If my calculations are correct, almonds + coconut + graham crackers + sugar + cream cheese will either equal sweet oblivion or my demise. More likely the latter.
Last year I was on a bender with candy bars. Filling my daily chocolate quota with the likes of Almond Joy, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and Snickers. Practically veering off the road anytime I spied a mini mart. Never passing up 2 for $1.
The only problem with this sweet addiction, other than the trans fat collecting in my arteries, was that empty candy wrappers replaced my love of baking. I felt somewhat blue when friends stopped by to say hello and all I had to offer them was a Nutrageous. What happened to the homemade sour cherry pie and handmade truffles I once kept covered on my counter? What's a neighbor to do when I can't even supply them with that cup of sugar?
That just wouldn't do.
So I gave myself a good stern talking to, fetched my apron, and got back to basics. Okay I didn't get the apron, but only because I like to live on the edge (and apparently pay $6.99 for stain removers). I baked, putting a creative spin on my desperate dependency on 59 cent packaged milk chocolate.
I whipped up whoopie pies that tasted of peanut butter cups, dark chocolate mousse as billowy as the filling of a 3 Musketeers, and the confection pictured here: an Almond Joy-inspired cheesecake. The recipe is one I found on Epicurious. I'll assure you that it is divinity on a plate. A must try for the coconut-crazed. A puffed layer of sweet coconut-scented cream cheese, set atop a buttered graham cracker-almond crust, and topped with a rich chocolate ganache. Sprinkled with toasted coconut, because we could always use a little more decadence in our lives... and because taupe was missing in our color palette.
A slice is divinity on a plate.
A must try for the coconut lover. Addiction curbed? Not quite. Addiction morphed? That's more like it.
-Andrea Mitchell, Foodista staff and blogger at CanYouStayForDinner.com