You’ve Never Done This With Coconut! Plus the Best Dessert to Make With It

Growing up, one way my mother expressed her love and appreciation for our family was through the effort she put into the delicious Thanksgiving desserts she tirelessly made from scratch every year. Bringing a homemade dessert to the holiday feast is my way of sharing that loving feeling, passed down from my mom, with my friends and family.

Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mother’s affection for hours spent hunched over heavy glass bowls beating eggs and flour. That’s why I absolutely love this recipe for Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Cups. But I’m always on the lookout for hacks to make a simple recipe even simpler. Check out these two tricks to save major time and cleanup efforts.

thanksgiving desserts coconut

Toasting Coconut the Easy Way

Can you tell the difference between those two heaps of toasted coconut? No, of course not. The stuff on the left was toasted in the oven; the stuff on the right was toasted in…the MICROWAVE. That’s right. You might’ve thought you’d have to break out a cookie sheet and heat up the oven for that level of perfection, but all you really need is a microwave and parchment paper. Heat on high for about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Voilà! Toasted coconut that’s done in less time than it would take to preheat the oven.

Thanksgiving desserts toasting coconut

Crushing Graham Crackers the Easy Way

Do you detest cleaning your food processor? Me too. No need to rev it up for this recipe. Instead, simply break up the graham crackers first by hand and then crush them thoroughly with a rolling pin. To keep your working area neat and tidy, lay the graham crackers on parchment paper or place them inside of a plastic bag before crushing.

thanksgiving desserts jar desserts

Once you’ve gotten those two tasks out of the way, this recipe comes together in a flash—mostly involving layering sliced almonds, chocolate, caramel, toasted coconut and crushed graham crackers in adorable little jam jars. Not only are these little compact confections fun to make, but they’re also much quicker and easier than baking elaborate pies and cakes—and they travel really well, too!

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