Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Outrageous Coconut Brownies

What a wonderful Easter weekend! The weather was so fantastic, the food was incredible, and the company was unparalleled. Fortunately back in Boston, the sun’s still shining this morning, otherwise I think I’d be suffering some serious withdrawal. I had another marathon baking weekend, in between tanning (though you can’t see any results — I’m still white as a ghost!), riding my horse, and spending time with family. The first of three things I made were the brownies, a sweet treat for Saturday night. We had a very active day Saturday, so come Saturday evening, we were all ravenous and craving a hearty meal. So Savory Saturday commenced!

I had the idea of making pasta primavera to take advantage of some fresh yummy vegetables, so we set to work on that. I prepped the veggies (haricot vert, yellow bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus, and carrots), and then my mom and I put together the dish, served with fresh spinach pasta in a light tomato sauce (with a few splashes of half and half). It turned out to be much creamier than we’d planned, but it was really great — filling but not heavy.

I’m clearly a big fan of recipes and baking, but I have to say that sometimes playing in the kitchen sans recipes can heed some great results!

After our delightful pasta primavera, it was time for dessert! I was craving this lemon tea cake I’ve made a dozen times before, from one of my favorite cookbooks out of Martha’s Vineyard. However, there was much lemon promised in our future (that post is coming soon!), so I decided I needed to mix it up. We’re all big chocolate lovers in my family, and whenever I’m home my Dad asks for chocolate chip cookies, and my Mom asks for brownies. This particular weekend felt like a brownie weekend, so I decided to make Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies, but with a twist!

Since I just blogged about brownies a couple of weeks ago, I needed an excuse to make brownies again — something different and delicious, but not so different as to take away from these outstanding brownies. I came across this recipe for brownies with a Coconut-Pecan Crust, and used their idea but modified it to my own liking. In our household, we like our brownies straight up without nuts, so I omitted the pecans and just tossed some coconut with butter and brown sugar, and sprinkled it over the top. YUM! It was delicious, and pretty and toasty and wonderful.

I halved the recipe and put it in a 8×8 pan, so they came out much thicker than they usually do (and took about 10 extra minutes to cook), but they were just so decadent and wonderful. Definitely not a light dessert — the full recipe calls for a pound of butter, and more than a pound of chocolate (!!), but they’re well worth every bite. This is my favorite go-to brownie recipe, and for good reason — they come out perfectly every time! You can add to them whatever you want, and they are still incredible. Plus they’re so simple to make — what’s not to love?

After I’d nibbled on these for a while, I started putting together the components of the rest of the weekend’s goodies — sticky buns, tart dough (my first attempt at pate sucree!), and some non-traditional pastry “cream.” It was tons of fun, and everything came out ridiculously well. It’s a good thing I’ve secured a job after graduation, because I’m going to need the money to keep up this habit!

I’m off to run in the glorious sunshine, but there are still lots of goodies to come from this weekend! Next up: Lemon Sticky Buns! Hands down one of the best breakfast treats I’ve ever made — stay tuned!

With love, and sugar. Enjoy!

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