Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Coconutty Weekend

I made dessert for 50 on Sunday. Since this is a lot of dessert, I chose to bake easy-to-make dessert bars. As it turns out, my best bar recipes both use coconut; so I made one tray of each recipe for variety. When my daughter suddenly had the urge to make ice cream later in the evening, she decided to go coconut, too. So, I guess it is fair to say that we had a coconutty weekend.

The first recipe was actually posted in Our Patisserie earlier, but this time I substituted prunes for the dried apricots, and it turned out quite well. I basically did not make any changes except reducing the amount of sugar in the filling, and I decidedly used unsweetened flaked coconut instead of the sticky, sweetened variety commonly found in the supermarkets. Since my previously posted pictures with the apricot filling had not come out as I wanted, I am happy that the bright daylight we had on the weekend allowed me to take better pictures this time.

The second dessert was Pineapple Nut Bars, a Pillsbury recipe like the first one. I only reduced the butter in the crust and omitted the rum glaze since the bars are already quite rich without it.

The bars have a buttery crust, and a cream cheese-pineapple filling topped with flaked coconut and chopped macademia nuts. The smell of toasting coconut as the bars bake is simply irresistable.

Zeynep's toasted coconut ice cream (from Ice Cream book of William-Sonoma) had a custard base with coconut cream. Toasted coconut was mixed in during the last 5 minutes of freezing time. Since we just can't seem to have enough of toasted coconut these days, we topped the servings with even more of it. The ice cream was very creamy and delicious, but we decided to reduce the sugar the next time we make it.