Coconut Corn Flake Kisses

Are you guys ready?  Ready to have your mind’s blown with this crazy recipe??

I’m not joking.  This is like a French Macaroon, meets an American coconut macaroon, meets rice crispy treats (just made with corn flakes).  Your brain and tastebuds are about to go… BOOM.

Grams was the queen of baked goods.  Cooking in general.  But man, every time we came to visit, grams was always sure to make your favorite meal and dessert.  There were always cookies, pie, cakes, you name it… it was there. She loved experimenting in the kitchen and her desserts were no exception.  I couldn’t even tell you how many different types of grandma cookies I’ve tried over the years.  This recipe is one of my kitchen experiments.  I’ve never seen anything like it, so what the heck?! Figured we’d give it a try.

This is actually perfect for kids.  It’s a fun interactive recipe and it kind of like a healthier version of rice crispy treats.  You know pretty much everything that is going in it.  You could use any cereal for this and make it gluten free too!

Now again, I have used a recipe from gram’s mother’s cookbook. This recipe is originally from a Mrs. S. F. Henderson of Apollo, Pa.  And yes… I know it’s spelled Cocoanut in this book but know that’s the old fashioned way of spelling coconut.  This is the same with a ‘moderate oven.’  This is an old school terms for an oven at 350°-375°.  So without further ado, I give you this unique 70+ year old recipe!

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Cornflake Coconut Kisses

  • 2 eggs whites, beaten very stiff (stiff peaks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups of “Kellogs Corn Flakes”
  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut (found it very cheap in the bulk bins at Wegmans)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Separate eggs.  Beat egg whites to stiff peaks.  Whip in one cup of sugar. Carefully fold in corn flakes, coconut and vanilla.  Make sure that everything is combined and coated well.  This is a very ‘loose batter.’ Don’t worry. Trust me, as long as everything is coated, this will cook.. puff up and stay together.  Once everything is combined, drop balls of about 1-2T of the mixture onto parchment paper. Make sure to space out drops evenly. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy this craziness 🙂

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Ever wonder what it looks like when we’re shooting? Here’s a bird’s eye view.  Anyone who tells me their space is small hasn’t seen where I shoot. Especially when the hubs is 6’5″ and sitting on the floor lol.  He’s doing such a good job hand modeling though, isn’t he?

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Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com

(w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com (e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

 

 

Berries and Custard

This is certainly a VERY old school (80+ years) family favorite that I’m about to share with you this chilly Sunday.  It’s so old that the recipe is in both grams and great grams cookbook as well as a recipe card. I guess gram’s REALLY didn’t want us to forget this one lol.  She certainly had it memorized.

Now if you know anything about the large Pizor-Yoder (and now Bailey clan), our family… aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings all get together every Christmas (and really as often as we can) and pretty much cook, play cards, laugh, and have an all around good time.  You’ll certainly see some fun blog posts around that time (definitely including some mojito recipes… yummm).  Our family ALWAYS make this custard recipe whenever we’re together.  It’s actually my great-grams ‘cornstarch recipe’ and is known by just about everyone.  Anyone who ever tries it wants a copy of the recipe. I even remember making this for my sister’s host family in Scotland, so it’s been shared in multiple countries too!   It’s a truly amazing dessert and is comprised of fresh, simple ingredients.

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In the summer, we’d go pick fresh berries off our neighbor’s bushes or get peaches at the farmer’s market and serve them over this custard.  When the custard’s still hot everything kind of melds together in a truly magical way. We always had the ongoing tapioca vs. no tapioca argument in my family, as we were always 50/50 split on the matter. Grams and mom also used this as a pie base or custard base, which is fairly easy to do.  Here’s some tricks of the Pizor-Yoder custard trade:

  • Add 1 T of good cocoa to make chocolate custard
  • Add 1/2-1 cup of shredded coconut to make coconut custard
    • Do both of the above with a tsp of almond extract to make Almond Joy
  • Add zest and juice of one lemon to custard, pour in baked pie crust.  Add whipped eggs whites (meringue) to the top and bake for lemon meringue pie.
  • Add a cup of quick tapioca (or a cup of large pearl that have been soaked overnight) for tapioca custard.
  • We substituted coconut milk for regular milk before to make lactose free custard (also makes it a little more primal/paleo if you use coconut sugar instead of white sugar)
  • My grandpa’s favorite was always to put pitted cherries on the bottom of a baked pie crust, cover them with tapioca custard and have custard cherry pie.

It’s seriously one of the best base recipes that can also beautifully stand on it’s own or be whipped up into any manner of desserts.  I have so many memories of gram’s stirring this on the stovetop for all the grandkids.  This has always been a staple in our households, and hopefully it can become one in yours now too!

**Also, as a side note, the hubs and I are taking a little hiatus the next two weekends.  I’ll be doing a little post on New Orleans next weekend but then we’ll be out of the country so a fun island post to follow soon! However, gram’s recipes will be postponed for our little break!  Check back soon!

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Old Fashioned Cornstarch Custard:

Now, we always double this recipe (cause the family can never get enough of this) but this will make roughly 3 cups of custard by itself so plan accordingly!

  • 2 rounded T cornstarch
  • 1 pint milk (2 cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar (can add more or less to taste)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1.5 – 2 T of butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix together cornstarch and sugar until combined well.  Slowly add milk and mix well to ensure no clumping (with cornstarch). Separate eggs, add yolks and salt.  Stir everything until combined well and place on stove at medium high heat. Continuously stir mixture to avoid scorching until mixture thickens.  Once it thickens, add butter and vanilla.  Remove from heat and still until well combined. My family can never wait for this to cool and pretty much eat it as soon as it doesn’t burn our mouths but feel free to cool and serve cold as well or make a pie!  Enjoy!

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Funny moment is always when Gizmo comes in and looks at us making food sitting on the floor.  I’m pretty sure he thinks we’re nuts.  Captured a little moment of that today.

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 Alysha Yoder Photography (b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com

(w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com (e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

 

 

Strawberries and Cream

It’s curious, every time I sit down to write out a recipe, I spend a little time thinking about what grams would say.  What memories would she remember about these recipes that I don’t? How did she create or find a recipe?  I would say a good half of all the recipes in gram’s books are from friends, relatives, or other cookbooks and this one is no different.  It’s on an old piece of type paper from 1978 from her friend Shirley MacKay. Gram’s binders are filled with torn out pages from magazines, recipe cards ‘from the kitchen of’ various friends, or jotted down notes from a restaurant she’d visited where she convinced a chef to share the recipe with her. Grams was funny like that.  She could pretty much talk anyone into giving her a good recipe.

Today, with the dreary rain and all around blah mood, I couldn’t ask for a better day to make ice cream, right? Perfect comfort food (other than pizza of course).  Now two things. One, this ice cream recipe is actually a ‘vanilla base.’I chose to make strawberry ice cream, as it’s one of my favorites and the berries at the store looked great.  I can’t wait until summer when I can mix and match all sorts of fresh fruit.  You could hypothetically add just about anything to this recipe though.   For example:

  • Crushed up cookies = Cookies and cream
  • Almond extract and toasted pecans = Toast’y nuts
  • Coconut, crushed almonds & chocolate = Almond Joy
  • Blueberries and Lemons = Summer Fresh
  • Cookie dough and caramel = Serious awesomeness

It’s a great recipe for kids to experiment with different flavors too.  And heck, if you’re just a HUGE vanilla ice cream fan (like my husband), feel free to keep it as is.  You could even scrape some vanilla beans in it to give it a little extra boast.

Two, I received these hand-made pewter spoons that I’ve been oogling over for a while from a little Etsy shop CrosbyandTaylor.  They’re just so stunning and have just the perfect rustic look I wanted.  Seriously, isn’t this the most fantastic set? I love them.  I couldn’t wait to photograph them this weekend.

Now, if this is your first time making ice cream at home, you should know that it’s not going to come out super firm and scoopable like the gallons you get at the store.  Homemade ice cream is like soft serve.  It’s freaking delicious, but if you’re looking for some hard scoopable ice cream, this is not what you’re looking for. You can also get it to the “soft serve consistency” and put it in the freezer if you’re a fan of the very scoop-able.

This is a fairly easy recipe in the sense that it’s a matter of mixing everything in a bowl. Ice cream recipes however are a little time consuming in the ‘waiting’ process.  After everything is mixed, you will have to refrigerate for 2+ hours.  Then place the mixture into the ice cream maker for around 20 minutes. Depending on if you have an ice cream maker or not, it might take longer (for my purposes below, I used my ice cream maker).  If you don’t have one however, you can use a 1 lb coffee can and a 3 lb coffee can.  This was not the method I used, but you can find a good little tutorial here (Ice Cream Can Method).

Now…. I know you’ve been anxiously awaiting this ice cream recipe, so without further ado, STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM (you know you’re just as excited as I am).

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Vanilla Ice Cream Base:

**First place ice cream maker base in freeze overnight.  It MUST be VERY cold and frozen before it will make ice cream.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 2 half pint cartons of heavy whipping cream (or 2 cups)
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 pint carton of half and half (or 2 cups)
  • 2.5-3 T of vanilla extract
  • Optional – 1 to 1.5 cups finely chopped Strawberries
  • Optional – 2 drop vanilla-nut flavoring 

Beat eggs well. I also remove the little white ropes called the chalazae.  They gross me out if I get a little white chunk in my ice cream.  But for a little cooking trivia, the chalazae is what anchors the yolk to the egg shell and prevents it from bouncing around in there. Gradually add sugar and whisk until smooth and creamy. Slowly stir in remaining ingredients.  Stir well until combined.  Place in covered bowl in the fridge for 2+ hours.  Once very cold, slowly pour into ice cream maker base.  Be careful not to overflow.  All ice cream makers are different so you may have some mixture left over. If so, just eat what’s frozen and add more.  Enjoy!

**Also, two notes.  First, a money saving note.  If you have a membership to any club stores (Costco, BJ, Sam’s, etc.) get the half & half and whipping cream there.  It is TREMENDOUSLY cheaper. Second, some people really don’t like cooking with raw eggs.  To each their own.  This can also be made in a sauce pan over the stove.  Whisk it all together and continuously stir until boiling.  Remove from heat and cool in fridge.  This will take a LOT longer to cool for the ice cream machine but just gives you another option.

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 Alysha Yoder Photography (b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com

(w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com (e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

 

 

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