so.

8. Gently remove the cornets from the molds and cool for several minutes on paper towels. Remove the Silpat from the baking sheet, wipe the excess butter from it, and allow it to cool down before spreading the next batch. Store the cornets for up to 2 days (for maximum flavor) in an airtight container.

Limoncello Meringue – Pistachio Napoleons

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                                      Weepy meringue, tired of sitting! 

Limoncello Lemon Curd


  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3 to 4 lemons)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup limoncello liqueur

Swiss Meringue


  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

Pistachio Sugar


  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Limoncello-Lemon Curd

1.Finely grate the lemon zest. Squeeze enough juice to equal 1/2 cup. Strain juice through a fine, wire-meshed strainer. Set aside.

2. Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to come 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. In a heat-resistant bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and slightly thickened. Add the reserved zest and juice and whisk to combine.

3. Set the bowl with the egg mixture over the simmering water and whisk constantly until mixture thickens, 10 to 12 minutes. The mixture will turn a light yellow color and coat the back of a spoon. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the diced butter into the curd, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each piece to incorporate before adding the next. Stir in the limoncello. Strain the curd through a wire-meshed strainer and place in a clean, non-reactive container. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming. Chill completely in the fridge.

For the Swiss Meringue

1. Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to come 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. In a heat-resistant bow, lightly whisk egg whites and sugar together over simmering water until egg-white mixture is hot to touch or a candy thermometer reads 140°F (60°C).

2. Pour hot whites into a room-temperature bowl and whip with a wire whip until double in volume on MEDIUM-HIGH speed. When the mixer stops, the meringue should not move around in the bowl.

For the Pistachio Sugared Tuile Squares

1. Grind the pistachios with the sugar in a food processor until fine.

2. Using a 2 1/2 to 3-inch square template, spread 18 squares of the above sweet tuile batter recipe on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle each square with pistachio sugar and bake as directed.


1. Fill a pastry bag, using any tip you prefer, with the swiss meringue, leaving some extra meringue for the plates and topping.  Fill another pastry bag and tip with the limoncello curd.  OPTIONALLY, you can spoon the lemon curd onto the tuiles if you’d like.

2. Place a small dollop of the swiss meringue on a plate and top with one pistachio tuile square, sugared side up. Pipe dots (or just spoon some on) of the curd on top of the tuile to cover, then decoratively pipe some meringue over the curd.  Using a torch or your oven broiler, brown the meringue (For this preparation, I highly recommend investing in a kitchen or blow torch if you don’t have one.  It’s SO much quicker and VERY easy).  

3. Top the meringue with a dot of limoncello curd (to hold the second tuile in place) and then the second tuile, sugared side up, and repeat the above on the second tuile.  Top with one more tuile square.  Pipe the center of the top tuile with a swirl of meringue (brown if desired) and garnish with candied lemon peel, fresh mint and tuile corkscrews (roll thin, piped lines of baked tuiles around a pencil or wooden spoon).

4. Repeat with 5 more plates so you have 6 individual servings.  Each napoleon should  contain 3 tuile squares.

Camembert – Mascarpone Garlic Cheese Rillettes with Tomato-Horseradish Relish and Garlic-Chive Tuiles

Garlic - Herb Cheese Rounds with Chive Tuiles

Mascarpone-Camembert Garlic Herb Cheese


  • 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cubed Camembert cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (or more to taste) fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chopped chives for assembly

Tomato-Horseradish Relish


  • 1 cup diced grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
  • salt aand pepper to taste

For the Cheese;

1. In a food processor, combine the camembert, mascarpone, butter, cheese and garlic. Mix at full speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until uniform. Add the lemon juice, then pulse until combined. Remove the mixture to a bowl and stir in the chopped red onion and dill.

2. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl or pack into 4-10 (depending on the size you use.  I used eight 3-inch ring molds) individual ring molds and let chill, covered, on a baking sheet until firm.  The longer it sits in the fridge before serving, the more flavorful.

For the Tomato-Horseradish Relish;

1. Combine all ingredients and let marinate at room temperature for at least an hour.  Store any leftover in an airtight container in the fridge.

For the Garlic-Chive Tuiles

1. Follow the  recipe for savory tuiles above, omitting the black sesame seeds.  Add 2 cloves finely chopped garlic to the batter.  Using about a 2 to 3-inch triangle template, spread about 20-30 triangles onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.  Top each triangle with chopped, fresh chives.  Bake as directed.


1. Garnish bowl of Garlic – Herb Cheese with tomato relish and serve with the garlic-chive tuiles. If using ring molds for individual servings, dip the outside of the mold in hot water and gently pop out each round of cheese.  Roll the sides of each mini-cheese round in chopped chives and place onto a serving place.  Stick several of the garlic-chive tuiles into each round, around the top, and spoon some tomato-horseradish relish in the middle.

Note Sometimes I add smoked trout or smoked salmon to the cheese mixture.  Just add last and pulse in the food processor.

Coconut Cream Bowls with Bruleed Bananas and Coconut Tuiles



Coconut Cream


  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil*
  • fresh or packaged coconut flakes, toasted AND untoasted

Bruleed Bananas


  • 6 bananas, peeled, split vertically, and cut horizontally into thirds – you should have 24 halves of banana
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • melted chocolate of your choice

F6r the Coconut Cream

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil.  reduce the heat to low and keep on a slow simmer.

2.  In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt and cornstarch until combined.  Temper the egg mixture with a little of the hot coconut milk.  Pour the milk-egg mixture back intio the saucepan with the rest of the coconut milk and stir, cooking on low heat until it coats the back of a spoon.

3. Remove from heat, then stir in the butter, vanilla extract and coconut oil.  Strain through a sieve into another bowl, cover the top of the cream with plastic wrap and let cool.  Once cool, refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Bruleed Bananas

1. Place the banana halves on a baking sheet and  sprinkle each half with about  1 Tablespoon sugar.  Either put under the broiler until caramelized or use a kitchen torch on each one. Drizzle with melted chocolate.  Set aside to harden and cool until ready to assemble.

For the Tuile Bowls and Coconut Tuiles

1.  Using the recipe for sweet tuile batter above, spread six 5 to 6-inch circles on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.  Also spread 4 or more off kilter triangles (you can use a premade or homemade template for both). Sprinkle the triangles with untoasted coconut flakes.  Bake as directed above.

2.  Immediately mold the circles around upside down 5-inch bowls.  Dip the tops of the bowls in melted chocolate if desired.


1.  Fill each tuile bowl with some of the coconut cream.  Place 4 bruleed bananas around each bowl, resting each from the center to the edge (you might want to place each tuile bowl in a regular bowl that fits, since the bananas can weigh down the tuile and crack it).  Drizzle with some melted chocolate and top with toasted coconut.  Place a coconut tuile triangle or two into the coconut cream, in the center of each bowl.  Makes six individual servings.

*Coconut oil is available in Asian or specialty markets

Nutella filled Cinnamon Sticks

Nutella - Cinnamon Sticks - Rolled Cinnamon Cookies filled with Nutella


1.  Add two teaspoons of cinnamon to the above sweet tuile batter recipe.  Spread about 20 2 by 5-inch rectangles on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle the tops with a little extra cinnamon or cinnamon sugar.  Bake as directed, then while still warm, roll tightly around the handle of a wooden spoon or a pencil.

2.  Fill a pastry bag with a small, plain tip with Nutella (homemade or jarred) and pipe gently into each side of the cinnamon stick until full.  Makes about 20 sticks.

Well, that’s all folks.  Please make sure to visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see what luscious creations my fellow Daring Bakers came up with.

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