Chewy Coconut Oatmeal Delights

Okay, I may have added the “delight” bit on my own. Somehow “cookie” seemed to be underselling these babies.


I’m not sure when my mom happened upon this recipe, but she’s been baking it for as long as I can remember. While at first glance they might seem like pretty basic – dare I say, boring – cookies, they’re a great blank slate. As in they can hold their own without any embellishment, but throw a few chocolate chips their way…


or some salted toffee…


and you’ve just crossed the threshold into delight.

And let’s not discuss what would happen if we went ahead and added both.


These are a cinch to make, and keep for months in the freezer (emerging as delicious as they entered). The ratios of coconut to oatmeal can be varied without affecting the end product, depending on where one’s affections lay (for myself – go Team Oatmeal). My favourite thing about these cookies is the texture; they stay moist and chewy as long as they last on the counter. Which isn’t long in my house.


Chewy Coconut Oatmeal Delights


1/2 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon slat

3/4 cup coconut

3/4 cup oatmeal


Chocolate chips, Skor bits…or whatever other addition your heart might desire…in whatever quantity you see fit. 1:1 ratios of dough to chipits is perfectly acceptable. No judging here.


1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Beat shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and stir until well mixed. Add flour, and remaining dry ingredients, combining just until mixed. Stir in chocolate chips or whatever fanciful ingredient you select.

3. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a floured fork.

4. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until golden around the edges.

5. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.






Molten Chocolate (Birthday) Cake


We celebrated a birthday round’ these parts this week. No huge fanfare – just a day packed with special memories, followed by a simple supper with close friends. Oh, and we had one ecstatic little girl. And cake.

A few months ago, I came across this dangerous recipe, and I’ve been devouring it ever since. It’s hard to top rich and buttery hot chocolate lava gushing out on to a silky bed of vanilla ice cream. Ahem. Let’s keep this a G-rated recipe, mmkay? Let’s just summarize it as just plain gooood. And easy. This recipe takes one bowl, one measuring cup, one tablespoon, and about 2 minutes to prepare. A very dangerous prospect for my waistline. The relative ease of preparation is what piqued my interest for our casual birthday dinner, though. A girl’s gotta have cake, but I didn’t feel the need to go “all-out” on any elaborate presentation.

So I opted for Molten Chocolate Cake. Since I knew my target audience for this birthday cake (a two-year old) might not enjoy molten deliciousness to the same extent her lava-crazy Mama does…a few minor adjustments resulted in an incredibly delicious dense, truffle cake, undeniably reminiscent of chocolate cheesecake.

One of my favourite aspects of this recipe is the size (originally designed to make 4 individual portions) which is easily customizable for small or large groups. I typically half the recipe which makes two perfect portions (they can also be refrigerated and re-warmed in the microwave…or you could just eat both portions yourself…I wouldn’t judge). This time I opted to make a single cake, perfectly toddler-proportioned.

After baking the cake for a bit longer than normal (see details below), I started debating my decorating strategy. First instincts were for a simple, classy look. Thirty seconds in Word and a few nifty scissor moves later, I had a stencil.

1. Overlay stencil on cake.


2. Sprinkle with icing sugar (forgetting to move to better lighting, optional).


3. Remove stencil and make everyone believe you spent hours meticulously placing every flake of powdered sugar by hand to create such a masterpiece.


This would also look great with a monogram/initial…or anything your little ol’ heart desires. Easy peasy.

While I love the classic look, I thought it lacked the “joie de vivre” that should be synonymous with turning the big T. W. O.

So I upped the ante with some basic cream cheese frosting…


and then jumped on the train headed straight to colour town (hive five, Guy Fieri)…


…except, none of us are actually huge fans of sprinkles. So while I could appreciate the aesthetics, it looked like a bit more dyed sugar than our palate could handle (so I did tap the majority of the sprinkles off before it hit the table avec burning candles).

Fluffy icing, rich chocolatey cake…and just the right size for a little girl.


1/4 cup butter

2 squares baking chocolate (I use Bakers brand, but plan to switch to regular dark chocolate from here on out)

1/2 cup powdered sugar (extra for garnish if desired)

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

3 tablespoons flour


1. Preheat oven to 425°

2. Place butter and chocolate into a microwavable bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir with a whisk until smooth. Add icing sugar and stir. Add egg and egg yolk, and stir for about 30 seconds (the batter with become silky and thick). Add flour and whisk until just combined.

3. Spray small round dish (or two small custard bowls OR two silicon muffin cups) and add batter. I used one with a 4-inch diameter.

4. Bake single cake for approximately 15 minutes; custard bowls/muffins about 12-14 minutes depending on desired “doneness” – the longer you cook these bad boys, the less lava you’ll be rewarded with at the end. To get “truffle” cake (skipping the lava for the little one’s benefit), I baked the cake for closer to 20 minutes, but watch it carefully to make sure the top doesn’t start to burn.

5. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, and then invert on to serving dish.

*I have also experimented with adding 1.5 extra tablespoons of icing sugar, adding 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder, and eliminating flour completely, as an easy gluten-free alternative. Works great.

Jerk Chicken Biscuit Pizza



was supper. Isn’t she gorgeous?

Although our inspiration came from another source, we definitely made this recipe “our own.” A mouthwatering combination of red peppers, sauteed garlic and onion, spinach, mushrooms, and jerk chicken nestled on a bed of sweet and tangy tomato goodness laced with fresh cilantro…all smothered in a gooey layer of cheeses – biscuit pizza was a family hit.


It was a winning combination from the start – the comfort of hearty homemade biscuits paired with the robust flavours of pizza. Our taste buds didn’t stand a chance.

My hubby jokingly insists he married me for my biscuits. Apparently they’re that good. My tried-and-true family recipe has seen it’s share of kitchens through the years. Aside from traditional biscuits, suitable for just about every occasion, this dough is also the base for our perennial favourite Cinnamon Coffee Cake which I’ll be whipping up in just a few days to celebrate Abby’s birthday.

So it wasn’t a stretch to imagine this humble biscuit dough could provide the perfect base for further culinary genius. I’ll spare you the suspense – it was even better than we imagined.


Our version was rather labour intensive – prepping the veggies and mixing the sauce and layering the ingredients took a while. But, this could easily be pared down to a simple: pizza sauce + pepperoni + cheese, and skip from bowl to oven to plate in about half an hour. Finally, I must give credit where it’s due as my sweet hubby is solely responsible for bringing this dish to fruition. I’ll have to start saying I married him for his biscuit pizza – it was that good.

Biscuit dough:

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup shortening

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

Mix shortening into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, until crumbly. Whisk 1 egg in a measuring cup, and fill with milk to the 1 cup mark (approximately 3/4 cup milk). Add wet ingredients to dry and stir. Do not overmix. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed to moisten dough.


Equal parts: tomato sauce and BBQ sauce (about 1/2 cup each)

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro


Obviously totally optional. Make sure to sautee any veggies and meat ahead of time, since this pizza cooks for a shorter period than traditional recipes.

2 cups  jerk chicken (cooked and cubed)

1 small onion (diced)

3 cloves garlic  (minced)

1/2 cup mushrooms (sliced)

1 sweet bell pepper (diced)

1/2 cup fresh spinach

2 cups mixed cheese (shredded: cheddar, Parmesan, and mozzarella)



Mix biscuit dough, and knead gently (4-5 times) on a floured surface. Press to desired thickness, pinching the sides slightly to form a crust. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet (we made 3 9-inch round pizzas from one batch of dough). Cover dough with sauce, add toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes (checking frequently).


Several days later we’re still eating (delicious) leftovers, and have unanimously agreed this will be part of our regular supper rotation from here on out.