Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brown Butter Coconut Dessert Shells

Banana Split in a Brown Butter Coconut Dessert Shell - made June 17, 2012, recipe adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

I adapted this coconut dessert shell from a Dorie Greenspan recipe.  It was 100 degrees last weekend and I don't fare well in sweltering temperatures so I wanted a no-bake option, something I rarely do because I like baking.  But I also like not sweating buckets while I'm in the kitchen so I tried this out.  The original recipe called for making the coconut crust in a pie pan, blending some pureed bananas with chocolate ice cream and using that as the filling for the "pie".  I was not up to being that grandiose about it since I was just looking for an excuse to eat ice cream and justify it as "I need a new post for my blog".  So I went with dessert shells.
Set of 4 shells

Close up
I have to admit though, this didn't turn out as well as I wanted.  While I'm a rabid fan of coconut, this was too much coconut and dominated the crust.  Taste-wise I still liked it but I think it would've been better to have more of a coconut cookie crust rather than an almost pure coconut crust.  Less is more.  Next time I'd make coconut wafer-type cookies, pulverize them into crumbs, add some melted butter and form them into the shells.  Or else still use this recipe, let it cool and set, then crumble and use as a topping instead. Oh well, at least I got to eat some ice cream.

1 stick (1/2 cup, 4 ounces) butter
2 cups coconut
1/2 cup crushed butter cookie crumbs (I used Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies)
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the butter browns and emits a nutty aroma.  Don't let it burn - you want browned flecks at the bottom, not black.  Add coconut and cook, stirring over low heat, for 1 minute.  
  2. Remove from heat and add cookie crumbs.  Pat into dessert shell pan or shape as shells in a muffin tin.  Let cool completely.
  3. Slice a firm ripe banana and place in the bottom of the shells.  Top with ice cream and drizzle with hot fudge or caramel sauce.  Garnish with toasted chopped peanuts or almonds.
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