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Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Pancakes
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Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

I realize that over the past nearly 6 years, I’ve given you guys no less than 4 other pancakes recipes here.  It probably could have been more like 6 0r 8 had a few of the other recipes we’ve tried actually had a chance to be photographed but some Sunday mornings are like that.  Padding around the kitchen in pjs and fuzzy wicked good Bean slippers, toting a cooling mug of coffee, flipping flapjacks and drizzling maple syrup…oftentimes I just don’t feel like distracting myself from a dreamy Sunday morning to pull out my camera and make things look pretty for photographs, no matter how great the food is.  My apologies.

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

But I’ve been dreaming up these toasted coconut chocolate chunk pancakes for a few weeks now and I knew they would be too good not to share right away.  And by right away, I mean: you’ll want them right away.  Like for dinner tonight…or dessert, perhaps?  Because they are fuuuull of melty chocolate chunks and freshly toasted coconut, and even when you’re eating them for an actual meal (thereby possibly overstuffing yourself for the rest of the day) they really are quite the sweet indulgence.  And that’s probably why we both loved them so much.  Minus the overstuffing part.  That wasn’t fun.

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Pancakes

We certainly didn’t feel like braving the 10 degree New England air yesterday morning to hit up our favorite little place, Leo’s, in town for breakfast but I’d say this was quite the perfect way to “make do” with a few pantry staples, settle down with a full warm plate in hand, watch the kitty sleep by the fire, and spend some time with the seed catalog dreaming of spring.  I’ll never stop loving Sunday mornings.

Kitchen Sink Cookies
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Kitchen Sink Cookies

After having made a huge batch of these cookies a few weeks ago, I’m SO glad I froze the majority of the dough in a ready-to-bake form.  Not only were these cookies one of the more outstanding cookies I’ve made in quite a while, but they came in extra handy this past week and weekend during Hurricane Irene and the time following sans electricity.  Packed with protein from a good deal of creamy peanut butter and whole grains from the oats, these kitchen sink cookies make a great snack or dessert that obviously don’t need to be refrigerated.

Kitchen Sink Cookies

If you’re wondering about the name, the explanation is pretty simple: you can basically throw everything but the kitchen sink into them.  In addition to the original ingredients, in this version I also added chocolate chunks in place of the recommended chips, Reese’s Pieces since you can never have too much peanut butter in a cookie, and toasted coconut (my version is below).  Toasted coconut adds this amazing depth of flavor to baked goods and since I needed some for the granola I also made recently, I decided to use some of in these cookies as well.  (Look at me patting myself on the back right now. :)

Kitchen Sink Cookies

The cookies themselves are nothing short of magnificent.  They are mostly chewy but have nice crispy edges and because there is NO flour in them, the peanut butter really shines through as a main ingredient.  And the best part?  In every single cookie, you’ve got different pops of added-in flavor so no one cookie is alike!  I’m thankful to have baked up a bunch of these before we lost electricity because they really are quite comforting during this mess of a week we’re having here.

Banana Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
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Homemade ice cream has been one of the most fantastic ideas we’ve had in the past year and The Perfect Scoop has seriously been the best cookbook purchase I made in the past year.  It seems like each recipe we try is better than the previous one and this banana toasted coconut is no different.  I’m a huge fan of anything toasted coconut and this recipe is the only ice cream I’ve been thinking about since I came across the recipe a few weeks ago.

The recipe is for a creamy and delectable French-style ice cream that takes a little bit of time to make but is more than worth the effort.  I thought it was a little strange that Lebovitz instructs to toss the toasted coconut after it steeps in the heavy cream-milk mixture but the coconut flavor is fully prominent even without the actual coconut in the ice cream.  I should note that the banana was not in the original recipe but we love the combination of banana and coconut and since I had some frozen slices, I mixed about in about 1 cup after the mixture was finished churning.  I couldn’t have been happier with how this recipe turned out and it’s definitely one I’ll be making again.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies
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When I say I’ve been wanting to make these cookies for over 5 years, I’m not kidding.  Seriously, I printed this recipe off of FoodNetwork long before I knew the power of Ina’s recipes…long before I purchased any of her cookbooks…long before I was blogging…long before blogging was “in.”  The printed recipe somehow got lost in the shuffle of paperwork, made the move from our old house to this one, and periodically reappears in said paperwork when I’m looking for something or sorting through the “stuff.” For whatever reason, the recipe has yet to make it to the kitchen and into my rotation and I subsequently forget about it until I open up Family Style and remind myself that I need to make these cookies.  It never got done until this week.

And now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long because these were some of the best cookies I’ve ever eaten.  And if you love shortbread as much as I do, you’ll agree with me. It took all I had in me not to keep eating these yesterday!  I wasn’t too sure about rolling the dough balls in coconut but I’m so glad I decided to because the toasted coconut added such a depth of flavor to the shortbread and jam that I was overwhelmed with delight.  As for the jam…of course there are tons of different flavors you can use.  Ina recommends raspberry and apricot, neither of which I had so I used strawberry and orange marmalade.  Now, I’m a full-on strawberry jam kind of girl but honestly, I didn’t love it in these cookies and I feel like the flavor almost got lost in the shortbread and coconut.  The marmalade on the other hand, was outstanding!  I know that some lemon or orange zest in the dough would be fantastic since the citrus jam “pops” amongst the other flavors.

Many many thanks to Cassandra of Foodie with Little Thyme for forcing me into finally making these fantastic little cookies!