Coconut Flour Donut Holes

coconut flour donut holesWith a short time this morning between shifts, I decided to mix up a special treat for the family’s breakfast. There was one recipe I’d been eyeing for quite awhile–Coconut Flour Donut Holes. I knew that this one could be completed quickly during the time available and would certainly satisfy my family’s longing for something sweet. To the kitchen!

Although I didn’t have all of the equipment listed in the recipe, I was certain that I could do without. I would love those baking cups and the pastry brush, but I just don’t have them currently. Still, I managed to get by, even without that fun stuff.

I was able to gather and combine all of the ingredients in about 10 minutes, all while the oven was warming up. There was a moment of frustration when I first looked at the batter; it looked initially to be much too wet to form balls. However, after a minute or so, the flour absorbed most of the liquid, and my fears were put to rest. I was able to make each by hand and place them in the muffin tin.

These baked up nicely and resulted in a very light texture. My main problem came with coating them with the topping. At first, I thought I could dip each one in the coconut oil and then roll in the sugar mixture. Huh-uh…this was a disaster. Do not try this as the “holes” broke apart in the oil. I finally poured the coconut oil onto each donut in the muffin pan and then sprinkled on the topping. This worked rather well and avoided the earlier mess. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

My family thoroughly enjoyed this tasty treat. These are not all that filling, and so I would certainly recommend eating this with something else, such as yogurt or fruit. However, if you want a special something for breakfast, these can’t be beat!

Simple Treats: Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

almond meal cookiesI have to admit that lately I’m feeling a bit worn out. Although I actually enjoy cooking and baking, it just seemed too overwhelming in the midst of all of my work lately. I must confess that we’ve been eating out a lot. Not frugal, but sometimes necessary for sanity’s sake. Rising early and staying up late, I found that cooking can be simply too much when faced with such a schedule. I don’t think it’s bad to ask for help in such times, and seeking rest eventually will help with the soul as well as the mind.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” —Psalm 62:1-2

Luckily, I believe I’m at the end of the heavy work period and so will be able to dive into baking and cooking. To celebrate–a tiny bit, at least–I decided to bake a quick batch of Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut. I had some time and all of the ingredients, so off I went to the kitchen.

For my cookies, I chose to use coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar, and I used chocolate from Bulk Foods. The batter was easy to mix up but resulted in a somewhat crumbly mixture. I was able to form the cookies, though, after the refrigeration period, and they cooked up nicely. One tip might be to do the smooshing of the cookies after a few minutes in the oven so that they don’t crumble into pieces. I also baked mine about 9 minutes, which seemed perfect for my oven.

The cookies were sweet, but in a natural way, with a light texture and taste. I would definitely make these again as they satisfied the tastebuds of both children and adults.

So here’s to simple pleasures and treats! Be sure and take some time for rest for your bodies and souls in the midst of heavy schedules. And don’t forget some nourishing treats as well.

 

Pumpkin Pie Reeses

pumpkinpiereesesWith just a tad of pumpkin left in a can, I needed just the right recipe to use it. Luckily I had found the recipe for Pumpkin Pie Reeses on Pinterest. It seemed like the perfect thing to make on a Sunday afternoon—using up the last of my pumpkin with a bit of sweetness for my honey. Well, that was the plan, at least.

My husband, who has enjoyed the coconut chocolates that I have made in the past, thought that these candies tasted “off.” He—the man who normally likes dark chocolate, even up to 80% cacao—scrunched up his nose and hesitated to respond when I asked how he liked them. I knew he didn’t want to hurt my feelings, and so he just wouldn’t give me an opinion other than the initial impression.

I tasted them and found them to taste like dark chocolate—not my favorite, but still fine. My assumption is that perhaps they weren’t sweet enough, or maybe just not the right combination of flavors for him. They may grow on him with time, but I always like to see a happy hubby when he’s eating my sweets.

Here are some possible suggestions if you make this recipe:

  • Use real chocolate instead of making the coconut chocolate for these goodies.
  • Add more sweetener to the chocolate and the filling.
  • Use this recipe for the coconut chocolates instead.

All in all, I had hoped that he would love this dessert, but it doesn’t seem like that will be the case. There will be more desserts, though, and always another chance to make him a happy hubby.

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Getting Fancy with Chocolate

gettingfancywithchocolateMy poor honey has had quite a week so far; I therefore wanted to treat him a bit with something sweet. As you may remember, I mixed up some coconut oil chocolates awhile back. Not to repeat myself, I wanted to fancify those chocolates, making them extra special. I wound up with three varieties to delight the taste buds of both my husband and myself.

First, you might notice that the candies are in different shapes. I indulged in silicon molds for our chocolates so that they would come out a bit nicer. Another benefit is that by using various molds, you can provide your family with an easy clue as to the type of candy they are eating. I used two molds for this batch today—one pumpkin and one flower.

As my husband loves candied ginger and coconut, I decided to sprinkle those two ingredients in the bottom of each mold and then pour the chocolate over the top. Although the finished candy wasn’t without some bubbles and lumps from the ginger and coconut, they taste great. Both ingredients seem to complement this type of chocolate, adding a new dimension to the flavor of the candies.

coffeechocolatesMaking the above chocolates, I began to wonder about coffee. Could I add coffee to the candy? I couldn’t not try it, and so I prepared to make a new batch. As an experiment, I added instant coffee to the coconut oil and honey as they were melting. I’ll admit that the mixture looked awful at first but began to smooth out through careful whisking. And the result? Oh, my! They are wonderful! The candy tastes like a dark chocolate that is infused with coffee, and they melt in your mouth. Too, they pack quite a punch with the caffeine in them.

All in all, this attempt to fancify the candy worked wonderfully. This recipe—on top of being simple enough for even me to make—is obviously very adaptable and so can be altered to fit your family’s tastes. For those of us who can’t afford to visit an expensive chocolatier, this is a frugal way to make candies for your own family.

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Homemade Candy for My Hubby

homemadecandyformyhubbyIt’s been kind of rough lately around our house. With me partially unemployed and my husband unemployed, we have to struggle sometimes to keep our spirits up. We do try to focus on the essentials of life, but occasionally life just wears you down. So I decided to make something special for my husband–homemade candy.

Now, I don’t claim to be a chocolatier or professional candy maker–or even a mom who’s just darn good with sugar. My only claim to fame was being a fan of the song, “The Candy Man Can,” as a child. No, I just know what my husband likes. So, banning any sense of inadequacy or warning, I forged ahead and made candy.

I selected as the main attraction Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Balls. I had made something similar in the past, so I assumed that this would be easy peasy. Don’t you just hate it when you enter a project with your spirit soaring and your hopes high, just to be brought back to reality a moment later? I was on a chocolate high, thinking myself the latest Giada. Well, obviously, I’m not. Everything went well until I melted the chocolate for the first batch. It seized up. Undeterred but frustrated, I managed to get things going again and finished the dipping stage. And then, as I was repackaging the chocolate, one of the melting discs fell out of my hands, on to the floor, and disappeared into nothingness. With animals around and fears of chocolate poisoning in my head, I panicked. I tore the kitchen apart and cleaned everything, eventually finding the errant chocolate disc underneath the stove. So much for Giada.

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Having rested from the original candymaking session and cleaning, I decided to try another recipe that I had seen recently. It was Irresistible Coconut Oil Chocolates. I saw the beautiful little candies on the page and thought, “I can do this!” Well, sort of. It turns out that the silicon molds are much more important than I thought. As I didn’t have one, I thought that I would just pour the mix into a greased 8×8 pan. It did work, but the bottoms of the chocolates were wet, which made them difficult to remove from the pan. Still, they taste wonderful and melt in your mouth. They are quite unique and were much easier to make than the bonbons. coconutoilchocolates

Well, obviously I’m not Giada or even a second-rate chocolatier. But when you’re frugal, you often have to take that leap and do things that you wouldn’t normally do. And that is often rewarding in itself, that despite obstacles and a possible lack of skill or knowledge, I made something yummy for my husband.

Although the candies aren’t very pretty, they do taste very good. Perhaps too this might be a way for us frugal folks to pretend that we’re a rich housewife with fancy chocolates. Sit on your couch, close your eyes, and eat those bonbons crafted by your own hands. What could be more satisfying than that?