Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

coconut cream pie

I have three favorite pies: chocolate chess pie, bourbon chocolate chip pecan pie, and coconut cream pie. Not just any coconut cream pie, but the kind with a flaky crust, golden toasted coconut, rich, pastry cream-like coconut filling, and the fluffiest homemade whipped cream. My love of coconut cream pie is not necessarily because of my southern background, as we never made them at home, but my location definitely enabled my exposure to and exuberance for the delicious pie.

This classic coconut cream pie has a perfectly flaky crust, rich, coconut pastry cream filling, fluffy homemade whipped cream, golden-toasted coconut, and a side of good 'ol nostalgia. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This classic coconut cream pie has a perfectly flaky crust, rich, coconut pastry cream filling, fluffy homemade whipped cream, golden-toasted coconut, and a side of good 'ol nostalgia. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This classic coconut cream pie has a perfectly flaky crust, rich, coconut pastry cream filling, fluffy homemade whipped cream, golden-toasted coconut, and a side of good 'ol nostalgia. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

After a particularly rough day during my freshman year of college, I called my mom to vent, talk, and probably cry. She worked about 30 minutes away, which was far enough that I didn’t see her very often, but close enough that she could come over if I needed her to. This arrangement was great for laundry, rides home, and on this particular day, pie. That day, when I was in a typical freshman slump, she dropped everything, picked me up from my dorm, and took me down the road to Foster’s Market where we each picked out a slice of pie to share with each other. There isn’t much that one-on-one time with mum and a slice of pie can’t fix.

This classic coconut cream pie has a perfectly flaky crust, rich, coconut pastry cream filling, fluffy homemade whipped cream, golden-toasted coconut, and a side of good 'ol nostalgia. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This classic coconut cream pie has a perfectly flaky crust, rich, coconut pastry cream filling, fluffy homemade whipped cream, golden-toasted coconut, and a side of good 'ol nostalgia. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This classic coconut cream pie has a perfectly flaky crust, rich, coconut pastry cream filling, fluffy homemade whipped cream, golden-toasted coconut, and a side of good 'ol nostalgia. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

We continued this tradition of going out for pie to catch up during the semester even after freshman year and deemed these outings our “pie dates.” After years of picking out pie from the cold chest at Foster’s coconut cream pie was always our favorite. To this day, years after graduation, we still go out on pie dates. We have added new pies and new restaurants to the mix, but when coconut cream pie is on the menu, you better believe it will be on our table.

This classic coconut cream pie has a perfectly flaky crust, rich, coconut pastry cream filling, fluffy homemade whipped cream, golden-toasted coconut, and a side of good 'ol nostalgia. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This classic coconut cream pie has a perfectly flaky crust, rich, coconut pastry cream filling, fluffy homemade whipped cream, golden-toasted coconut, and a side of good 'ol nostalgia. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

I hadn’t had a great cream pie until those pie dates. Not everyone in my family likes coconut, so coconut-filled desserts were not something we tried very often at home, but because we had access to many great restaurants who serve a good southern cream pie, I still say that my southern location enabled my love for coconut cream pie.

This coconut cream pie is based heavily on my memories of my first Foster’s Market pie. With it’s buttery, flaky crust, thick coconut pastry cream filling, delicious homemade whipped cream topping, and a side of good ‘ol nostalgia, it is forever my favorite.

Coconut Cream Pie
Pie
3 cups half-and-half
¼ cup cornstarch, sifted
4 eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
3 tablespoons butter
1 9-inch pie dough

Topping
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
coconut flakes/chips, toasted

Pie
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Press your pie crust against the sides and bottom of a pie dish. Fold a layer of the crust under at the top of the pie dish and pinch to create the edge of your pie crust. Cover the pie dough with aluminum foil or parchment paper and weight it down with dry beans or pie weights. Bake the pie crust 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine ½ cup of the half-and-half and the cornstarch. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix the remaining 2 ½ cups half-and-half, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring every now and then until the sugar dissolves. Slowly pour 1 cup of the sugar mixture into the egg mixture while whisking. Whisking constantly, pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the sugar mixture. Continually whisking, cook over low heat until thick, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted, then the coconut. Let the filling cool slightly before filling the pie crust.

After it has cooled a bit, pour the filling into the cooled pie shell and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Whipped Cream and Assembly
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream until loose peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. When you are ready to serve the pie, top it with the whipped cream and toasted coconut.

This classic coconut cream pie has a perfectly flaky crust, rich, coconut pastry cream filling, fluffy homemade whipped cream, golden-toasted coconut, and a side of good 'ol nostalgia. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

lemon poppy seed coconut macaroons

Coconut is a divisive ingredient. I am obviously strongly on team coconut, but a few members of my family are vehemently opposed to the contentious ingredient appearing in any recipe. I get it, but I will forever continue to make coconut goodies for the good of the rest of us ;) Sometimes I can hide coconut in recipes (like granola or coconut cake), but coconut macaroons are all about showcasing the white flakes of goodness.

Lemon poppy seed coconut macaroons are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and surprisingly simple to make!| Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Lemon poppy seed coconut macaroons are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and surprisingly simple to make!| Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Coconut macaroons have the perfect balance of textures – crunchy on the outside, but moist and chewy on the inside. With only a few ingredients, they are so simple to make. This lemon poppy seed version is packed with fresh, zesty citrus flavor that combines with the coconut for a wonderful spring treat. As with most coconut macaroons, this lemon poppyseed version is Passover-friendly, for those of you celebrating! (more…)

carrot cake banana bread

I love having a quick bread recipe up my sleeve to have on hand for visiting guests, bring as a hostess gift when we travel, or just have as a snack on special weeks. My go-to quick bread in the fall is pumpkin chocolate chip bread, but that doesn’t really work as well in the spring. This carrot cake banana bread is a cross between indulgent carrot cake (one of my favorites) and moist, delicious, familiar banana bread and is perfect for spring or this Easter weekend.

This healthier carrot cake banana bread is the perfect cross between indulgent carrot cake and moist, delicious familiar banana bread and makes a great spring breakfast or snack. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This healthier carrot cake banana bread is the perfect cross between indulgent carrot cake and moist, delicious familiar banana bread and makes a great spring breakfast or snack. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This healthier carrot cake banana bread is the perfect cross between indulgent carrot cake and moist, delicious familiar banana bread and makes a great spring breakfast or snack. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Growing up, my Mimi always made banana bread to have with weekend breakfasts. She brought them to our house when she visited and always had a fresh loaf ready when we arrived at her house. Throughout the morning as we were preparing breakfast, people would snack on the bread, slowly chipping away at it until we would inevitably have to pull out another loaf to actually serve with the meal. Her banana bread is the best, but I’m convinced she is the only one who can make it taste that good.

This healthier carrot cake banana bread is the perfect cross between indulgent carrot cake and moist, delicious familiar banana bread and makes a great spring breakfast or snack. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This healthier carrot cake banana bread is the perfect cross between indulgent carrot cake and moist, delicious familiar banana bread and makes a great spring breakfast or snack. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

I wanted to have the familiarity of banana bread that everyone knows, but with a new spring twist. Combining it with carrot cake is the perfect way to achieve that!

This carrot cake banana bread is the best of both worlds. The carrots and bananas provide such great moisture and natural sweetness, making this healthier than the typical banana bread. More excused to eat half of the loaf in one sitting, right? Is that just me?

This healthier carrot cake banana bread is the perfect cross between indulgent carrot cake and moist, delicious familiar banana bread and makes a great spring breakfast or snack. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This healthier carrot cake banana bread is the perfect cross between indulgent carrot cake and moist, delicious familiar banana bread and makes a great spring breakfast or snack. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

While it is good any way you slice it, for breakfast, snack, or dessert, my favorite way to have this carrot cake banana bread is to toast a thick piece. It crisps up slightly on the outside while the middle is still soft and warm – the perfect pairing to morning coffee or tea.

Head over to Lexi’s blog to find the recipe for this carrot cake banana bread. If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it! Make sure to tag me on Instagram (@hopehwoodhouse) so I can see your delicious creations!

This healthier carrot cake banana bread is the perfect cross between indulgent carrot cake and moist, delicious familiar banana bread and makes a great spring breakfast or snack. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

This healthier carrot cake banana bread is the perfect cross between indulgent carrot cake and moist, delicious familiar banana bread and makes a great spring breakfast or snack. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

milk chocolate cadbury mini egg cookies

I am so excited to share these Cadbury mini egg cookies today!

Milk chocolate Cadbury Mini Egg cookies are the perfect spring treat! | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Milk chocolate Cadbury Mini Egg cookies are the perfect spring treat! | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

I recently learned that Cadbury mini eggs are not as revered by everyone as I think they should be. Some people (cough, Will) think they are gross and merely nostalgic, and when I brought them up in another crowd people thought I was talking about the Cadbury creme eggs and (gasp) had never heard of the far superior Cadbury mini eggs!!!! Can you believe it!? If you have never heard of this magical dream candy, consider this your revelation. All other Easter candy could fall by the wayside and, as long as Cadbury mini eggs still existed, I would be fine. Okay, maybe keep the Reese’s eggs too. (more…)

healthy tomato soup

Can we talk about this weather? It is the oddest. Over the weekend the sun was out, the temperature was perfect, and we were walking around in short-sleeves. Tomorrow there is a wintery mix in the forecast. What is this craziness? Some of my northern friends may joke about this, but having lived in North Carolina my whole life I can safely say that I have never seen wintery weather this late in the season before. While I am more than ready for spring weather, the cold temperatures and nasty weather give me another excuse to keep making my favorite homemade tomato soup.

Healthy Tomato Soup | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Healthy Tomato Soup | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Tomato soup is my go-to cold weather recipe. There is something so warm and comforting about it. This version is so easy and makes enough for multiple dinners and lunches, which I always appreciate because it means less lunch prep for the rest of the week (yay!). Over the past few months, we have made a big batch of it on Sunday night and packed it in lunches or heated it up for nights when we both had late classes or work events. Because it is also quick to throw together, we try to keep all of the ingredients on hand for nights when we want to veer off the meal plan to save time.

Healthy Tomato Soup | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Healthy Tomato Soup | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

One of my favorite snow day meals is grilled cheese and tomato soup, and with so much more snow than usual this year, I feel like I have the combo down pat. I can throw together this soup in less than 30 minutes and let it simmer as I slowly cook the perfect grilled cheese to use for dipping. With a surprising protein-packed addition and no cream in sight, this soup is a healthy alternative to the typical creamy tomato soup, but still delicious enough to eat for multiple meals a week.

Healthy Tomato Soup | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Healthy Tomato Soup | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Find my recipe for this healthy tomato soup over on Lexi’s blog. If you make this recipe, make sure to tag me (@hopehwoodhouse) on Instagram – I’d love to see!

Healthy Tomato Soup | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

the perfect irish soda bread

One of the goals on my 60 before 30 list is making yeasted bread. In my many years of baking, yeast breads are one category that I have not yet mastered. Irish soda bread, which uses baking soda instead of yeast as a leavening agent almost seems like a stepping stone into the world of yeast breads and is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Soda Bread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Irish Soda Bread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Irish Soda Bread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Soda bread has a similar texture to yeast rolls and breads with familiar ingredients for this scone, biscuit, cookie and cake maker, and without the intimidation of yeast. Often times I find that homemade breads, biscuits, and scones can be too dry, but this soda bread is perfectly moist, and is the perfect density to hold up your favorite mix-ins but still serve as a great snack or breakfast treat. I may or may not have had soda bread toast for bread every morning after making this loaf. ;) (more…)

dark chocolate chunk espresso shortbread

In the past few weeks, it seems like everyone on the Internet has been making Alison Roman’s salted butter and dark chocolate chunk shortbread cookies. Cookies are my favorite baked good to make because of their versatility – there is always a twist, an addition, a substitution, or a tweak that can create an entirely new cookie. In this case, the classic chocolate chip cookie and the buttery shortbread cookie met for a totally new take on both cookies.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Espresso Shortbread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Dark Chocolate Chunk Espresso Shortbread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Dark Chocolate Chunk Espresso Shortbread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

You know I love a good chocolate chip cookie, and I’m always excited to see a new version gain popularity, so I hopped on the bandwagon and got my mixer blending up this famous batter as soon as I could. The result? I didn’t love them. They were good and left me wanting more, but they didn’t beat my favorite chocolate chip cookie or shortbread cookie. I made them again to make sure I was secure in my decision and hadn’t made a fluke batch. After tasting the batter and baking up the cookies again, I came to the same conclusion. They were still lacking a little depth, and I wanted them to stand out on their own, rather than compete with the classic recipes.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Espresso Shortbread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Dark Chocolate Chunk Espresso Shortbread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Into the mixer went another stick of butter, but this time when I added the flour, a bit of espresso powder joined the mix too. To me, this addition was just what the cookies needed. The espresso powder intensified the flavor of the large dark chocolate chunks and increased the complexity of the cookie. While I felt ambivalent about the original recipe, I went back again and again to bake just one more of these new dark chocolate chunk espresso shortbread cookies.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Espresso Shortbread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Dark Chocolate Chunk Espresso Shortbread | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

These dark chocolate chunk espresso shortbread cookies are filled with pools of melted deep dark chocolate and flecks of espresso powder and have the buttery texture of a shortbread cookie. While they resemble the original Alison Roman cookie, the flavor variation proves once again just how versatile cookies can be. You may not see me passing these cookies ;)

Dark Chocolate Chunk Espresso Shortbread Cookies
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons salted butter*, cold, cut into small pieces
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
6 ounces semi- or bittersweet dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 large egg
Turbinado sugar, for rolling
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

*if you don’t have salted butter you can add ¾ teaspoon sea/kosher salt when you add the flour and espresso powder.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cold butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the flour and instant espresso powder and mix just until combined. Add the chopped chocolate and mix just until incorporated. The dough will be crumbly but able to stick together when you press it between your hands.

Divide the dough in half and form each piece into a log shape, about 2-2 ½ inches in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.

Lightly beat the egg and brush it on the outside of the cookie dough. Pour the turbinado sugar on top of the cookie dough and press it into the sides. Roll the bottom in the excess sugar, to coat the entire outside edge of the cookie dough log.

Using a sharp knife, cut the logs into ½-inch thick rounds. Arrange the cookies on your prepared baking sheets about 1-inch apart and sprinkle a little sea salt on each cookie. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. Let the cookies cool slightly on the pan before moving to a wire rack to cool completely, or to a plate to eat/serve immediately. I’ve read that these keep for up to 5 days, but can’t say I’ve ever witnessed that.

To make ahead, make the dough and stop at the chilling step. Keep it wrapped in the fridge for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to one month. When you are ready to bake them, go through the egg wash, sugar and sea salt steps as you would if you were making them fresh.

Slightly adapted from Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies.

everything cream cheese pastries

Back in September, my family spent a weekend in Delaware for my cousin’s wedding. One of our favorite things to do when we visit new places is to find a good coffee shop, and that we did.

Everything Cream Cheese Pastries | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Everything Cream Cheese Pastries | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

We popped into a cute college-town coffee shop on rainy Saturday morning to grab warm drinks. While we were at the counter the bagel selection caught our eye, and on a whim, Lane and Carter, the bagel connoisseurs of the family, each got a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese. Before that trip bagels had just been so-so for me. They were fine, but I didn’t love them. But, out came these piping hot bagels, golden and seasoned to perfection. One bite into them and I was completely sold. They were the best bagels I have ever had and my siblings were geniuses for ordering them. (more…)

blood orange bundt cake with cinnamon caramel

Last week we covered wine and chocolate as a delicious Valentine’s Day treat. This week, in honor of the month of everything pink and red overlapping with wonderful winter citrus season, I’m excited to bring you this blood orange bundt cake covered in cinnamon caramel!

Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Caramel | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Caramel | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

While I love citrus on its own, my appreciation for blood oranges in drinks, meals, and baked goods has grown throughout the years. The vibrant jewel toned ruby red insides of the oranges combined with the bright orange peel are enough to warrant attention on their own, but the amazingly fresh flavor and the gorgeous pink color that the juice provides makes this the perfect cake for this time of the year. (more…)

red wine brownies

When Monday and Tuesday feel like they could be a full week in and of themselves, fudgy red wine brownies are a much deserved treat. Because, yes, red wine and brownies, all in one.

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Homemade brownies are one of my favorite desserts. Until I was about halfway through high school I had only ever had boxed brownies. We always made the Ghirardelli boxed brownies, which, don’t get me wrong, are the best boxed brownies you can find, but they don’t hold a candle to homemade brownies. I distinctly remember trying brownies that Will’s mom, now my mother-in-law, made for a family dinner when we were dating. I had never had a brownie so delicious. When I found out that she was using the recipe written by a local chef in a cookbook my family owned, I never looked back. From then on, it was homemade brownies or no brownies. The spin is sometimes different (these red wine brownies are a bit more risqué than the traditional dark chocolate walnut version), but the texture and flavors are just as amazing.

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

With February right around the corner, these super fudgy brownies with a hint of red wine flavor are perfect for your Valentine’s Day or galentine’s day celebration, for watching Olympic ice skating competitions or the Bachelor, or, if your week is like mine, for your Monday and Tuesday. ;)

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Joking aside, these brownies are the best of both worlds – intense fudgy chocolate with subtle red wine peeking through in each decadent bite. They are easy to throw together, and make a unique treat to serve to friends, dare I say, paired with a cup of red wine? Let’s make it over-the-top!

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

You can find this recipe over on Lexi’s blog, ready for your weeknight baking adventures. If you make these fudgy red wine brownies, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@hopehwoodhouse) and comment below! I’d love to see!

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

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