Category Archives: Beach

Dreaming of an Island …

I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan of tropical anything – except mangoes, for some reason. Anyway, this coconut cake is a bit of a ‘cheater’ recipe, inasmuch as a cake mix and instant pudding are used, but oh, it is really very good.  

I’ve made it as a cake in any and all sizes, from jumbo to mini cupcakes, and have even baked it in a loaf pan, then cooled, thinly sliced and toasted the frosting-free cake to enjoy as a cookie with a cup of hot tea. 

Coconut-Rich Cake

1 box white cake mix

1 pkg. 3.4 oz instant coconut pudding

1 cup water

1/3 cup oil (I usually substitute melted butter for the oil)

4 eggs

2 tsp coconut flavoring, or vanilla extract, or vanilla paste

1 1/3 cup flaked coconut (sweetened, but to reduce the sugar, unsweetened is fine)

Frosting, optional

Preheat oven to 350*.  Prepare baking pans – line cupcake tins, spray cake pans with my personal favorite Baker’s Joy, or line sheet pans with parchment paper.

In large bowl, mix cake mix, dry instant pudding, water, oil (or melted butter), eggs and extract/flavoring. Beat about two minutes, then add coconut, mixing just until well blended.

Pour batter into prepared bakeware. Bake for 25 minutes for cake, or until top springs back from light pressure and top is golden.

Serve with fresh fruit, drizzle with chocolate, add a scoop of ice cream, or frost with coconut, vanilla or chocolate frosting and sprinkle generously with flaked coconut.

Enjoy!

I’d love to hear how the recipe worked for you – did you serve it for a special occasion? Did you dress it up or scale it down? 

Oh, and as you already know, even though I sometimes mention brand names, I do not in any way benefit from doing so. I just have a few tried and true ingredients, tools or gadgets that I’m happy to specify in the hope you, too, find them to be helpful.

Beach Party Pearl Cookies

These cookies are not actually made, as much as they are compiled. However, if you need a cute dessert for a summertime party, but don’t have much time, these cookies might be the solution you’re looking for.

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The shopping – or ingredient – list to make one dozen cookies is a walk on the beach-easy:

2 dozen cookies – I found these almond flavored shell-shaped cookies at Dollar Tree.

24 tablespoons (or 1 1/2 cups) flavor-compatible frosting – homemade or not

1 dozen candies – Sixlettes, M&Ms, gumdrops, etc.

Pipe or drop about two tablespoons of frosting on the flat side of one half of the total cookies, being a little more generous with the frosting near the front of the cookie.

Place the second, unfrosted cookie on top of the first, on an angle <  like a clam shell.

Using the tips of your fingers, or kitchen tongs/tweezers, place one candy inside the cookie, resting in the thick frosting. The idea is to make it look as if there is a pearl inside each cookie sandwich.

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Courtesy of skeeze on Pixabay

I used a few additional ingredients to create what I envisioned as individual aquariums – but the end result left plenty of room for improvement!

Using individual plastic cups, attempt to stuff edible blue Easter grass inside said cups. Divide the S’mores variety of Goldfish cookies into one dozen fairly equal portions, and tuck, poke, and shake the fish evenly-ish into blue grass filled cups.

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Top the cups, now overflowing with wild edible blue Easter grass, with one clam cookie.

Wrap each cup with plastic wrap – telling yourself that the plastic wrap makes it look kinda-sorta like an aquarium. In truth, it does little else than contain the out of control Easter grass and prevent those little S’mores fishes from S’mimming away and all over the floor!

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And there you have it – a mini-aquarium complete with ocean, fish, and a clam bearing a pearl!

Happy Summer!

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