Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sweet on Trader Joe's Saturday: Salted Caramel Coconut Cookies

Trader Joe's salted caramel coconut cookies review
I love when Trader Joe's displays new items on an endcap. Mr. E and I were at TJ's last week buying pizza supplies and as we walked by the endcap, one of these ended up in our basket. We didn't even have to stop. That's the thing about Trader Joe's...I don't stand in the aisle debating over something like I do in the grocery store. If it looks interesting, it comes home with me.

Trader Joe's salted caramel coconut cookies review
Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Coconut Cookies. Well, I lost the receipt, but I would guess they're around $3.00 a box for 7 ounces. The box describes them as "chewy coconut macaroon cookies with a salted caramel center."

Salted Caramel Coconut Cookies 1 photo salted caramel coconut cookies 3 of 4.jpg
Trader Joe's salted caramel coconut cookies review
A mom's (my) take: I don't taste much salted caramel here and THAT'S OK because these are fabulous. Addictive, soft, sweet, chewy, perfect little coconut macaroon nuggets. While the salted caramel doesn't add a huge flavor component...and I ate 4 to be sure...it does add to the texture, making these even softer and more luscious than they'd be without it.
Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars

A teenager's (Jack's) take: These are pretty good overall! Nice, rich coconut flavor with the macaroon... the only thing I would say bad about them is that the salted caramel flavor is not very evident, almost none at all. But if you'd be satisfied with just coconut, then go for it.
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Trader Joe's salted caramel coconut cookies review
Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Coconut Cookies: more coconut than caramel

[note: We have no affiliation with Trader Joe's. I'm sure they have never read this blog and have no idea who we are. Hey, we like being incognito, although we never wear sunglasses indoors. ;)]

Read all of our reviews of Trader Joe's treats and sweets here

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Homemade KitKat® Bites

When I set out to attempt a homemade version of KitKat® bars, I had no idea that it would be one of the most difficult recipes I've ever tried to create. (It was a tough job taste-testing all of that chocolate.)

homemade kitkat bites
*this post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar

There are lots of copycat versions floating around out there. It was the wafer part that was giving me issues. Some recipes use crackers...and I tried my own versions...with two different crackers, only to be disappointed. Crackers and chocolate are good, but they're no KitKats.

Homemade KitKat® bites
I've dipped those filled wafer cookies in chocolate before, good, but again, not KitKats.

I found wafer sheets on Amazon. I'm sure they would have worked really well, but they're expensive and available almost exclusively online.

Homemade KitKat® bites
Then, I stumbled upon the wafer-y goodness of the cake ice cream cone. Ding, ding, ding!!! 
The perfect wafer consistency!

Homemade KitKat® bites ... made with a secret ingredient!
I tried a few versions with the cones, finally settling on this one made in a mini muffin tin. Do they look like a KitKat® bar? No. But, they are the closest rendition of one I've tasted. And I've been doing lots and lots and lots of tasting.

Homemade KitKat® bites
Instead of crushing the ice cream cones, you'll actually chop off the bottom. (This is easiest to do if you break off the hollow part with your hands, then trim the flat part of the cone.)

Homemade KitKat® bites
The grid of the cone bottom is then filled with chocolate cream and placed in a chocolate coated muffin tin.

Homemade KitKat® bites
The whole thing gets topped off with even more chocolate.

Homemade KitKat® bites! I'm sharing the recipe over on Imperial Sugar today!

Homemade KitKat® bites
*KitKat® is a registered trademark of Nestle and a product of The Hershey Company.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cookbook Crush, August 2016: Not Your Mama's Canning Book

Whether you're a seasoned canner, a once-in-a-while canner, or a canning-scares-me-so-I-buy-my-cans type of canner, pay attention. I have a FABULOUS book for you. All of you.

book review: Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
Not Your Mama's Canning Book: Modern Canned Goods and What to Make with Them is a brand new cookbook by my friend Rebecca Lindamood.

book review: Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
Before I get into the book, let me tell you a bit about Rebecca. I love this woman. We first met in Oklahoma...on Ree's ranch...for an absolutely magical few days where a group of us became friends for life. Rebecca is the mom to 5 boys...FIVE. She's gorgeous, elegant, whip-smart, hilarious, and a killer cook. Killer. (Her blog is Foodie with Family.)

On this trip was the first time I'd ever seen anyone CAN anything. Rebecca and Ree canned up a bunch of jars...now I can't even remeber WHAT they canned...but I remember I was in awe of how it was second nature to both of them. They knew what to do, how to do it, and it didn't look scary at all. In short, Rebecca knows her stuff.

book review: Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
Not Your Mama's Canning Book starts with the basics, everything you need to know...the how, what, and why of canning. Supply lists, step-by-step instructions, everything.

book review: Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
Then, we get into the canning recipes. Y'all. I'm not kidding when I say I want to make and can pretty much everything in this book. There are jams, pickled things (please tell me you're as obsessed with pickled red onions as I am), sauces, syrups, soups, condiments (hello, cranberry ketchup!).

book review: Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
THESE vanilla fig preserves are calling my name, BIG TIME. Doesn't it just look so dreamy?

book review: Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
Now, in addition to the canning recipes, Rebecca includes almost 40 recipes for USING what you just canned! Remember I said that Rebecca is a killer cook? Well, you're about to be one as well when you make her recipes.

book review: Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
I mean......

book review: Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
......and THIS! I think about this recipe A LOT. More than is normal, I'm sure.

As a non-canner, I can say that I've been converted. I'm off to order jars and supplies...and I'm making those vanilla fig preserves, pronto.

Not Your Mama's Canning Book: Modern Canned Goods and What to Make with Them by Rebecca Lindamood. This is going to be your go-to book on canning.




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