Life seems just a touch busy right now. As soon as I returned from the visit with my folks, I had to play catch-up on spring chores around here. I still hadn’t planted all of the seedling trays for the veggie and herb gardens and the weeds definitely took advantage of my absence by trying to take over the perennial gardens, and I had absolutely no spare recipes on hand for the blog. Normally, I try to cook/shoot ahead a little, so that if I get behind, I still have something ready to go. And – worst of all, for certain cookie loving persons on the premises, there was nothing baked. A sorry state of affairs.
So, while I was out pulling up dandelions, I was also thinking about what kind of cookies I wanted to work on. The number of dandelions present is definitely a testament to my busy-ness last spring, when I obviously did not get them pulled before they had a chance to seed themselves all over the place. Why aren’t dandelions a valuable crop anyway? They ought to cure something, or be a vital ingredient in an award winning dish. And then, if only rocks were also worth something, we could retire and have enough money left over to hire special dandelion-pulling people. I only care about having a lot of money when I’m having to engage in an unpleasant chore. I’d also like refrigerator cleaning people, and shower scrubbing people.
Still, noxious weeds aside, I was enjoying being outdoors in some warm sunshine. This has not been a very good spring weather-wise, so the sun is like air to a drowning man. With my brain in a happy place, I continued to mull over the possibilities for baking. I don’t have a lot of spare time right now, so definitely bar cookies, because they are fast. I also have a container of coconut oil that I’ve enjoyed working with, so that is turning me in the direction of coconut bar cookies. And almonds maybe…3 batches later, a few tweaks here and there, and these sweet little bar cookies are ready for prime time – Chewy Coconut Almond Blondies.
- ½ cup coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- ½ sliced, toasted almonds
- Preheat oven to 350º and generously butter a 7 x 10 inch baking dish [8 x8 will also work]
- In a mixing bowl, cream together coconut oil and brown sugar
- Beat in eggs until fluffy
- Beat in extracts [1/2 teaspoon of almond extract is going be pretty strong, so use less if you are sensitive to the flavor]
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Mix in the dry ingredients, and then the coconut and almonds.
- Spread dough evenly in the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with no more than a moist crumb or two on it.
- Cool completely, cut into 12 bars to serve.
- Store tightly sealed at room temperature for up to a week - they are even better after sitting a day or two, becoming more chewy and deeply flavored.
All in all, I have to say that I rather enjoyed a life of leisure, sitting with my sister by our parents’ pool, sipping adult beverages and feeling [kinda] bad that we had to leave our husbands at home, working. On the other hand, those dandelions aren’t going to pull themselves, and these blondies are a really nice reward for a couple hours spent in industrious labor.I guess I had better get back out there – have a great day!