Sunday, July 08, 2018

Flourless Tahini Brownies



I wanted to use up a jar of tahini, so I made these tahini brownies from Bon Appétit (they were adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz that I had tried once before). As it turns out, I might have to make these on a more regular basis! We all really enjoyed them. Note that these are definitely fudgy brownies, not cakey at all, but for once I didn’t mind!

Also, I didn’t have agave nectar, so I used corn syrup, but it was too thick and I had to water it down a bit. I’d recommend maple syrup as a substitute here. (The only reason I’m talking substitutes is because I just don’t have it in me to keep ALL the sweeteners on hand; I’m from Quebec, so maple syrup is one thing about which I do not compromise.) As is, the recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free, if that’s helpful at all.

3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder (I recommend sifting it)
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
4 Tbsp. tahini, divided
2 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. agave syrup (see note above)

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line an 8” square baking dish with 2 overlapping pieces of parchment paper, leaving at least a 3” overhang on two sides.

Whisk cornstarch and cocoa powder in a medium bowl until no lumps remain. Set aside.

Heat chocolate, coconut oil, and 1Tbsp. tahini in a small saucepan over low heat (I used a double boiler), stirring, until melted and smooth.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until light, smooth, and doubled in volume, about 3 or 4 minutes. Beat in salt and vanilla to combine, then beat in chocolate mixture, scraping down sides as needed, until incorporated. Beat in cornstarch mixture, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is thick and holds its shape, about 30 seconds.

Stir agave syrup and remaining 3 Tbsp. tahini in a small bowl.

Scrape batter into prepared baking dish and smooth top. Dollop agave mixture over and swirl into top of batter with a skewer or toothpick.

Bake brownies until sides are puffed, top is browned, and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 22 to 26 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan and cutting into squares.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Stash-busting knitting projects

I got around to making a few projects with yarn from my stash, and the most satisfying part is that I finally got around to knitting stuff for myself!

The first was a cardigan called First Snow, which I made for a little boy born in February in our extended family. I bought some Cascade 220 Superwash Merino yarn in Tuffet and used two kinds of green yarn from my stash for the design, along with buttons from my stash as well.


Obviously this left me with some Tuffet in my stash, but I used a good chunk of that to make the hair for the Fox’s doll (I made one for the Little Prince and one for his cousin, so of course he was going to get his own!).


I then used up all of my remaining Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light yarn in Posy to knit a little cardigan for my niece’s doll (again, with a button from my stash). I really like how it turned out! I could make entire doll wardrobes with leftover fabric and yarn, given enough time. I got the Fox’s doll to model the pink cardigan, since he is very secure in his boy-doll-hood despite not being anatomically correct, but I also managed to snap a pic of my niece’s doll wearing it.


Finally, I made two double rib toddler hats: one with some dark grey yarn and, when I realized it was a bit too big for the Fox, a smaller one with smaller quantities of light blue and light grey. I think I finally got the hang of jogless stripes with that one! It’s unblocked on the photo, but still. I love the earflaps, too, even though the kid keeps pulling it off. I meant to use it for our trip to Alaska, but the weather was so nice that we didn’t even need it. At least one of them should still fit next winter, though.


Then I had the first break from kidswear in my queue in I don’t know how long! The first think I made for myself was the Drifted Pearls scarf. Okay, so this wasn’t exactly helping whittle down the stash, but I had been meaning to make this scarf forever and I simply did not have yarn in the right gauge! Since there was a 50%-off sale on Lotus Cashmere yarn, I bought some in teal – how could I pass up a half-off cashmere scarf? That being said, I think the project would have been nicer with slightly thicker yarn, so if I make it again I’ll use something like the recommended Rowan Lima, with which I’ve worked before.


Then I made myself a slouchy beanie with leftover Airport Hot Sauce Pixie yarn. The skein I had left was more orange than red, at least compared to the one I had used before and finished up to do the band of the beanie, so that was a bit of a bummer because I really liked the red tones more. I also think that it turned out a bit too big. On the bright side, it won’t crush my curls, but I might frog it and start over, or make one with another yarn. I’m actually wondering whether this type of hat only looks good when styled for a photo, and perhaps inevitably looks odd in real life. Thoughts?


I was going to follow this up with a vest for myself (with yarn that has been earmarked for this project for… over 5 years?), but I’ve hit a bit of a snag, so I’m knitting a sweater for the Fox until I can get that figured out – more on that in a later post.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Poulet au beurre

J’ai combiné deux thèmes dans ce billet, et le lien est le poulet au beurre, ce plat indien que je ne mange que rarement à cause du lactose. Je vous vends la mèche tout de suite : j’ai une excellente recette de poulet au beurre sans lactose plus bas!

Tout d’abord, j’ai entendu parler il y a quelques mois d’une entreprise du domaine de l’alimentation canadienne nommée Epicure (et, parce que je joue cartes sur table, c’est que la tante maternelle de l’Ingénieur est devenue représentante). Epicure offre de nombreux produits : mélanges d’épices, poudres pour préparer sauces, vinaigrettes, trempettes et bouillons, mélanges de base pour préparer certains plats, en plus d’équipement pour cuisiner. Leurs produits sont sans gluten et sans noix; beaucoup sont aussi végétaliens et cachère. Dans le but d’offrir des aliments santé, leurs produits contiennent très peu de sodium, de gras et de sucre. Et en fait, pour nous, c’est un peu ça le problème. Pour les gens qui ne se sont pas fait prescrire une diète à faible teneur en sodium et qui préparent la majorité de leurs repas à la maison (comme c’est le cas pour nous), ça ne vaut pas la peine de se préoccuper du sel, par exemple. Et donc, on a trouvé tous ces produits très, très fades. Et puis bon, d’accord, ce sont des aliments santé avec des recettes faciles à préparer, mais en partant, tout ce qui utilise le terme « clean eating », je trouve ça suspect. C’est tellement subjectif que ça ne veut rien dire! (Je remarque aussi en écrivant ces lignes que ça a été traduit par « manger santé » en français sur leur site, ce qui est déjà plus précis, mais je trouve que ça montre aussi le ridicule du terme anglais – parce que « healthy eating », ça existe aussi!)
Nous avons essayé…
- une pochette de mélange à falafel – c’était bon, sans plus, et peut-être un peu trop sec.
- une pochette d’assaisonnement pour poulet au beurre (ah-ha!) – correct, mais fade.
- une pochette de mélange pour pouding au caramel salé – inexplicablement, c’était aromatisé au café, pas au caramel, et c’était fade en plus.
- une pochette de mélange à pakora – assez bon, quand même, mais on s’entend que les légumes ne venaient pas avec!
- un mélange d’épices à guacamole – j’aime bien mieux mon guacamole maison.
- un mélange d’épices à sauté asiatique – correct.
- de la poudre pour bouillon de miso – fade, même si j’avais ajouté du sel.
En conclusion, Epicure, ça peut être vraiment génial pour certains, mais pas pour nous. C’est peut-être aussi pratique pour les gens qui apprennent à cuisiner, remarquez. (Si jamais ça vous intéresse quand même, écrivez-moi en privé et je vous donnerai les coordonnées de ma personne-contact.)

Toujours est-il que ça nous a donné envie d’un bon poulet au beurre. Et j’avais sous la main cette recette sur Fraîchement Pressé, qui avait l’air très bonne. Je l’ai donc essayée, et… c’était absolument délicieux! On capotait un peu tellement c’était bon, en fait. Un des meilleurs poulets au beurre que j’aie mangé de ma vie, et certainement LE meilleur sans lactose! Je vous recommande fortement ce plat. J’ai remis les ingrédients dans un ordre que je trouve plus logique ci-dessous, j’ai utilisé du lait de coco au lieu de la crème et j’ai fait mon propre ghee avec ces instructions et ½ tasse de beurre. En théorie, le ghee commercial est sans lactose, c’est vrai; mais on peut en faire aussi soi-même (avec du beurre sans lactose, on a confiance), et comme ça, je n’avais pas de restant à utiliser sans trop savoir comment, alors c’est ce que je recommande. J’écris donc les instructions ci-dessous aussi. J’ai servi le plat avec du riz; du pain naan aurait été un bel ajout.

Pour le ghee (ou beurre clarifié)
½ tasse de beurre sans lactose (ou davantage, pour faire des réserves)

Faire fondre le beurre dans une petite casserole à feu moyen-doux. Une fois fondu, le beurre se séparera en trois couches : la couche supérieure sera mousseuse, la matière sèche du lait se retrouvera au fond, et le beurre clarifié flottera entre les deux. Laisser mijoter le beurre pendant un moment jusqu’à ce que la couche intermédiaire soit odorante et dorée et que la matière sèche au fond commence à brunir (il faudra pousser la mousse sur le dessus pour jeter un coup d’œil.) On peut laisser la matière sèche brunir davantage, mais personnellement, je trouve le risque de la laisser brûler trop grand, alors je préfère arrêter le processus là et éteindre le feu.

Ensuite, il suffit d’écumer toute la couche mousseuse sur le dessus et de laisser le liquide reposer une ou deux minutes. Puis, avec un tamis ou une passoire et une étamine, verser délicatement la couche de beurre clarifié dans un contenant en verre en laissant la matière sèche au fond de la casserole. Si le beurre clarifié ne contient absolument pas de mousse ni de matière sèche ni de mousse, il peut être conservé à la température de la pièce pendant plusieurs semaines. Si on ne l’utilise pas dans cette recette, on peut s’en servir comme huile de cuisson ou assaisonnement.

La quantité de beurre ci-haut donne environ la bonne quantité de ghee pour la recette ci-dessous – honnêtement, ce n’est pas une cuillérée de plus ou de moins qui va faire foirer la recette, je pense.

Pour le poulet au beurre
6 c. à soupe de beurre clarifié (ghee)
1 gros oignon, tranché en fines lamelles
1 c. à thé de cannelle
1 c. à thé de cardamome
1 c. à thé de curcuma
1 c. à thé de paprika
1 pincée de poivre de cayenne (j’ai pris du piment coréen)
sel et poivre, au goût
3 poitrines de poulet désossées et sans la peau, coupées en petits cubes
3 gousses d’ail, hachées
1 morceau d’environ 1 pouce de gingembre frais, pelé et haché
1 petite boîte de tomates en dés (398 mL, soit environ 15 oz.)
1 c. à soupe de pâte de tomates
1/3 tasse de poudre d’amandes
½ tasse de yogourt grec nature sans lactose
¼ tasse de crème sans lactose ou de lait de coco
coriandre fraîche

Faire chauffer le ghee à feu moyen-doux dans une grand poêle. Ajouter les oignons et les épices en remuant pendant quelques minutes jusqu’à ce que les oignons soient translucides, soit environ 5 minutes.

Ajouter le poulet et continuer à mélanger environ 5 minutes, jusqu’à ce qu’il ait perdu sa teinte rosée à l’intérieur. Ajouter l’ail et le gingembre pour les 2 dernières minutes de cuisson.

Incorporer ensuite les tomates, la pâte de tomate et la poudre d’amandes. Réduire le feu et laisser mijoter une dizaine de minutes, le temps que la sauce épaississe un peu.

Juste avant de servir, ajouter le yogourt et la crème et bien mélanger. Parsemer de coriandre et servir.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Vancouver and Alaska

In early June, my mother-in-law treated our little family to a vacation – a cruise to Alaska, for which her sister joined us. We took the opportunity to spend a few days in Vancouver, and we had such a wonderful time!

It wasn’t our first time in British Columbia, but the kids had never been. We took them to Science World, which was absolutely fantastic! It’s a great science museum for kids and grown-ups alike, with interactive exhibits on lots of different topics both indoors and outdoors – though I think my favorite was Eureka. You could easily spend most of the day there, and as a bonus, there’s a great playground right next to the parking lot.

Of course, no visit to Vancouver is complete without walking in Stanley Park! We also went on the Stanley Park Train and had lunch at Stanley’s Bar & Grill. We had originally planned to hike in Stanley Park and see the giant redwoods, but this proved too difficult given short legs, strollers, and the distance we would have had to cover in addition to the rest of the program that day (the Vancouver Aquarium) and time lost taking a walk in the wrong direction earlier in the morning because somebody couldn’t read a map (*cough* the Engineer can no longer be relied upon if he doesn’t have Google Maps turned on *cough*). The Vancouver Aquarium, though expensive, is not to be missed. Plan for at least half a day there, as there are so many things and animals to see! I think my favorite was Helen, the Pacific white-sided dolphin (her pectoral fins were maimed in a fishing net, so she cannot be released in the wild), not to mention the otters and sea lions. There are exhibits about local flora and fauna as well as more exotic wildlife.


We did not hit all the trendy restaurants, but we got fantastic dim sum takeout from Hon’s Wun Tun House as well as stellar tandoori chicken from Indian Bombay Bistro.

After the initial few days in and around Vancouver, we were off to the ship. I won’t give you a detailed review of the cruise, but Anita Chu from Dessert First wrote good reviews of her Disney cruise that hit the same cities (here are parts 1, 2, and 3). We chose Norwegian, in part because the prices are lower than Disney and in part because there’s no obligation to have dinner at the same seating each night or to dress up on given nights, so this gave us more flexibility with small kids. (For a family-friendly cruise line cheat-sheet, click here.)


We were on board the Norwegian Jewel, a ship with roughly 2,400 passengers and 1,000 crew members. There was complimentary child care, but the Little Prince only went once (because he came back in a bad mood and said that he hadn’t liked it, so even though he refused to elaborate, we didn’t make him go again). There was also a place to play with babies (not a drop-off option, but that wasn’t what we wanted anyway). The Little Prince spent much of his on-board time asking us to take him to the kids’ pool and hot tub or to the video arcade. I made use of the spa once, when I got what was possibly the best massage of my life (ask for Rebecca).

A quick word about food restrictions on Norwegian… They say that they can feed you gluten-free, but there are caveats. The buffet only has a few options at any given time. You can eat gluten-free in the restaurants only if you order 24 hours in advance, and even then, the staff isn’t always knowledgeable – they brought out a French onion soup, complete with bread on top, to the person with coeliac disease at our table, and this was after a clear discussion with her about her restrictions when we sat down to eat. As for lactose, there are no signs at the buffet indicating whether anything has dairy in it (only whether it’s gluten-free or vegetarian). When I asked whether a specific dessert had lactose, the staff didn’t know and had to ask the chef, then the chef on deck didn’t know and had to call down to the kitchen, and when no one could give me any answer yet 20 minutes later, I walked away with Jell-O and a marshmallow on a stick. Also, in one of the à-la-carte restaurants, I was not told about lactose even when I mentioned my intolerance. I mean, normally I can navigate this myself, but the menu had some inaccuracies in it – beyond the grammatical mistakes, there was a dessert described as a flourless chocolate cake, which I’m usually fine with – but when it was in front of me, I realized that it was more like a cross between a génoise and a napoléon, meaning layers of very flat cake and chocolate mousse. Not only was it full of lactose, it also had flour, even though it wasn’t a “traditional” cake! So yeah, bring Lactaid (for the record, I gave the staff feedback on this matter, but I doubt Norwegian will change its policies based on my opinion alone).

So we had three stops: Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, in addition to three days at sea with a glacier viewing on one of those days. In Juneau, we saw many eagles, including bald eagles, dive for fish in the wake of the ship as we were docking. On later days, some of us saw a whale, others saw sea lions, but since we were early in the season, wildlife sightings were limited. We also didn’t go on many excursions, since most of them were not small-child-friendly, but we still had a wonderful time. The second day at sea was rough, but other than that, we had beautiful weather! Sunshine every day (even in Ketchikan), and while we did use our windbreakers on occasion, we never needed our hats.


The first stop was Juneau. Wikipedia tells me that it is the only state capital that is not accessible by road – one must arrive either by air or sea. The town itself looked nice, and I wish we’d had more time to explore a bit, but we booked a tour to see Mendenhall Glacier. The bus driver did give us the highlights of town, and he pointed out the governor’s mansion (I can confirm that one cannot see Russia from that house). The glacier itself was magnificent, and I’m really glad we went. That being said, because it was so early in the season, we didn’t book a package tour that would also have taken us to the salmon hatchery (too early for salmon), so we had a lot of time on our hands at the glacier. We could have hiked to Nugget Falls if we had planned things better (2 miles on gravel), but we ended up spending much of our time by the lake, letting the Little Prince throw rocks in the water, and hiking the Photo Point trail (0.3 miles, paved). We also looked around the visitor center during a (brief, light) shower. The big downer for me was learning that a few days prior to our visit, someone had let their dog off-leash in a restricted area and the dog had destroyed the eggs of all 18 nesting pairs of terns, who had flown all the way there specifically to reproduce.


In Skagway, there are lots of tours being offered, but wildlife sightings tend to be less impressive this early in the season, and a train ride to Yukon seemed less appealing when we factored in both kids. So we spent our time exploring the center of town, which was lovely – it’s a gold rush town that still has old-timey buildings and wood sidewalks. There is also a vintage ad on a cliff wall. The population there is about 700 in the winter and 2.500 in the summer with seasonal workers, but there are about 1.3 million visitors a year! It didn’t seem crowded that day, though, possibly another benefit of an early-season cruise. Milk is a whopping $6.59 a gallon and gas is $3.60 a gallon, which I suppose is comparable to Canadian prices but seems exorbitant when you live in Texas (I got this info in the Skaguay Alaskan, a free local paper). I think Skagway was my favorite town! I especially liked The Loom, which had a lot of local items (the only reason I didn’t buy a throw pillow is because I know my kids would destroy it) and Aurora Yarns, where I got two skeins of locally dyed yarn and some stitch markers. We also visited the Skagway Museum, which I highly recommend to learn more about the history of the place (it also serves as City Hall and was once a school). It’s adjacent to Mollie Walsh Park (see here for more about her, and here for a laugh), so the Little Prince got to play outside too. We had lunch at the Sweet Tooth Café, which had good food and great service, though surprisingly few sweet options.


Following this was the second day at sea, during which we were supposed to see Sawyer Glacier, but we ended up seeing Dawes Glacier instead. It was beautiful, and since I hadn’t had my heart set on a specific glacier, this was fine by me, but that change could have disappointed someone else.


Ketchikan is the southernmost town in Alaska and the Salmon Capital of the world, mostly known for its fishing and canning industries; it’s in the Tongass Rainforest, the second largest rainforest in the world (after the Amazon). They get an average of 12.5 feet of precipitation each year, and even though snow-capped mountains are visible from town, I think the climate is much milder than what we typically think of for Alaska. In Ketchikan, we went to see the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, which we thoroughly enjoyed (I strongly recommend buying tickets directly from the venue instead of using the cruise line, as the latter charges a big markup and the venue is easily accessible on foot from the ship anyway). We had lunch at Dwyer’s Crab and Fish Company Restaurant and walked around town for a while after that. I bought chocolate as a souvenir; it’s dark chocolate sea salt by Alaska Candy Company, based in Anchorage. It’s vegan, though it may contain milk and soy, and is peanut-free. I really liked it, but as I look at the package now, I realize that it was actually made… in Canada. Oh well. It was a wonderful trip anyway!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Beet Strawberry Chia Pudding

I finished emptying the pantry and freezer as best I could before leaving the house for the summer. I had a jar of poppy seed cake and pastry filling, but no hamantaschen recipe that called for it, so I made a poppy seed cake instead. And if, like me, you’ve been making breakfast pizzas and still have some hash browns in the freezer, you might appreciate this bacon, potato, egg, and cheese breakfast casserole, even for dinner! I used up all my orange vegetable purée in muffins and winter squash pancakes with crispy sage and brown butter. A can of red kidney beans and half a bag of elbow macaroni became a delicious, retro dish of chili mac, with evaporated soy milk and extra-sharp cheddar to make it lactose-free. (I also threw in some halved cherry tomatoes from the back of the fridge, and only added the beans at the end of cooking.) But I still had some beet purée in the freezer, and since the Engineer said I couldn’t make chocolate beet cakes anymore, I decided to go with beet strawberry chia pudding for breakfast.

It has a *gorgeous* color and was surprisingly good! I think it would work well with raspberries or blueberries, too. I didn’t have a lot of toppings around, so I threw in some pepitas for color, but I ended up not really liking the addition. I think coconut flakes would be a much better choice.

½ cup chia seeds
2 ¼ cups non-dairy milk (I used lactose-free cow’s milk)
½ cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup beets, cubed and steamed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. maple syrup (or a bit more or less, to taste)
optional toppings: berries, nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, granola

Put the chia seeds in a medium bowl.

In a blender or food processor, pour non-dairy milk, strawberries, beets, vanilla, and maple syrup. Blend until completely smooth.

Slowly pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the chia seeds while stirring. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Place in the fridge and let it sit overnight, or at least 4-5 hours.

When ready to eat, stir in maple syrup; top with desired toppings such as strawberries, flaxseeds, coconut, or granola.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Zucchini Chocolate Breakfast Cookies



These are the type of hearty, healthful cookies you can eat for breakfast, though of course they make a fine dessert or snack too! I also didn’t feel guilty giving them to the Fox even though he’s still a baby. They contain white whole wheat flour, whole grain oats, Greek yogurt, and dark chocolate, in addition to the zucchini. They are very moist and will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days, though they freeze well too. The yield is 24 cookies.

1 cup white whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup whole or 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips

Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 350 °F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat; set aside.

Whisk the flour, oats, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Squeeze the shredded zucchini in a paper towel and pat dry to remove excess moisture. Place the zucchini, brown sugar, granulated sugar, yogurt, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well to combine.

Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate.

Drop heaping tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart, 12 per baking sheet.

Bake, rotating the baking sheets between racks and from front to back halfway through, until the edges are set and the middle is still slightly soft, 12 to 15 minutes total. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer them to cooling racks to cool completely.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

5-Layer Cookie Bars



What do you do if you bought sweetened condensed coconut milk at the store because you were just so happy to see it existed, but didn’t have any recipes in mind, and the expiration date is nearing? You look up recipes on the company’s website and make 5-layer cookie bars, that’s what! This recipe is incredibly easy, yet it turned out much better than I thought it would. I don’t usually put chopped nuts in desserts, but I happened to have walnuts to use up and here they work well; I’m sure you could use whatever kind of nut you like, and you could probably omit them too. I loved that this version of the recipe isn’t as sweet as most!

I had to use more coconut oil than called for, because I could tell the consistency of the crust wasn’t quite right. I think I used 4 Tbsp. total, but I couldn’t tell you for a fact. When processed with the oil, the crumbs need to look like wet sand, so that they will form a solid mass when pressed in the bottom of the pan and baked. When in doubt, it’s better to have a bit too much coconut oil here rather than not quite enough (in the latter case, the crust would fall apart).

1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted (see note above)
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or pecans, almonds or cashews)
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup coconut flakes, coarsely chopped (I used shredded coconut)
1 can (7.4 oz.) sweetened condensed coconut milk, blended well

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line an 8” square baking pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor (or by hand), drizzle coconut oil into the crushed graham crackers until they hold together. Using the bottom of a dry measuring cup or a glass, firmly press the mixture onto the parchment paper until it holds together (this is critical, otherwise the cookies will fall apart after baking).

Scatter the walnuts in one layer on top of the cookie layer, then scatter the chocolate chips on top of the nuts, and the coconut chips (or shredded coconut) on top of the chocolate chips.

Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the cookie mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool for about 2 hours. The cookies can be stored at room temperature, but I found that they were easier to cut and held together better when stored in the refrigerator (that being said, some people prefer them gooey, so they could be briefly heated in the microwave and perhaps served on a plate with a fork, rather than eaten like a cookie).