Thursday, November 19, 2015

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts.

Join me today for some delicious coffee cake and a chat about my new most magic discovery. That would be coconut oil.  Perhaps I am the last person in the world to learn about the amazing properties of this yummy smelling and satisfyingly greasy substance. I’d been hearing about it and decided to check.  The Internet is full of articles like: One hundred and nine uses for coconut oil.   And I mean full of them.  

Lots of people use it for cooking, as a substitute for cooking oil, and as a substitute for milk, or butter.  This also seemed worth checking out. Sometimes you have to make something for a person with a dairy allergy.  
But I didn’t need the Internet. I just had to listen to my daughter, Victoria, and my friend Nancy C. to come up with a bunch.  Surely this can’t be all true, I thought, as I arrived home with my new jar of coconut oil.  It looks just like shortening, but it smells rather heavenly. 

I will spare you the photos of me using coconut oil to remove eye makeup and stubborn mascara. Not a pretty sight with any product. Same thing with using it to shave legs. After all, you may be reading this over breakfast and we wouldn’t want to ruin that. 

Both Victoria and Nancy assured me that combining coconut oil and brown sugar makes a very effective and wonderfully fragrant body scrub.  Again, no pix.  Believe me, I will be trying it, because I’m sure it will work. I can tell you it makes a dandy hand cream, face cleanser and face cream. 

I had a great time with my first jar of coconut oil.  Despite my experiments (96 uses still to go), I seem to have a full jar. That’s because you use so little. 

But all that talk of brown sugar and coconut oil made me think about my favorite coffee cake. Why not try that and substitute the coconut for melted butter in the cake base?  

The results were terrific and I’ll share them with you today.  I think if you needed to make it for someone with a dairy allergy, you could substitute shortening or oil for the butter, and coconut for the milk.  Maybe one of you will give me a tip about that.

This cake always smells delicious, but the coconut kicks that aroma up a notch.  I know you hate it when I talk cakes and don't give the recipes, so here it is.

Favorite Streusel Coffee Cake


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (30 seconds in microwave) substituted for 1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract

In small mixing bowl, combine topping ingredients. Blend until crumbly. Set aside.
Sift 1 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt into a bowl. 
In a larger bowl, beat together beaten egg, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup melted coconut oil. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture and mix well.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan.
Sprinkle topping crumb mixture evenly over top of cake batter.
Bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done.
Cool in pan on wire rack.
Cut coffee cake into squares. It’s best when still warm!

Enjoy!  And when you’re done, if you have tips to offer on what else to do with that giant jar of coconut oil now on my shelf, this would be a good time to share them.  I know I can always count on you.

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