Just a pinch of Coconut!

On a busy corner in New York stands one of the yummiest bakeries EVER: Magnolia Bakery.  Their secret to their baking creations being so darn tasty is that they take baking back to basics and stick to unassuming but quality ingredients…one of them being coconut.  Coconut, while it certainly isn’t a new ingredient in the world of baking, it is one of my new favourite “go to” ingredients. I got hooked on the coconut craze after visit and dutifully (haha) taste-testing several items at Magnolia Bakery.  My coconut obsession continued back at home while trying out numerous recipes from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook (while I highly recommend the book, I swear this is not a plug simply for Magnolia!) Several of the cookbook’s basic cookie and bread recipes called for coconut, which I was a bit weary of in the beginning. However, after attempting the Coconut Oatmeal Drop Cookies and the Banana Bread with Coconut & Pecans, I was in dessert heaven. Not only is the coconut’s fresh nutty flavour an added dimension of taste to your desserts, but I find it  adds juiciness and a lovely complex texture to cookies, custards, breads and beyond.  Coconut is also quite versatile in that the texture it creates can be either crunchy or chewy and light. In addition, the hearty texture and health benefits of coconut oils, flours and flakes are a fabulous substitute to gluten-free cooking.

I have included some of most favourite coconut based recipes thus far for you to try out.  I know for many people, coconut is an acquired taste, but trust me; with the recipe links listed below, even the coconut nay-sayers in your life will be asking for seconds! Happy Baking

Coconut Oatmeal Drop Cookies Tip: I had about a half cup of Skor pieces to the mix.  When the Skor melts, it caramelizes the oatmeal and coconut. Plus, I add about a ¼ cup more coconut than is called for

Banana Bread with Coconut & Pecans Tip: add some milk chocolate chips (of course!)

Gluten-Free Coconut Layer Cakes

Caramel Heavenlies

Cheers,

Shannon

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