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Conversation Heart Blondies

 Tender chewy blondies are studded with adorable conversation heart candy and topped with cherry cream cheese frosting. Simple to make and oh so cute, these blondies are a wonderful dessert for Valentine's Day! Jump to Recipe Valentine's Day has never really been an exciting holiday for me. Growing up, I was labelled a nerd, so it wasn't until my later years, that I actually had someone to celebrate it with. Even now, it still feels like a regular day to me, because I make it a point to show my SO and the kids that I love them every single day; not just one special day a year. Sure I might get flowers, or chocolates, but that doesn't mean as much as getting them on a random day throughout the year. Even if we aren't gung ho about the holiday, it doesn't stop me for getting excited when I see all the Valentine's candies. Which was the case, this past weekend. I stopped by our local bulk store, to get a few baking supplies and couldn't help myself from wal

Maple Coconut Banana Bread

This banana bread is sweetened with delicious amber maple syrup and shredded coconut.

Once again my freezer if filling up with bananas. My kids always ask me to buy bananas, but then hardly eat them. I am very picky when it comes to bananas and love to eat mine when they are still slightly green on the end. So every week I'm throwing 2-3 bananas into my freezer. Since I am running out of room, I decided to make some banana bread. I didn't want regular banana bread though. I had a can of maple syrup sitting in my cupboard waiting to be used, so I decided to go ahead and use it as well.

I've also been craving coconut lately, so I threw some in there as well. I actually caramelized my coconut in some maple syrup, before adding it to the batter. While the bread was baking, the kids kept saying that it "smelled so GOOD!" and that they couldn't wait to dig in. It is delicious and not too sweet, with a slight coconut taste. Perfect for the lunch box, or for a snack at home.

Maple Coconut Banana Bread

1 C shredded coconut (unsweetened)

3/4 C maple syrup, divided

3/4 C butter (or margarine)

1/2 C sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 1/2C flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 C mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 small)

1 additional small ripe banana, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a large loaf pan and set aside.

In a non stick skillet, over medium heat, combine the coconut with 1/4 C maple syrup. Cook, stirring frequently until coconut begins to turn a nice golden brown colour. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Slowly mix in the maple syrup, eggs and vanilla, until well combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir to combine. Once mixture is just about mixed, add in the mashed banana and coconut and stir until just combined.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and top with sliced banana. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Loosen the edges by running a butter knife between the loaf and the pan and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.


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