Chocolate Coconut Squares

This is one of our favourite desserts to make for the holiday season. We like to serve these on Christmas Eve but they are a welcome addition to any occasion!

2013 will bring a new healthy lunch feature to the blog to balance out all the desserts we’ve been posting! Hope you enjoy the holidays!

coconut squares

1 and 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter, room temperature
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup 2 % milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 cup unsweetened fine coconut

coconut squares 2

1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Gradually add butter, milk and vanilla, and mix well.
2. In a separate bowl, sift flour and stir in baking powder. Add to the egg mixture and fold in with a spoon until well blended.
3. Pour into a greased and floured 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes and then cut into squares.
4. Meanwhile, bring milk and sugar to a boil. Lower the heat to medium low, and gradually add the chocolate, stirring constantly until it’s melted. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir until the butter is melted.
5. Set up the ingredients to form a sort of assembly line on your countertop. Place the pan of squares and the chocolate mixture next to each other. Evenly spread the unsweetened coconut on a plate and place it last. Take a square from the pan, gently dip each square into chocolate mixture and then roll in coconut. Make sure each square is completely covered with chocolate before rolling in coconut. Arrange squares on a big platter or in a plastic container. Put either foil or wax paper between the rows.

Cool squares in the fridge for 12 hours, or in the freezer for 4 hours before serving.

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Nutty Carrot-Orange Layer Cake

We made this cake for Silvia’s birthday this weekend. The icing is incredible; it’s impossible to have just one slice of this cake.

Cake

4 eggs or egg replacer equivalent to 4 eggs
1 1/2 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup apple sauce
4 cups (1 pound) grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting

2 packages cream cheese or non-dairy cream cheese spread, room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup unsalted margarine, softened
1/4 cup orange juice, or more if needed

Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine eggs and cane sugar and mix until creamy. Add vanilla extract, apple sauce, grated carrots, raisins, walnuts and orange peel and stir until well combined. Note: Grate only the colored part of the orange, and not the bitter white skin underneath. The oils in the peel are what give it such an aromatic flavor.
4. Gradually stir in thee flour mixture into the egg mixture.
5. Grease one large round cake pan and transfer cake mixture into the pan.
6. Bake for 1 hour and 10 to 15 min or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
7. Cool the cake completely and then cut into 2 even layers. Start by tracing a line around the middle of the cake with a long serrated knife. Then slowly rotate the cake while following that line with the knife and cut through the cake toward the center. After a few rotations you will have sliced the cake in two.
8. Place one cake layer on platter and spread with frosting. Carefully place the second cake layer on top of that frosting. Spread with remaining frosting on top and the sides of the cake until it is completely covered.

Frosting

1. At high speed beat cream cheese and margarine until creamy. Gradually add icing sugar and orange juice and beat until fluffy.
2. Refrigerate finished cake at least 2 hours before serving.

– DJ