Kate

Concord Grape Upside Down Cake

concord grape upside down cake recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a buttery golden single layer cake made with juicy seedless concord grapes. The cake gets baked in the oven and gooey pieces of fruit keep the cake moist for days. This is a great cake to eat for breakfast or dessert or tea time. Make this cake in a springform pan. Find the recipe and how to roast grapes on thewoodandspoon.com

Have you ever met someone that speaks your language?

No, I’m not talking English, French, or (to speak of my suffering initiative at learning a second language) Spanglish. I’m talking your heart language. Someone who gets stuff the way you do.

Humor me for a minute.

When my friend Lauren texts me a picture of the Kate Spade “Eat Cake For Breakfast” bag or says “OMG, me too!” for the millionth time in our conversation, it’s because she speaks my language. Or when my friend Kate posts this video of cats trotting on a treadmill to my Facebook wall for the millionth time… I’m sorry, but that mess gets me every time. Or when I tear up a bit during deep conversation with my mom because she’s somehow managed to put words to feelings I’m experiencing and it’s like I’m being realized for the first time… she’s speaking my language. 

concord grape upside down cake

What I mean is that sometimes a person’s passions, thoughts, and joys align perfectly with your own, and when it happens, it’s an incredible sense of relief/satisfaction because you realize that you’re not alone, that someone sees you, and that there’s someone who identifies with who you are. If you haven’t experienced this yet, you will. Give it time. And if you have, you know exactly what I mean.

This is how I often feel about my friend Rayne. She’s newer on the lineup of people I would categorize as “Best,” but she’s essential in that I think she gets it. Rayne can speak almost every dialect of my heart language fluently and does so with seemingly little effort. This girl loves well, is tremendously thoughtful, and has helped grow in me a spiritual strength, resilience, and faithfulness just by living it out in her own life. She lives in the proverbial presidential suite of my heart and if you knew her, you’d know she wouldn’t accept anything less. Really, she’s just the best. 

My prayer for you today is that you all would have a showering (excuse the pun) of Raynes in your life- if not today, someday soon. That there would be a life on this earth that you find so beautiful, rare, and exciting that you can’t help but love and celebrate them to the fullest measure. I think we all need a person that brings us that much joy, so my hope for you is that you’ll find yours. 

concord grape upside down cake

One thing that Rayne and I don’t see eye to eye on is upside down cake. I don’t always get it but she lovvees it. A few months ago, she was trying to convince me that pineapple upside down cake was an underrated, top 5 dessert, and honestly, I think I tuned her out because ew. Just ew. Never one to turn down a challenge though, I started researching upside down cakes and finished my investigation rather surprised at the delicious outcomes. 

So today, in honor of Rayne, I have two things for you:

First, a letter. For you, for your heart friend, for whoever. Download this free letter template and write to someone who speaks your language. Tell them you see them and that they mean something to you. And tell them why. It feels good to receive gratitude and it feels even better to give it. So make it rain (Rayne?) some love on someone today.

Second, a recipe for this concord grape upside down cake. If you’ve never roasted grapes, that in and of itself is worth it because the change in flavor is extraordinary. This is a messy cake and it’s not much to look at but it pairs beautifully with cheese and wine so there’s that at least. Similar to my favorite Kate Spade bag, I absolutely adore eating this at breakfast, because cake without frosting usually just reads “BREAKFAST” to me. Whenever you eat it, definitely share a slice with your friend and let them know they’re worth making weird fruity cakes for. 

concord grape upside down cake

I’d love to hear how you celebrate the people you love. If you have any ideas, or recipes you like the share with your favorites, please tell me about them in an email or the comments section below. 

Happy Tuesday and cheers to you!

Click here to view the free downloadable letter template!

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Concord Grape Upside Down Cake

This sweet concord grape upside down cake made with a warm, honey caramel and sweet roasted fruit is delicious, rustic option for breakfast, dessert, and everything in between.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless concord grapes
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir 6 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and honey in heavy medium skillet over low heat until butter melts and sugar and honey blend in, forming thick, smooth sauce.
  3. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides.
  4. Top with the grapes.
  5. Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl.
  6. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter in large bowl until light.
  7. Add sugar and beat until creamy.
  8. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in extracts.
  9. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, mixing just until blended.
  10. Spoon batter evenly over plums.
  11. Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool in pan 30 minutes.
  12. Using knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Place platter atop cake pan. Invert cake; place platter on work surface. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently lift off pan.
  13. Serve cake warm with whipped cream.

Notes

  • Be sure to purchase SEEDLESS concord grapes. This is one case where seeds simply will not do! Other varieties of grapes would lack the sweet, grape-like flavor we want in this cake so be sure you purchase the right kind.

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Recipe Adapted From: Bon Appetit

Blueberry Lemon Bars

Blueberry Lemon Bars Recipe by the Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple shortbread crust summer berry fruit bar. The shortbread is lemon zest scented and the blueberry filling is full of more zest and lemon juice. The crumbles on top of buttery and add a crunch to this juicy fruit bar. Make a small or large batch for a crowd. thewoodandspoon.com

Are we ready to close out the summer? Is it really already time?

Saying goodbye to summer feels a lot like saying goodbye to an old friend. Summer is that lively, carefree friend who shows up out of nowhere at your front door, sleeps on your couch and eats all your food, but gives you a load of funny stories and blurry photographs to save as memories. You shared some good moments and probably even got burned a time or two, but at the end of the day, there’s always promise that they’ll come back around again. 

For my family, this summer was filled with a ton of joyful, big life moments, but was also not without its share of challenging learning experiences. Here’s a few things I learned: 

 
  • I learned that I could keep two humans alive, surviving on minimal hours of sleep.
  • I learned that hormones are the wild, unbridled beasts of a postpartum body, generous enough to treat me to a receding hairline (at 28) and sweat production akin to a linebacker in a snowsuit on the Fourth of July.
  • I learned that my toddler is SMART- smart enough to learn the ABC’s (thanks preschool!) and smart enough to wait until I leave the room to crawl up on the counter and put her grubby paws in my freshly iced sugar cookies.
  • I learned that I probably don’t have a future in gardening, as it turns out my green thumb is actually more like gangrene- decrepit, black, and in desperate need of an amputation STAT (sorry, tomatoes). 

Blueberry Lemon Bars

This summer was a series of ups and downs, learning and unlearning, and trial and error, so while I’m sad to leave my jean shorts and tank tops behind, I’m excited for the next page in our book. Plus, I can keep some of those summer repeats on replay for at least another couple weeks, right? (I’m looking at you, ice cream cones!)
 
Blueberry Lemon Bars
One thing I did manage to get right this summer? Blueberry lemon bars. 
No other fruit is so quintessentially summer to me than blueberries. With their beautiful purple skins and juicy innards just begging to burst in my oven, I usually can’t keep blueberries in my fridge long enough to test out new recipes. BUT! This summer, I set out to perfect my blueberry lemon bars, and hold the phone because I think I did it.
My goal with for blueberry lemon bars was to create a good crust to fruit ratio, for that crust to be lightly scented with lemon, and for the bars to easily be sliced into neat squares for serving. After a few trial runs, this is the recipe I nailed down.
Blueberry Lemon Bars
The crust is a lemon shortbread/sugar cookie hybrid and doubles as the crumble sprinkled on top of the bars as well. The filling is simple: berries and sugar, with a sprinkle of a few other ingredients, all tossed together quickly in a bowl. The whole thing bakes up pretty quick in the oven and stays good for DAYS. Fresh or frozen blueberries can be used for these little pals, although if you don’t take advantage of the inexpensive seasonal fruit then I just don’t know what’s the matter with you.
 
BONUS! I’m also including an expanded recipe in the event that you want to make these bad boys for a crowd. The smaller recipe still make more than you’d expect though, so don’t go too crazy right off the bat (actually, go wild, because who cares. I’m not holding you back.)
Blueberry Lemon Bars
 
Blueberry Lemon Bars
Blueberry lemon bars should be the cherry on top, the encore, or whatever you want to call it of a delicious and well-lived summer. I hope you share one or two of these before we fall face first into autumn.
 
Cheers to you and have a great week!
 
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Blueberry Lemon Bars

Blueberry Lemon Bars Recipe by the Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple shortbread crust summer berry fruit bar. The shortbread is lemon zest scented and the blueberry filling is full of more zest and lemon juice. The crumbles on top of buttery and add a crunch to this juicy fruit bar. Make a small or large batch for a crowd. thewoodandspoon.com

These blueberry lemon bars boast a sweet and salty lemon shortbread crust and crumble, and are filled with juicy blueberries!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Scale

For the crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 11/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 21/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9″ square pan with aluminum foil, covering all sides of the pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and lemon and stir to combine. Scrape the bowl, then add the flour and salt. Stir on low speed until clumps begin to form. Scrape the bowl as needed, continuing to stir only until combined. Pat out 2/3 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling and toss gently. Strain any extra juice from the berries and sprinkle them evenly over the crust.
  4. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the blueberries and crust.
  5. Place in the preheated oven and bake until the crumbs on top are golden brown, about 1 hour. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

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Blueberry Lemon Bars for a Crowd

Blueberry Lemon Bars Recipe by the Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple shortbread crust summer berry fruit bar. The shortbread is lemon zest scented and the blueberry filling is full of more zest and lemon juice. The crumbles on top of buttery and add a crunch to this juicy fruit bar. Make a small or large batch for a crowd. thewoodandspoon.com

A slightly adapted version, these blueberry lemon bars boast a sweet and salty lemon shortbread crust and crumble, and are filled with juicy blueberries!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Scale

For the crust

  • 21/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 2 pints blueberries
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 11/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a quarter sheet pan with aluminum foil, covering all sides of the pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and lemon and stir to combine. Scrape the bowl, then add the flour and salt. Stir on low speed until clumps begin to form. Scrape the bowl as needed, continuing to stir only until combined. Pat out 2/3 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling and toss gently. Strain off any extra juice the berries produce and sprinkle them evenly over the crust.
  4. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the blueberries and crust.
  5. Place in the preheated oven and bake until the crumbs on top are golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

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Bruleed Key Lime Pies

Bruleed Key Lime Pies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Simple key lime pie tarts made in mini tart pans with removable bottoms. Graham cracker and butter crust with a sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice and zest and sugar filling. These bake up really fast! You can substitute regular lime juice. Sprinkle the top with sugar for a crunchy brûlée topping. Serve with whipped cream. Make these ahead of time and torch when ready to eat! Recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Sometimes life is easy. Life gives us new friends, or a promotion at work, or time for an extra cup of coffee in the morning, and somehow, all feels right in the world. Sometimes life gives us a surprise sale at our favorite store, or a long-awaited answer to prayer, or extra caramel drizzled in the bottom of our Starbucks cup, and everything in us shouts, “YES! Thank you! Hooray!” But sometimes life gives us illness. Sometimes life gives us broken relationships, or a flat tire, or a feeling that you’re two steps behind of where you should be. Sometimes it feels like life dumped a bunch of garbage on us and the answer to all of our dreams is “NO!” One those days, I need an extra helping of grace… and these bruleed key lime pies. 

Bruleed Key Lime Pies

These past couple of weeks have been hard. Life just feels off. But we’ve all been there, right? We’ve all felt at the end of our rope. Out of gas, out of time, out of luck. We’ve all been tired.

These bruleed key lime pies make me happy. A simple dessert, with minimal ingredients and effort, that yields a whole lot of goodness and reward. A buttery, salty crust, filled with a creamy, mouth-puckering key lime filling, all resting perfectly content underneath a sheet of bruleed sugar. Every flavor profile and multiple textures all baked into one perfect little, palm-sized dessert.

Bruleed Key Lime PiesWe start by stirring together a simple graham cracker crust that gets pressed into the bottom of mini tart pans. While those bake, we whisk together the most basic of key lime pie fillings. Once poured into the baked crusts, the pies are sent for another round in the oven. From there, the tarts are left to chill briefly before a sugar crust is bruleed on top.Bruleed Key Lime Pies

Bruleed Key Lime PiesWhipping up these bruleed key lime pies makes me feel like a boss. They feel like an easy dose of fancy and delicious, particularly on these days that can sometimes seriously suck. Bruleed key lime pies make me feel like I’m doing something right. 
I hope life is giving you all kinds of goodness right now and that you’re breezing through this week like you were made for it. But if life is giving you all kinds of lemons and limes, then I hope you’ll use those fruits to make bruleed key lime pies. 
Bruleed Key Lime Pies
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Bruleed Key Lime Pies

Bruleed Key Lime Pies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Simple key lime pie tarts made in mini tart pans with removable bottoms. Graham cracker and butter crust with a sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice and zest and sugar filling. These bake up really fast! You can substitute regular lime juice. Sprinkle the top with sugar for a crunchy brûlée topping. Serve with whipped cream. Make these ahead of time and torch when ready to eat! Recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Bruleed key lime pies have a buttery graham cracker crust, with a tart, creamy key lime filling, topped with a sheet of bruleed sugar.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Scale

For the crust

  • 1 sleeve of graham crackers
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar

For the key lime pie

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 11/2 teaspoons key lime zest
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 4 (4-1/2 inch) tart pans with removable bottoms with baking spray.
  2. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor to crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Divide the crust mixture among the 4 pans and press into the bottoms of the pans with your fingers. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is set. Set aside to cool slightly.

To prepare the key lime pie

  1. In a medium sized glass bowl, whip the egg yolk for about 1 minute with a wire whisk. Add the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and zest. Whisk to combine.
  2. Divide the mixture between the 4 tart pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until the outer edges of the tart have set. Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator until cold, or at least an hour.
  3. When ready to eat, unmold tarts by turning upside down on a piece of wax paper and pressing gently on the removable bottom with your fingers. Once removed, flip out on to a plate. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on each tart and caramelize using a kitchen torch. Allow to rest for 3-4 minutes and then serve.

Notes

  • You can prepare these in a muffin tin, however, be mindful to use liners. Baking time will differ.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4

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Recipe Adapted from: Gourmet Magazine

Honey Basil Margaritas

Honey Basil Margaritas

At the end of April, my mom and I created a summer bucket list- a list of projects and goals we wanted to complete before fall came rolling through. Initially, I was determined to tick each and every item off that list. I’d finish sewing a few quilts, piece together George’s baby photo album, and shed the remaining pregnancy pounds, among a number of other tasks that I was sure I’d finish with ease. 

I was wrong.

Had my summer bucket list included eating an entire ice cream cake by myself, binge watching every episode of “Naked and Afraid” on my DVR, or successfully maintaining a sports bra/t-shirt hybrid of a farmer’s tan, then this summer would have been crowned an all out success. Instead, my biggest success of the summer was keeping two humans alive (three, if you count my husband), and finally sleeping through the night myself without an extra kick in the pants from my good friend, melatonin.    

Honey Basil Margaritas

Honey Basil Margaritas

One silver lining of those summer nights and my struggling bucket list are the cocktails. Ohh, the cocktails.

I have honey basil margaritas to thank for a lot of my summer nights. Made with classic margarita ingredients and the added bonus of a honey simple syrup and fresh basil, these honey basil margaritas are incredibly refreshing and the perfect mix of sweet, sour, and salty. This is a cocktail made for sunset-watching on the beach, summer barbecues, or (if you’re like me) when the witching hour is strong and mama just needs a little something to take the edge off.  

Honey Basil Margaritas

The honey simple syrup is made like any other simple syrup, by boiling equal parts water and sugar (in the form of good quality clover honey) until it’s dissolved. After being chilled, the syrup is muddled with the basil before being shaken to oblivion with the lime, tequila, and orange liquor. You can store your syrup in the fridge for two weeks and I highly recommend shaking it up with some of your other favorite citrus-based cocktails (French 75, anyone?)

Honey Basil Margaritas

I’m sharing this recipe for honey basil margaritas in participation of #DRINKTHESUMMER , a virtual cocktail party being hosted by Sherrie of With Food + Love . Even though summer is short, it is always plenty generous with a bounty of produce that is worthy of celebration, so be sure to check out her post where she will be sharing the names and recipe links of the other bloggers involved. 

If you made a summer bucket list and failed to complete it, don’t fret. Just drink up what’s left of the summer and look forward to all that fall has to offer. 

To see more of #DRINKTHESUMMER , click to the host site here .

 

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Honey Basil Margaritas

Honey Basil Margaritas

Made with fresh basil and a honey simple syrup, these honey basil margaritas are a refreshing, summery take on the Mexican classic.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 1 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the honey basil margaritas

  • 3/4 ounce honey simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 4 medium sized basil leaves
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 ounce orange liquor
  • 1 ounce lime juice

For the honey simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup good quality clover honey
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

To prepare the margaritas

  1. In a shaker, muddle the basil leaves with the honey simple syrup. Add the remaining ingredients and fill the shaker with ice. Shake for 30-45 seconds. Pour into a salt-rimmed glass and enjoy!

To prepare the honey simple syrup

  1. Combine the honey and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Allow to cool on the stove or in a heat-safe container in the fridge. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Guys. Please tell me I’m not the only one. Please, please tell me that I am not actually the sorriest person on the planet.

The other day, I was vacuuming the nursery when I came upon a stubborn bundle of fuzz that refused to be sucked into the vacuum even after rolling over it five or six (read: fifteen) times. Instead of tossing the fuzzie in the trash, I picked up the little guy with my toes and then dropped it back on the ground to attempt to vacuum it up from a different angle.

WHAT. IS. THAT. 

What degree of laziness does one have to have if they are willing to relocate grunge on floor to avoid a short walk to the garbage can to throw it out?

[Throws hands in the air] I disgust myself. 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake Cherries

But this is the kind of stuff that is all over my life right now. With a handful of balls in the air and more than a few hats that I wear on a daily basis, I find myself halfway-ing a good number of areas of my life. I work out, but I fail to eat right. I buy a birthday gift but forget to mail the card. I play with my babies, but get tired and end up relying on Mickey Mouse to drag us through the final hours of the day. I’m still trying to get the hang of balancing all of the things that I want to make time for and as a result, some things just don’t get the attention they require.

Between work and babies and all of the other things that end up receiving little nuggets of my time, this blog is often one of the many forgotten outcasts of my life. Since starting this little corner of the interwebz, I have had the intentions of working on a number of photography and web-based skills (computer hacking skills…nun-chuck skills…. bow-hunting skills), but that list of tasks has long been shuffled under a mound of other things. Finally, this past weekend, I set aside some time to tick a few things off of my list and I am thrilled to share the results with you.

I made a stop motion film! 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Okay, I understand this is not a huge deal and I can totally hear every teenager on the planet whispering, “that’s so easy” under their breath. Also, there’s no need to point out the flaws because I totally see them. But for me, this took a bit of learning and I am so excited to have even attempted it. I’d officially like the thank The Academy, my Canon camera, and both of my babies (for napping at the same time last Saturday) for giving me the opportunity to shoot and stitch this little guy together.

You’ll see that the video is a stop motion film of the building of a naked black forest ice cream cake. Naked cakes are my favorite to make, so naturally, naked ice cream cakes are pretty much the center of my  universe. I love them almost as much as I love my own children. Not really, but close.

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

This black forest ice cream cake was created using my favorite chocolate cake recipe and a frozen, ice cream-esque filling that I adapted from Ina Garten’s mocha icebox cake. While a traditional black forest cake is filled with Kirsch soaked cherries and lightly sweetened whipped cream, my version boasts boozy bourbon cherries (because the South, y’all!), hot fudge drizzles, and simple, creamy layers of ice cream. The whole thing is stacked together and left in the freezer for a rainy day.
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
You can totally shortcut any and all portions of this recipe and substitute store-bought favorites. Instead of homemade cake, try a box mix. Instead of making the ice cream filling, set a quart of your favorite grocery store variety on the counter to thaw out slightly before making the cake. I always have a jar of fudge sauce in my fridge and try to prepare the cakes the night before, so day-of labor is minimal at best. 
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake I recommend that you read through the full list of instructions before starting. The process is simple in nature, but lengthy in detail so make sure you know what you’re doing before you get started. Also, I’ve included a couple of snapshots in this post to illustrate the two methods of building a naked cake. Have fun watching the short little movie, and I sincerely hope it inspires you to make a naked cake of your own. Happy Monday!
 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Needed:
3 prepared 6″ chocolate cake layers (I bake a half batch of this recipe in 3- 6″ pans)
1 recipe of ice cream filling, unfrozen (see below)
1 recipe of bourbon soaked cherries (See below)
1/2 cup chocolate fudge sauce (I like this recipe, but store bought is fine)
 

Directions:

1. Line a 6″ cake ring  with an acetate sheet collar (see notes). Alternatively, you can line the sides of a 6″ round cake pan with a collar of wax paper or parchment paper to use as a guide/mold for building your cake. This is not a necessary step, but certainly makes building your cake much easier. If using the cake pan, line the bottom with a small piece of parchment to ensure easy removal from pan.
2. Place one leveled cake layer in the bottom of the cake ring. Using a pastry brush, soak the first layer of cake with approximately 1/3 of the cherry syrup. Smooth 1 cup of the ice cream mixture over the top of the first cake layer. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cherries on top of the ice cream and then drizzle with 1/4 cups of hot fudge sauce. Repeat this process once.
3. Place the final cake layer on top of the built cake. Soak with the final third of cherry syrup and smooth 1-1/2 cups of the ice cream mixture on top.  
4. Cover the cake loosely, and place in the freezer to set up for 4 hours or until firm. 
5. Remove cake from freezer 10-15 minutes prior to serving for easy slicing. Uncut, the cake will keep in the freezer for 3 weeks. 
 
Notes:
1. I use 3″ x 20″ wide acetate sheets to line my cake ring. As a result, I end up requiring two sheets total to cover the height of my cakes. See here for additional instructions on building cakes with acetate sheets. 
2. If you prefer to not use acetate sheets and cake ring as a supportive mold, you can build the cake as I did in my video! Keep in mind that you have to work quickly as all that fluffy ice cream likes to squish out the sides. 
 

Ice Cream Filling

Ingredients:

8 ounces of mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean 
2 tablespoons of good quality bourbon, optional (I use Blanton’s)

To prepare the no churn ice cream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the mascarpone, sugar, whipping cream, vanilla and bourbon. Whip with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Set aside until ready to use in your cake.

Bourbon Soaked Cherries

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) of stemmed and pitted dark cherries
2 tablespoons of good quality bourbon (I use Blanton’s)
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

To prepare the cherries:

Roughly chop cherries into small bits. Place in a bowl and stir together with sugar and bourbon. Set aside for 30 minutes prior to use to allow the cherries, sugar, and bourbon to produce a syrup. When ready to use, strain the cherries from the syrup, reserving both for the cake. (Note: with this preparation the cherries freeze into icy bits of booze and fruit. If you’d prefer a sweeter, softer filling, you can cook the ingredients above with an additional 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch over low heat, stirring and smashing the cherries regularly until it has thickened to a jam-like consistency. Allow to cool before assembling with cake.)

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

We just got back from a trip to Mexico, and I can’t tell you how much I value my time spent there. Beyond margaritas and fish tacos and poolside amenities, there was rest and a lot of time- quality time with my husband.

Somewhere between the nine to five and the raising two kids and the daily checklist of things to do, I have forgotten how to laugh. I’ve forgotten how to joke. I’ve forgotten how to play and how to flirt and how to make lazy conversation with my husband. In Mexico, there wasn’t any business talk. No work stress. No employees calling in sick, or check lists, or babies with a belly ache or needing more milk or one more bedtime story. There was me and my husband and the words and the air that flowed in between us. That’s all.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

To be clear, I understand that this is not always real life. Real life contains joy and happiness and series of perfectly mundane moments, but real life is also work. Real life can be hard and busy and full. And when life gets like that, the last thing I remember to do is to act in love. It can become challenging to remember all the reasons why you decided to do life with someone.

We didn’t need Mexico or sunshine or spa appointments or mint flecked, frozen beverages, but we needed vacation. We needed quiet time to connect and to be ourselves- the people we were when we chose each other. The people who aren’t covered up in work stuff or baby drool or mounds of tasks to check off our lists.

To my mother-in-law who kept our babies while we were gone: thank you. You sewed into our marriage. Your time made us better.

And to those of you who are in desperate need of something new: find it. Take time off. Take a trip or a drive or just fifteen minutes before the day ends to love the person you’re with. Fight for the things that are important to you and invest in the things that give you life.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

My friend Susan Goodman wrote an incredible book called “Pursue Possibilities”. In it, she talks about forming habits and she poignantly says that whatever you want your life to look like in ten years has to start today. If you want to be a CEO of your company in ten years, you have to act like a CEO today. If you want to author a book in ten years, you have to write today. If you want to be holding your husband’s hand in ten years, you need to hold his hand in the gritty now.

In ten years, I want to be holding my husband’s hand. In ten years, I want to be sitting at the dinner table with my family and know that the decisions I made ten years ago made my present life that much sweeter. But I need reminders to participate in the now. To actively partake in the moments that make our marriage sweet today.

So reader, I beg you to remind me of this daily. Hold me accountable. And as your friend, I promise to do the same.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

And if you are currently reading this saying to yourself, “Sheesh, I wish she would hurry up and talk about some ice cream,” OK! Here it comes!

I decided to make this no churn cherry chip ice cream for my Mimi. She’s tried this recipe and prefers it with larger chunks of cherries throughout, but I’ve made it here with fewer cherry bits and the added crunch of dark chocolate. If you’re really into cherry flavors, you can add more cherries or a little cherry liquor for good measure. 

First, we roast dark cherries in the oven with sugar and salt until they’re soft, sweet, and syrupy. Roasting makes everything feel a little more sophisticated, right? Then, we purée a portion of the cherries to mix in with our vanilla ice cream base, and leave the remainder of the cherries in halves or quarters so that each bite of ice cream contains juicy fruit goodness. If you want a smooth ice cream without any tiny bits, be sure to strain your cherry puree prior to adding it to the cream mixture. Sidenote: This will also save you the embarrassment of getting cherry skins stuck in your teeth. Add a little chocolate to your cream and wham, bam, thank ya ma’am, your ice cream is ready for the freezer.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

If you’ve made any of my no churn ice creams in the past, you know that they are quite easy and come together with very few ingredients or kitchen equipment. This recipe is no exception. Besides the roasting of the cherries and time spent in the freezer, this recipe can be whipped up in less than ten minutes! This means that you get to spend less time in the kitchen and more time loving on someone important to you (Read: snuggling your man friend or planning your pending nuptials to Harry Styles).

 

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

Happy Monday to you all! If you try out this recipe, let me know what you think about it in the comments section below!

 

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No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

No churn cherry chip ice cream is a combination of sweet, roasted cherries, chocolate chunks, and a creamy no churn ice cream base that is flavored with high quality bourbon.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds of dark cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons high quality bourbon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped chocolate (milk or dark, depending on your preferences)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop cherries into halves and toss in a pyrex dish with sugar and salt. Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  2. Once finished, allow to cool to room temperature. You can expedite this process by placing the cherries and their syrup in the fridge.
  3. Once ready to prepare the ice cream, remove 1/2 cup of the roasted cherries and place the remaining cherries and syrup into a food processor or blender to puree. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream to stiff peaks.
  5. In a separate large bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, cherry puree, and bourbon. Fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture. Fold in the remaining chopped cherries and chocolate.
  6. Spread the mixture into two loaf pans or into one larger, freezer-safe dish. Place in freezer for 6 hours or until frozen.

Notes

  • For a smooth ice cream, puree all of the cherries and strain using a fine mesh strainer prior to adding to the milk and whipped cream.

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Grapefruit Moscow Mules

Grapefruit Moscow Mule Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Made with fresh grapefruit and lime juice, spicy ginger beer, and vodka. These are a refreshing summer mule that you can sweeten up with simple syrup or sugar. Increase or double the recipe to make a pitcher for a crowd. Find the recipe for this variation of the mule on thewoodandspoon.com.

Greetings, earthlings. I am writing to you from a distant and remote place called motherhood. The land where sleeping hours are few, the air smells of sour milk, and tiny people undo every household task you attempt to accomplish. For example, that laundry you just folded? It’s now stuffed in the back of the toy box. Oh, and that diaper you just changed? Yeah, you’re gonna want to strap on some latex gloves for what’s going on in there now. And those new shoes you just bought? Well, they’re filled with puddles of spit up that poured off you shoulder, dripped down your back, and finally squished its way under the soles of your feet. 

Don’t even get me started on nursing bras. Nothing says “I’m feeling sexy” like covering your utilitarian lady parts with thicks mounds of flesh-toned fabric that’s all rigged up with elastic and plastic hardware. Doesn’t that sound so attractive? Come at me, boys.

Don’t get me wrong- I am honored to identify as a mother. It’s the greatest and most triumphant joy I’ve ever known. But sometimes, Stella just needs to get her groove back, okay?

Grapefruit Moscow Mule

Almost a year ago, Brett and I were supposed to travel to Mexico. Refresh your memory of the tragic traveling disaster here if need be, but the CliffNotes version is that we lost a passport and had to cancel our trip the night before we were scheduled to leave. Thankfully, as luck would have it, yours truly and her no longer passportless hubby are leaving today for a redemptive trip to Mexico. Solo. No chi’rens. Hallelu-yer.

The glorious thing about this trip?

NO SPIT UP. NO DIAPERS. NO 3 AM WAKEUP CALLS. NO GRANNY PANTIES.

Just me, my man friend, the Mexican sunshine, and maybe one or four cocktails (before noon). 

Yes, I will most certainly cry when we hug the babies goodbye. There may  be some moments of homesick at night before bed. And let’s be honest, there’s no way I’ll be able to escape my bestie, the ever-present Medela breast pump. But I have the nasty habit of putting my marriage on the back burner for the sake of wearing my mama hat full time, so I need this trip. We need a breather.

Grapefruit Moscow Mule

Grapefruit Moscow Mule

Today I’m sharing a cocktail recipe with you. By the time this get posted, I will  most certainly be on a beach with a cocktail in my hand, and since it’s Monday, I’m thinking you’re going to want to get in on this beverage action too.

Grapefruit Moscow mules are the drink of the minute in our house. My husband and I have been making these all summer, and I just can’t get over the spicy freshness that is the ginger beer and citrus combo. My summertime requirement for alcoholic beverages is lime and effervescence so grapefruit Moscow mules are on the money. 

Once you know a good base recipe for a mule, you can create any number of beverages. My standby recipe is 1.5 ounces of liquor (traditionally vodka), 3/4 ounce of lime juice (about half of one big and juicy lime), and 4 ounces of ginger beer. From there, you can add fruit juice, trade out the vodka for flavored liquor like blood orange vodka or even bourbon like in this recipe, or add infused simple syrups to amp a sweet and subtle flavor.

These grapefruit Moscow mules have the summery addition of some grapefruit juice and just a touch of simple syrup so that those ginger beer bubbles don’t completely light you up, however, if you prefer ultra spicy mules, you can skip the syrup. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or even multiplied by 24 for a crowd (I’ve tried it!).

Grapefruit Moscow Mule

I hope you all have a terrific week, and take the chance to make some grapefruit Moscow mules this evening as a reward for making it through Monday. You’ve probably earned it.

 

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Grapefruit Moscow Mules

Grapefruit Moscow Mule Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Made with fresh grapefruit and lime juice, spicy ginger beer, and vodka. These are a refreshing summer mule that you can sweeten up with simple syrup or sugar. Increase or double the recipe to make a pitcher for a crowd. Find the recipe for this variation of the mule on thewoodandspoon.com.

Grapefruit Moscow mules are a spicy and refreshing take on the traditional mule, containing fresh grapefruit juice and a little sweetness from simple syrup. Make this recipe for one, or a little extra for a crowd!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5

Ingredients

Scale
  • 11/2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice (the juice of about 1/4 of a grapefruit)
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 4 ounces ginger beer

Instructions

  1. Combine vodka, fruit juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker and fill to the top with ice. Shake well, about 30 seconds, and pour into a mule mug or highball glass. Add ginger beer and stir gently to combine. Garnish with grapefruit peel.

Notes

  • You can substitute bottled grapefruit juice here if you’d like. Just give it a taste prior to serving as it may need less simple syrup.

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No Churn Honey Salted Almond Ice Cream

No Churn Honey Salted Almond Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog By Kate Wood. This is a no-churn recipe made with sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, and clover honey. The nuts are cooked baked in butter and salt. Each bite of ice cream is sweet and salty, very creamy and almost naturally sweetened. Make the whole recipe in less than 30 minutes, very fast and easy. Recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Are you sick of ice cream recipes yet? If your answer to that question is yes, my bet is that you’re either lactose intolerant or worse, not an ice cream lover. Either way, you may want to slowly back away from your computer screen because it’s about to get all creamy up in here. Today we’re talking no churn honey salted almond ice cream.

No Churn Honey Salted Almond Ice Cream

It’s hard to believe that up until one year ago I had never made ice cream. At the time, it seemed scary (all that churning business), unnecessary (because Blue Bell and Talenti, duh), and really challenging. Until last year, I was perfectly content chomping on Ben and Jerry’s and scooping up melty puddles of Mayfield. Such was life for me until a good friend gifted me her ice cream machine. This machine changed my kitchen ‘tude and brought me out of darkness and into the light. I found my new love.

No Churn Honey Salted Almond Ice Cream

If you have an ice cream maker that you use on a semi-regular basis then you already know what I mean. Homemade ice is so delicious and incredibly rewarding. But if you fall into the “no ice cream machine” or “no space in my kitchen cabinets for one more appliance I’ll never use” category, then look no further. Today’s recipe is for you. Ya welcome. 

No churn ice cream is my new boo. It’s quick, simple, and easily made with equipment and ingredients that most home cooks have access to. If you have a can of sweetened condensed milk and a pint of whipping cream, CONGRATS, you’re halfway there! For a basic no churn vanilla ice cream, simply whip together the cream, milk, and a smidge of vanilla or  liquor until stiff peaks form. That’s it! All done. Then it’s just some waiting on the clock while the fluffy vanilla goodness sets up in the freezer. 

No Churn Honey Salted Almond Ice Cream

From there, the possibilities are endless. Mix in your favorite toppings (think brownie pieces like in this mocha brownie ice cream or cookie chunks like in this oatmeal cookie ice cream) for a super satisfying, homemade treat, or take it a step further by swirling in caramel, fruit syrups, or fudge. Just be careful to not add too much water via fruit juice or other liquids, as the ice cream can become too icy. 

No Churn Honey Salted Almond Ice Cream

No Churn Honey Salted Almond Ice Cream

If you’ve got 15 minutes and a can opener, this no churn honey salted almond ice cream recipe is the perfect way to chill out. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

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No Churn Honey Salted Almond Ice Cream

No Churn Honey Salted Almond Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog By Kate Wood. This is a no-churn recipe made with sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, and clover honey. The nuts are cooked baked in butter and salt. Each bite of ice cream is sweet and salty, very creamy and almost naturally sweetened. Make the whole recipe in less than 30 minutes, very fast and easy. Recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

This no churn honey salted almond ice cream is rich and the perfect blend of salty and sweet. It comes together easily and quickly!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30

Ingredients

Scale

For the salty almonds

  • 2/3 cup almonds (or another nut, if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the ice cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

Instructions

To prepare the nuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir the nuts, melted butter, and salt together in a small bowl to combine. Spread out on a sheet pan and bake in the oven, stirring occasionally, until toasted, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Allow to cool to room temperature.

To prepare the ice cream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the whipping cream, honey, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla, and whip until stiff peaks form.
  2. Fold in the nuts until evenly dispersed. Spread mixture out into a loaf pan or another freezer safe container. Cover and allow to freeze until solid, about 6 hours.

Notes

  • You can use any type of nut you prefer! I really like almonds, but walnuts, pecans, or even pistachios would taste brilliant here!
  • Use good quality honey. The honey really needs to shine here so use a variety that you enjoy the taste of.

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Texas Hot Sauce

Texas Hot Sauce Recipe BY The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a meaty hot dog topping / chili sauce for New York Style hot dogs. The recipe combines ground beef / meat, tomato soup, herbs, spices, onion and tobasco to make the best hot dog topping for your summer barbecue / cook out/ hot dog bar. Find the simple recipe at thewoodandspoon.com.

So have I told you all that I’m a dietitian?

I know, crazy right? Worst career choice for a recovering sugar addict.

Being a dietitian that’s kinda obsessed with food is sometimes a sticky situation. I’m not that dietitian who is super holistic or eats clean or vegan (although I’m seriously okay with vegan ice cream pie and almost paleo cookies). My hat goes off to those you who are – you’re a stronger man/woman than I.

Pretty much my days are inundated with educating people on what types of foods will keep them healthy. I literally tell people what to eat all day long. So let me throw out a disclaimer- do as I say, not as I do.

Texas Hot Sauce 

At our wedding, our caterers insisted upon serving up versions of our favorite foods. So Brett got warm chocolate chip cookies, beef short ribs, and crispy catfish steamed buns (don’t judge until you’ve had it), and I got….. hotdogs. No, you didn’t misread. Hotdogs was my snack of choice. And these were not your run of the mill ballpark dogs, although I’m totally not hating on those. These were the perfect hat-tipping to southern culture and no-frills food: Pimento cheese chili dogs on sweet potato buns.We opted to serve this as a “late night” option for our guests along with truffle French fries and mini burgers topped with bacon jam. Mercy.

Let me go ahead and lay it out there: I ate two of said hotdogs when Brett and I arrived at our honeymoon suite that night. We rehashed the wedding day, laughed at the stories we already had to share, and I bravely powered through two of the best versions of my favorite food ever. We were married and he was stuck with me no matter the outcome of that meal so I went all in and I have no regrets. Let’s slow clap for my husband, probably the only man on the planet who could ever be attracted to a woman who can out-eat him just moments before consummating a marriage. TMI? Yeah, you’re right. Sorry. 

One of the things I love most about hot dogs is that it’s a food that practically begs for toppings. I’m not a purist when it comes to my dogs- the more toppings, the merrier. If I order a hotdog at anywhere and I’m listed a number of potential toppings, my response is always, “YES PLEASE.” All in, always.

Texas Hot Sauce 

This recipe for Texas hot sauce that I’m sharing with you was made popular to me by my Mimi. She received the recipe from the family of a couple who ran a drive-in in Yorkshire, NY, and has since made it famous within our family. Mimi makes this Texas hot sauce to top hotdogs, but I will tell you that it also tastes delicious on burgers or even just in a bowl served under cheese and green onions. If you want to do it super upstate New Yawker style, purchase all beef dogs (in the casing, of course) and top with spicy yellow mustard and chopped onions. YES. I’d recommend making the full recipe and freezing whatever you don’t get around to eating the first or second day, as it will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Take this recipe for a test run at your pool party or outdoor barbecue this weekend. I promise it will be worth any residual bad breath or chili stained lips that you will undoubtedly have. But let’s be honest- if I can pull it off on my wedding night, you’ve totally got this.

Texas Hot Sauce

 

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Texas Hot Sauce

Texas Hot Sauce Recipe BY The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a meaty hot dog topping / chili sauce for New York Style hot dogs. The recipe combines ground beef / meat, tomato soup, herbs, spices, onion and tobasco to make the best hot dog topping for your summer barbecue / cook out/ hot dog bar. Find the simple recipe at thewoodandspoon.com.

Texas hot sauce is a chili topping for hotdogs that originated in upstate New York. I recommend serving on dogs, burgers, or straight from the spoon.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 lb ground hamburger
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 11/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 shots of Tabasco sauce
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Brown hamburger and onion in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and allow to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
  3. Serve immediately or freeze for up to 6 months.

Notes

  • Add additional Tabasco for extra heat, if desired.
  • Ground turkey can be substituted.

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Coconut Almond Chocolate Cookies

Coconut Almond Chocolate Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple, almost paleo recipe that includes shredded coconut, whole almonds and almond butter, vegan chocolate chips or chunks. This is a great healthy almost clean baking cookie for special diets that you can make. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

This is a public service announcement to all readers of this blog: I am no longer cool. Though I’m not sure when it happened, I can confidently express to you, with little qualm or uncertainty, that I have officially lost the cool factor. 

One could argue here that I never really was cool, and to be honest, this is entirely possible. After all, how cool could my former bench-warming, unibrow-having, choreographed-dancing self actually have been? Regardless, I am 100% positive that I am officially out of the loop.

Coconut Almond Chocolate Cookies

I gauge most of my coolness against my sister. At 15 years old (that makes me 13 years her senior?!?), my sister, Cheney, dances circles around whatever level of awesome I once thought I had. What she lacks in years she makes up for in a kindness, wit, and strong will that suggests her world view and degree of wisdom is not limited by her numerical age.Within the past few months, Cheney has taught me how to use Snapchat, kept me posted on the Tayvin/Caylor ship, explained to me what “shipping” even is, and helped me navigate the murky waters of shoulderless shirts. On top of that, this chick is well versed in Star Wars trivia, knows every lyric to the “Grease” soundtrack, and has a collection of Kate Spade handbags that this mama is jealous of daily. She’s just so cool. 

These days, teenagers are growing up in an age full of vegan, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and everything-in-between food products. My sister can eat gourmet popcorn and avocado toast with the best of them, and she has definitely taste tested her fair share of kombucha and acai bowls.  Me? I grew up on tub margarine and Yoo-Hoo, and had to Google the spelling of kombucha just a second ago, so that’s pretty much the level I’m at.

Coconut Almond Chocolate Cookies

A few months ago, Cheney came to me professing to have found the best paleo chocolate chip cookies, and I was pretty interested. Not because I’m anywhere close to being a clean eater (I wouldn’t know a good paleo cookie if it sat on my face), but because I strictly adhere to the “No Cookie Left Behind” mantra. So we baked.

The results were surprisingly delicious. My husband, even less educated in the food realm than I, said that they “didn’t taste like a healthy cookie” which is code for “these cookies are awesome!” I’ve since made the paleo chocolate chip cookies for some of my foodie friends and they all had similar responses. 

Coconut Almond Chocolate Cookies

 

The recipe I’m sharing today, coconut almond chocolate cookies, is a spin off of that recipe. You can certainly modify the ingredients slightly to meet your dietary restrictions, but I feel pretty good about eating these bad boys even if they’re not perfectly paleo. The chopped almonds and shredded coconut add an incredible amount of texture to every bite of this sweet and rich chocolate cookie. The coconut oil and unique blend of flours keep these cookies moist and almost cake-like for days after baking, and because the ingredients are less processed than most, I feel pretty good about downing one or two with my morning coffee at breakfast.

To summarize this blog post, I will say the following: I am not cool, my sister is rad, and coconut almond chocolate cookies are pretty much manna from heaven. I’ve got a long way to go in becoming even an ounce as awesome as my worldly little sis, but I’ll work my way there one cookie at a time if I have to. Give these little treats a try and let me know how you like them!

Coconut Almond Chocolate Cookies

Coconut Almond Chocolate Cookies

PS, can we talk about Aimee’s chubby little arms and knee rolls!? Drool.

 

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Coconut Almond Chocolate Cookies

Coconut Almond Chocolate Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple, almost paleo recipe that includes shredded coconut, whole almonds and almond butter, vegan chocolate chips or chunks. This is a great healthy almost clean baking cookie for special diets that you can make. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

Coconut almond chocolate cookies are moist cookies that can easily be adapted to meet a range of dietary preferences.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons almond butter
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (use dairy free chips, if desired)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup of almonds, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil and sugar on medium speed until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the almond butter and beat for another minute. Add the extracts and egg and beat for one minute, scraping the bowl as needed. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix only until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and almonds.
  4. Scoop out 2 tablespoon sized balls of dough on to a parchment or baking mat lined sheet pan. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies no longer appear wet in the middle. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

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Recipe Adapted From: Texanerin