Baked Chocolate Coconut Doughnuts


Back to my blog – hope you haven’t forgotten me. I have been cooking and baking a lot this fall but have not taken the time to update and publish. Let me know what you think of these semi-healthy doughnuts..

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray (I like the ones made with coconut oil)


First, mix together in medium bowl:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

Then stir in:

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil

1/2 teaspoon coconut emulsion

Transfer batter to gallon ziploc bag. Snip off corner, then fill each doughnut pan cavity 3/4 full. Bake until puffed and golden, about 8-10 minutes. After 5 minutes, gently transfer to wire rack to cool. Then prepare glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 cup good cocoa powder

4-6 tablespoons milk

Blend until smooth. Dip each doughnut in glaze and top with toasted coconut flakes and sprinkle with mini semi sweet chocolate chips.



Fresh Cherry Clafouti

I made this today with another variation – 2/3 cherries and 1/3 blueberries. I could pretty much could live off of fresh berries and fruit this time of year. It was amazing….

Source: Fresh Cherry Clafouti

Caribbean Rum Coconut Pie

I have been absent from this blog (but not from the kitchen) for a few months. There have been many recipes that haven’t made it from the kitchen to the computer – other priorities beckoned. I just returned from St. Croix and enjoyed many delicious fresh coconut dishes. The one thing I was craving was coconut cream pie – but there was none to be found on the island (I checked)  Here’s a great recipe I created today that is short on prep time and big on taste.



1 ready to bake rolled pie crust, brought to room temperature
1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla bean paste or extract

2 tablespoons dark rum

1 cup tru whip or cool whip, thawed


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Carefully roll out pie crust onto 9 inch pie plate, using  pie weights to help keep shape. Bake 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool.

Decrease oven temperature to 230 degrees F.
Spread the coconut out evenly on a baking sheet and bake it, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 -10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, flour and salt and mix well. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Add rum and continue stirring consistently for 1 minite more. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and the vanilla extract.
Pour the filling into the pie shell and chill until firm, about 3-4 hours.
top with whipped topping and with the remaining coconut. Store leftovers lightly covered in the refrigerator.

Easy Peach Blackberry Pie

Today we bought some amazing blackberries from the local roadside stand. The owner told us that his wife had just picked them this morning. We dug in as soon as we got home, eating them fresh right out of the box, and they were amazingly sweet and delicious. I wanted to bake something with them, so I dug out some of my old fruit pie recipes and modified one to use with the easy store bought refrigerated pie crusts. This pie is really delicious, flavorful and fresh tasting. It is not too sweet and not mushy or overcooked – the short baking time brings out the taste of the fruit while still keeping the fruit firm. The best way to top this is with a big dollop of homemade whipped cream with a sprinke of nutmeg over it. This pie is super easy to make and so worth it!



3 cups fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

2 cups fresh blackberries, washed and patted dry with a paper towel

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 box Pillsbury all ready pie crusts

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

fresh whipped cream, optional


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix the fruit, cornstarch and sugar in a large bowl. Press one of the pie crusts into the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan. Pour the fruit mixture into the pie crust. Cover with the remaining pie crust and seal. Cut slits in the top of the crust to vent. Brush the top crust with the melted butter, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and nutmeg over the top. Bake in 450 degree oven for 12 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 25 to 30 minutes, until juices are bubbling and crust is browned. Let cool 30 minutes, then serve with whipped cream.

Strawberry Cottage Pudding Shortcake

I posted this almost 1 year ago today – and it is the first day I am making it again this year after purchasing some absolutely gorgeous strawberries from a roadside stand today. Go out and buy some strawberries – you must try this recipe!

Berries and Cocoa


I was driving down Highway 65 today and I saw the first “fresh strawberries” sign of the spring by the road. I tried not to spin too much gravel as I quickly did a U turn and pulled off to the side of the road.  Let me tell you, if you have never had fresh-picked-that-morning strawberries from the farmer who grew them, then you are missing out on a foodie flavor treat that simply cannot be replicated. The strawberries that are grown commercially are much sturdier and firmer since they have to travel well and stay fresh for at least 10 days in the store. They are usually picked greener too. Its like the difference between a home grown tomato and the ones you get in the produce section of Safeway. This is a wonderful shortcake recipe that is a variation of  the original Cottage Pudding Cake that was featured…

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Ghirardelli Chocolate Toffee Brownies


Brownies…who doesn’t love brownies? No one in this house – they are one of the most requested desserts. As much as I love cooking and baking, I have used the box mix more often than not. They are super easy to make and always taste great. Sometimes I even hide the box and pretend I made them from scratch. There is definitely a difference between the box and from scratch and making them from scratch is worth the time. I have been experimenting with different recipes and this is the current favorite. It is the perfect combination of cakey vs fudgy brownies – if you want them even cakier you can add in another egg. If you aren’t a toffee fan, you can substitute chocolate chips or walnuts if you like.

The secret to this whole deal is using a very good quality chocolate…this is the one I use:


Ghirardelli 60% cacao…I love baking with this! Ever since my visit to the factory in San Francisco in 1985, I have been hooked on this brand.  Another good quality baking chocolate to try is Scharffen Berger. Trader Joe’s is really good too….


2 bars (7ounces) Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chocolate baking bar

1/2 cup plus one tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or good vanilla extract

1/2 cup Heath English Toffee bits

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper over hangs by a few inches.

Melt chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool. If you don’t have a double boiler, place in microwave safe dish and microwave on half power in 30 second increments, stirring after each time. Stir until thoroughly blended, let cool for 5 minutes.

In a seperate bowl, add eggs and beat slightly, then stir in sugars, salt, vanilla and Heath bits. Stir until well blended. Add chocolate mixture and and stir until smooth. Add flour and salt and mix until just combined.

Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly, smoothing top. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool. When cooled, lift brownies out of pan using the overhanging parchment paper. Cut into squares and watch them disappear!


*Inspired by a recipe on the website “Bake or Break” 

Fresh Cherry Clafouti



Okay here it is….spring roadside fruit stand menu part deux…..

I pretty much could live off of fresh berries and fruit this time of year. I am a sucker for every sign on the side of the road whether it is fresh cherries, blueberries, strawberries…the taste is just so much better than what you can buy in the store. My favorite dessert to make with fresh black cherries is also one of the easiest to make…the simple but elegant clafouti.

Clafoutis (pronounced “kla-foo-TEE”) is a rustic French dessert originally from Limousin, in southern France. This region is best known for its sweet black cherries which are traditionally baked in a sweet custard filling. This dessert is super easy to make – the filling is similar to a crepe, but is more thick and pudding like texture – actually it is more like a cross between a cake and a pudding. As it bakes, the batter forms a golden crust and the cherries burst, forming puddles of thick syrup… it should look something like this. The bonus – it is really easy to make but looks like something you spent hours creating..


If it is long past cherry season, plums or even peaches will work just as well with this amazing batter…


3 tablespoons sliced almonds

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2 large pints fresh black cherries, stemmed and pitted (about 4 cups)

1/4 cup kirsh or brandy (optional)

1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cherries in a medium bowl stir in liqueur and macerate for 30 minutes. Place sliced almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.

Use butter to grease bottom and sides of 9 X 9 by 2 inch pan. Place flour, 2/3 cup sugar, salt and almonds in a food processor, and pulse until mixture is finely ground. In a seperate medium bowl, add eggs, egg yolks, 3/4 cup of the cream, vanilla and lemon zest. Blend with a wire whisk until blended, then add flour mixture. Whisk thoroughly to combine and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to rest.


Pour cherries into bottom of pan and spread evenly over bottom. Pour batter over cherries and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining sugar over top of dish and bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbling. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Sprinkle sifted confectioners sugar over top of each serving.  Whip  remaning 1/2 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Serve clafouti warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream.

Try this with plums too and let me know which one you like better…