Jules apricot and coconut squares

How is it the middle of December already? Things have been super crazy busy in our household… because we bought an apartment, got the keys mid November and have had builders renovating it from top to bottom since then. They are supposed to finish up today … but I don’t think the kitchen is installed yet (horror of horrors…) and we move in next week Thursday… plus a few blimps on our health levels in the last month, has left this poor blog a bit unloved.

But I am back with a recipe for apricot & coconut squares… using up some of my Dr Oetker goodie box items before we move apartments.

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While packing boxes and sorting through old paperwork, I found this recipe handwritten on a small piece of paper within a birthday card from my aunt Jules (something she must have written just before she passed away in 2014) saying that she thought that I would enjoy making it. I had obviously kept the birthday card and recipe with the good intention of making it – but never did and it must have gotten filed away and forgotten until now.

Christmas time has always been a special time to reflect on the year that has passed, remember the good things and try to put all the negative thoughts & memories into the forgiveness box. It is also a time to remember those that have passed away (either in the last year or in the years before), to shed a little tear, say a little prayer and make sure that they are not forgotten.

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So Jules… this one is for you… your hospitality and love for the finer things in life will never be forgotten. Your excessive generosity, love and bigger than life personality make us smile and we try to only remember you for the good years and forget the sad memories.

I added a sachet of Dr Oetker Vanilla sugar to the biscuit/cookie mix and it really added a little something extra! I also used up all the homemade apricot jam that I had made a month or so ago. This is a definite try-again & keep kind of recipe… and super easy

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Apricot and coconut Squares

Biscuit/cookie base:
180g butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon of Dr Oetker baking powder
1 sachet of Dr Oetker Vanilla sugar

1 jar of apricot jam (I used my own homemade version – as little or as much as you like)

Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 egg

  • Cream together butter & sugar
  • Add egg and continue to mix
  • Then add flour, vanilla sugar & baking powder & knead together
  • Press into a shallow baking tray (1/4 inch thick)
  • Cover with the apricot jam
  • To make the topping, mix together all the ingredients & sprinkle on top of the jam
  • Bake at 190C for 25min

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Chocolate Banana Coconut and Oat Pancakes

I recently saw this recipe on Alida Ryder’s website (called Simply Delicious) – except hers didn’t have the coconut addition.

Breakfast in our house is a very standard affair – especially for HIM… who always has 2 slices of toast with cheese & ham – while mine can vary from time to time – but toast or porridge is pretty normal. However… on really special occasions… pancakes make an appearance.

And on Monkey’s 1st birthday – I decided to make a batch of these… mostly because they are sugar free and included banana & oats (all good things)… but also because I loved how gorgeous they looked on Alida’s blog!

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I adapted her recipe by adding 1/4 cup of milk – as the mixture was too thick as well as the desiccated coconut. They aren’t particularly sweet which is why I added a good pour of golden syrup to mine 🙂

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Chocolate Banana Coconut & Oat Pancakes

2 ripe banana’s
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup milk

  • Place all ingredients into a bowl and using a hand blender – blend until mixture is smooth
  • leave to rest for 10-20minutes
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat
  • Fry spoonfuls of the batter (1-2min on each side) until brown

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Coconut Macaroons

When I first starting reading all the Brussels blogs for Brussels Food Friends – I instantly started to associate certain bloggers with their blog posts….

So for the longest time – I always thought of Coconut Macaroons when I thought of Sarah’s Little Kitchen… she had made them a few months ago, I had shown the picture and recipe to HIM…and he had confessed to loving these coconut treats… so I promised to make them… I just lost time in actually getting around to making it!

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This past weekend – I finally got a little burst of energy (something that has been sorely lacking over the last 2 months – but that is a whole other story!)… and I decided to make up a batch.

There are 2 things that I did incorrectly… I didn’t add enough desiccated coconut… and I decided to use mini muffin trays instead of a grease-proof paper on a baking tray… this lead to one problem… the bottoms remains in the tray… which meant that I spent the better part of the afternoon eating the bottoms directly out of the muffin tray ….

BUT I can tell you that these are DELICIOUS and an absolute make-again kind of recipe!

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Coconut Macaroons

5 egg whites
225 g sugar
275 g dried desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon of orange blossom essence

  • Place egg whites & sugar into a saucepan
  • Place saucepan on the stovetop over a low heat, whisking until sugar is melted and the mixture is white & foamy
  • Remove from heat and add the coconut and orange blossom essence & combine well
  • Place dollops onto a greased baking tray
  • Bake at 180C for 15-20min until brown on top (and still soft in the centre)

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My Granny’s Chocolate-Coconut Biscuit Recipe

I have the most amazing memories of my childhood holiday’s in Port Alfred… as already mentioned in my Corn Fritter post – particularly, as my granny used to bake for the *afternoon tea biscuit tins*.

At 14h45/15h00 – there was this a ritual of setting the tea-tray with a crocheted cloth along with a set of cups and saucers, a jug of milk, the sugar bowl and a plate of something special from one of the tins! Lucky was the delegated person who was allowed to pick which tin would be raided for that particular afternoon!

Anything from fruit-mince pies to fruitcake to biscuits to home-make buttermilk rusks! And the Biscuits… oh those glorious biscuits… they could be shortbread, cherry topped or my personal favourite the chocolate-coconut ones sandwiched together with chocolate to resemble the infamous South African favourite Romany Creams version!

Sadly, my granny is now living in Durban and is in her 80’s and doesn’t have the energy or the inclination to bake anymore… but this recipe was handed down to me on one of my previous visits… and now… with a great amount of honour on her behalf… I share this delightful recipe with you!

Chocolate Coconut Biscuits

2 Tablespoons cocoa

1/2 cup boiling water

1cup castor sugar

250g butter

vanilla essence

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

salt

1 & 1/2 cups coconut

  1. cream butter and sugar
  2. Add to flour mixture (flour, baking powder, salt and coconut)
  3. Add cocoa
  4. Mix in boiling water
  5. mix well and add vanilla essence
  1. drop teaspoons onto a greased baking tray
  1. Bake at 180C for 15-20minutes
  2. Sandwich together with melted chocolate!