Tag Archives: coconut

Apricot Coconut Choc Chip Cookies


Apricot Coconut ChocChip Cookies


I make a lot of cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. They fit the bill from everything from lunch box sweet treats and school cake stalls to going away parties for soccer coaches! So I need to have a lot of recipes up my sleeve to keep things interesting.

I have a very large cookbook and foodie magazine collection to keep me inspired, and often I turn to my oldest books for tried and true recipt ideas. the trusty Country Women’s Association for simple, reliable and straightforward recipes.
This recipe isn’t actually old, but since it has come from the Country Womens’ Association it might as well be.  Recipe adapted from “Biscuits and Slices : Traditional, Tempting, Tried and True”, Penguin Books, 2009.


• 125 g softened butter
• 1/3 c caster sugar
• ½ c brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1 egg
• 1 c self raising flour, sifted
• 1 c shredded coconut
• 1 c dried apricots, chopped
• 1 c dark chocolate bits

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in flour until well mixed. Add coconut apricots and chocolate bits and mix well. If your dough feels a bit soft, refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking.
Mould teaspoons of dough into balls and flatten slightly on trays, leaving about 5 cm between them to allow for spreading.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and leave on trays for 5 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 30.

Coconut Layer Cake



I don’t make cakes very often.  I like making them, but I know how quickly they will be gobbled up in our house.  So when someone asks me to bring dessert to an event it’s an invitation to bake!

This cake is so easy to make, and is moist and light.


  • 2 c self raising flour, sifted
  • ¾ c desiccated coconut
  • 1 c caster sugar
  • 1/3 c almond meal
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 160 g melted butter
  • Desiccated and flaked coconut for decorating

Preheat oven to 175C.  Line a 21 cm spring form cake pan with baking paper.

Combine flour, coconut, sugar and almond meal in a large bowl and mix together.

Whisk buttermilk, vanilla and eggs together.  Add butter and whisk again.

Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and mix with a metal spoon until well combined and smooth.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Leave to cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing. Cool completely before icing.


  • 2 c pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 90 g butter at room temperature
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T milk

Beat all ingredients together until smooth, light and fluffy.  Add milk to adjust to the desired texture.

Using a large serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally.  Carefully lift the top of the cake off and place on a flat surface. Spread ¾ c icing evenly over the base of the cake. Carefully place the top of the cake over it.  Spread remaining over the top and sides of the cake.  Decorate with desiccated and flaked coconut.


Violet Coconut Macaroons


I have talked before about my mom’s inclination to substitute ingredients in her baking and the frequently dodgy results.  Sweets in my adolescent years tended to be hard as rocks, and as heavy.  Of course we still ate them, but I frequently moaned about the obvious inadvisability of using recipes written for different ingredients (Betty Crocker sponge cakes really don’t work with wholemeal flour, honey and half the number of eggs!).  In fairness to my mom, there weren’t too many cookbooks out there back then that catered to alternative diets – particularly not for baking. Ingredients then were also much more limited: flour was either white or wholemeal, sweet meant sugar or honey, gluten free meant rice cakes and corn bread.

Nowadays we are so spoiled with options. Now there is a range of ingredients out there with which to excite any palette or dietary limitations. Inspiring cookbooks catering to this broader range of ingredients are still relatively rare, but they are there. I have one in particular that I really love for baking: Leon: baking and puddings – book 3 by Claire Ptak and Henry Dimbley.  Aside from the great range of recipes (not all of which require ‘health food aisle’ ingredients), this book also offers a fantastic guide to baking ingredients.  It explains (and demystefies) the different types of flour, sweeteners, fats, and rising and binding agents that are used in baking.

The recipe shown here from this book is for the best coconut macaroons I have ever tasted.  They are super easy and work perfectly every time. They are crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and totally mouth-watering!


  • 3 egg whites
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 t honey
  • 150 g desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract

Line a baking sheet with baking paper and pre-heat oven to 150C.

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a large saucepan. Stir all ingredients over a medium-low heat until well mixed and just beginning to scorch on the bottom.  Take the pan off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Cook the mixture completely.  Use an ice cream scoop (about 50ml) to scoop out 10 even sized macaroons onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and set. Cool completely before taking off the sheet.

Strawberry Coconut Bread


When I was a kid strawberries were a real treat. I am not sure why. Maybe they were really expensive back then. Whatever the reason, when a punnet appeared in the house (if it survived the car trip back from the markets) it would be pounced upon by everyone home, as if our very lives depended on it. So it was a particularly rare event that strawberries were used in a recipe of any kind.  Occasionally my mom would hide some to sneak into a fruit salad but that was it.

Nowadays, with Sprog 2 totally addicted to them, strawberries are a staple in our house.  They are still pounced upon immediately, and she can eat a whole punnet by herself in moments, but I follow my mother’s example and hide them whenever I have a particular purpose in mind.

I have tinkered a little with a recipe found on a blog that I like, http://sharingthefoodwelove.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/strawberry-and-coconut-bread/ (you should have a look, she has some great ideas).  I love to make bread with berries, but it hadn’t crossed my mind to try strawberries.

The bread is lovely and moist, and not too sweet.  The coconut gives it a wonderful texture, while the strawberries give it lift and freshness.  Really yummy.  Thanks for the inspiration Leah!


  • 125 g melted butter
  • 1 c dessicated coconut
  • 1 c milk
  • 2/3 c light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 c diced strawberries
  • 1 t vanilla essence

Wash and dry strawberries, setting a couple aside for decoration. Pre-heat over to 180C. Line loaf pan with baking paper.

Melt butter and blend with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, milk and coconut and stir until well mixed. Add flour and baking powder in batches to create a batter.

Spoon a layer of batter evenly into the pan and then layer half of the strawberries on top.  Gently mix remaining strawberries into the batter and spread into pan.  Slice set aside strawberries and decorate the top of the loaf.

Cook 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool before slicing.

It’s delicious on its own or with butter, and is fabulous toasted.

Raspberry Coconut Bread


The holidays are over. Back to school means making lunches in the mornings for Wal and the sprogs, and lunches need treats for recess.   I realise that the treat is the most important feature of the lunch so I try to ensure a bit of variety. A small piece of this bread will fill them up but the raspberries give it a lightness. And in the morning panic (mornings are frightful in our house, no matter how early everyone gets up…) it is quick and easy to slice and wrap and slip into the lunchbox. Of course the coconut bread is also good for breakfast, afternoon tea, or any other time you want to pull out something yummy to get you going or to enjoy with tea or coffee.


  • 290 g softened butter
  • 180 g sugar
  • 140 g self raising flour
  • 280 g plain flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 60 g almond meal
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 c fresh or frozen raspberries, plus a few extra for decorating.

Beat butter and sugar until light and pale in colour. Add sifted flour, baking powder and cinnamon 1/3 at a time and mix well. Fold in almond meal and buttermilk and mix til well combined. Add raspberries and mix in carefully. Pour into lined loaf and decorate generously with extra raspberries. Cook at 170C for 50-60 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean. Serve with or without butter. The bread is lovely toasted too.