Chococococans…are you intrigued?

I have been working on a new cookie recipe for a while.  I started out wanting something that reminded me of Samoas, the Girl Scout cookies, with chocolate, coconut, and caramel.  My first attempt was okay, kind of brownie like but not chocolaty or coconuty enough.  Surprisingly the caramel was a distraction so was quickly dropped from the recipe.  I ended up adding some toasted pecans because how can you go wrong with toasted pecans?  This is now a pretty perfect chocolate cookie, nicely flavored with coconut and the pecans add a great toasted crunch.  After much thought my husband has declared them his new favorite cookie, a decision that he did not take lightly!

Now, you are probably wondering about the name.  I was trying to think of something to call them when my husband helpfully suggested Chococococans.  I immediately rejected such a silly suggestion, how would anyone remember that? Or know how to pronounce it?  So David started a marketing campaign for his name, the slogan is “like sex with an Aztec God” and he even designed a logo.

In the meantime my Dad suggested Gilligans as a name, which I liked but by that time everyone was calling them Chococococans and so I have been out voted.   So here is the world premiere of Chococococans…

Chococococans

1 ¾ cups white wheat flour

½ cup cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2/3 cup canola oil

¼ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

2 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate

½ cup milk

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp coconut extract

1 cup coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  On one baking sheet spread out the pecan pieces and toast in the oven for five minutes.  Let cool.  In a medium mixing bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In a large mixing bowl combined the sugars and oil then add the melted chocolate and milk and mix well.  Add the flax seed and extracts and mix to combined.  Stir in half the dry ingredients until just moistened.  Add the coconut and pecans with the rest of the dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.  Drop by rounded tablespoon on baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for five minutes and then move to cooling rack to cool completely.  Makes 2 dozen cookies.

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Why are they called Cowboy Cookies?

Cause they have nuts!

Hehe.

I had never heard of Cowboy Cookies before but when I got the new “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar” they were one of the recipes that I wanted to try.  I couldn’t figure out why they were called Cowboy Cookies though, I mean what does oatmeal, coconut, pecans and chocolate have to do with cowboys?  Then my cousin, Sophie, filled me in.  I guess it all makes sense…

Anyway, these are awesome cookies.  They are chewy and dense in a good way, very moist in the center and full of chocolate and toasted pecans.  They are also huge!  They are the size of two regular cookies but I still wanted to eat more than one because they were so delicious.  I made 20 cookies and they were gone in less than a day, we were fighting over the last cookie too.  I would bake these when you are going to be alone so you can have them all to yourself.  Maybe that is why they are called Cowboy Cookies, because you need to be miles from the nearest person to keep from sharing!

Cowboy CookiesCowboy Cookies

From “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar”

2 cups quick-cooking oats

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used white wheat)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown)

1/2 cup nondairy milk (I used soy)

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup shredded coconut

1 generous cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips

1 cup toasted pecan pieces*

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium size bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, brown sugar, nondairy milk, flax seeds and vanilla.  Fold in the coconut and then half the flour mixture.  Fold in the remaining flour, adding the chocolate and pecans before the mixture is completely combined.  For each cookie, drop a 1/4 cup of dough onto the cookie sheets.  Leave about 2 inches between each cookie.  Flatten each cookie slightly using moistened fingers.  Bake for 14-16 minutes, until edges start to brown.  Let cookies cool on cookies sheet for five minutes and then move to cooling rack.  Store in a loosely covered container.  Makes 2 dozen.

*To toast pecans, place them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven as it preheats.  Keep a close eye on them, they should be fragrant and just golden brown when done.  Let them cool before chopping and adding to the cookies.

Seven Layer Bars

Seven Layer Bars

Seven Layer Bars

1 stick of butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pre-heat oven to 350*F.  Put butter in 9×13 inch pan and put in oven until melted.  Spread rest of ingredients on top of butter in order given.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden on top.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Cut in to 24 squares.

Foodie Fight: Mexican Brownie Sundae

I was chosen to participate in this weeks Foodie Fight and the secret ingredients were Black Beans and Coconut.  I love both of these ingredients and was so excited to get started.  Of course I wanted to make a dessert and since I have heard about brownies made using Black Beans I figured that would be a good place to start.  After searching the internets, I tried one of the recipes but it was pretty bad, kind of like chocolate flavored banana bread but with a weird waxy texture.  So I decided to try to adapt my vegan brownie recipe.  I added some cinnamon and cayenne to the batter to give it a little kick and after a batch where I forgot the sugar (whoops!) I had a great recipe.

Next I wanted to top the brownie with a coconut ice cream.  I have not opened a fresh coconut since I was a little kid so I had no idea what I was doing.  After watching a really helpful video online, I took my knife and banged away until I opened my coconuts.  It took a while to get the meat out of the shell but it was was easier than I thought it would be and pretty fun overall.  I even managed not to stab or bash any of my fingers!   I made my own coconut milk, with actual milk and not water and then just added some sugar and froze it.  The first batch was good but not coco-nutty enough so I made it again with some coconut extract and it was perfect although kind of fluffy from all the coconut.

I figured that it would not be a real sundae with out a sauce so I mixed up a quick coffee chocolate sauce for the finishing touch.  The coffee gave it a nice bitter flavor that went really well with the sweetness of the ice cream and the heat of the brownies.

All together this is a amazing sundae if I do say so myself.  It is spicy and sweet, warm and cold, chewy and creamy, just perfect.  The brownie is a little too spicy for me on it’s own so if you are going to make just that part you might want to cut the cayenne in half.

Coconut Brownie Sundae

Mexican Brownies

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 can black bean, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.  Line a 8×8 pan with tin foil and grease lightly.  Mix together the flax seed and water in the bowl of a food processor, let sit.  Sift together in a large bowl the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, cayenne and salt.  Add the beans, oil and vanilla to the flax mixture and puree until smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.  Pour in to the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, the middle will be set but you will have a few crumbs on a toothpick stuck in the center.  Serve warm.  Makes 9 brownies.

Coconut Ice Cream

Meat from half a coconut

2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1 tsp coconut extract

Mix the coconut and half the milk in a blender until the coconut is in very small pieces.  Add the rest of the milk, the sugar, salt and coconut extract and blend for 30 seconds.  Let chill overnight or at least four hours.  Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the directions.  Serve soft right out of the maker or chill for a few hours for hard ice cream.  Makes 1 quart.

Coffee Chocolate Sauce

1 cup chocolate chips

1 Tbsp instant coffee

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.  Mix the coffee in with the milk and heat until warm then add to the melted chocolate.  Stir until smooth and then add the vanilla.  Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Mexican Brownie SundaeMexican Brownie Sundae

Warm your brownie in the microwave for a few seconds, unless it is still warm from baking.  Top with a generous scoop of coconut ice cream and a drizzle of warm coffee chocolate sauce.  Enjoy immediately!

Time to vote!  Please check out everyone’s entry before voting.  http://www.foodiefights.com/