For a little girl, the American Girl store in NYC is like a magical wonderland somewhat similar to visiting the giant Toys R’ Us or maybe even FAO Schwartz. Sadly most of these places have come and gone but are maybe coming back to life. Mostly these were places to go and visit and gawk at because the exorbitant prices of the toys made it somewhat difficult for most families to afford except on special occasions. Not to say that everything in the stores was unreasonable but many of the marquee items were not that cheap. When I was a little girl, I invited a small group of friends for my birthday one year to have lunch at the American Girl Cafe. I absolutely loved it there. I don’t remember the food being anything special but they had seats for your doll to sit with you and made it really feel like she was eating and experiencing it with you. The American Girl store has since moved locations. On a recent trip to NYC with a friend of mine, we happened to be walking by it and decided to pop inside for a few minutes. The layout of course is different and the number of dolls that they sell has increased a lot. I noticed that there are so many more historical dolls and Just Like You doll options. In addition, they make some miniature dolls and also have a whole separate line of dolls marketed under a different name which I had never heard of before. It was also interesting to see the kinds of things they market for the dolls as they even have a mini Polaroid camera made to mirror Fujifilm’s baby blue instant camera exactly.
What I did not see however on this recent trip were Coconut and Licorice. The beloved dog and cat were nowhere to be found and my friend informed me that she believed they had been discontinued. I had no idea and was definitely sad to hear that. Apparently, when they moved to redesign the animal companions to be softer, Coconut got an upgrade but as far as I know Licorice did not and after a while it seems they stopped selling the new Coconut too. It also seemed to me like Coconut was favored over Licorice as the dog always had more stuff that you could purchase for her than her cat counterpart. One of them being Coconut’s Cookbook: Fun and Fluffy Treats to Eat. The only thing I have ever made from the cookbook was various popcorn seasonings so I was curious to see what other recipes the book contained. I was so excited to find this cookbook and make something with it, but when looking at the recipes I realized this was barely a cookbook, if it even can be called that. Because of that, I decided to make two of the ‘recipes’ from the book, neither of which I have made before. While I had fun assembling these things, I would definitely say these kinds of recipes are meant for very little kids and could serve as a fun activity that you could do as a family, whether your kids know who Coconut and Licorice are or not.
Adapted from and Inspired by Coconut’s Cookbook: Fun and Fluffy Treats to Eat
This recipe is modified more than usual as I wanted to make this not an all white sundae but rather a black and white sundae to incorporate elements that would match both Coconut and Licorice. Therefore the following list of ingredients includes many things not listed in the original recipe but are in the same categories of ice cream and toppings.
- 1 carton of a black and white ice cream of your choice (mint chip, cookies and cream, cookie dough etc.)
- 1 package Sno-Caps or other generic nonpareil candy
- 1 package black and white chocolate bar (e.g. Hershey’s cookies and cream bar)
- 1 package mini marshmallows
- 1 package shredded coconut
- 1 container Jordan Almonds, white ones separated out or other black or white candy coated items
- 1 package black licorice
- Other topping ideas include: white and black sprinkles, marshmallow creme/fluff, whipped cream, white or dark chocolate chips, hot fudge, peppermint patties etc.
Firstly, I happen to love antique soda shoppe and ice cream vessels. I really like the shape of them and have started a small collection so I took out a few ice cream glasses I bought at an antique shop as well as a proper ice cream scoop to use to build the sundaes.
I ran the ice cream scoop under hot water and then scooped ice cream into the glasses and added many of the assorted toppings mentioned in the ingredients and wound up with these monstrosities. Honestly they were really fun to make but difficult to arrange before the ice cream started melting. The taste was pretty good. I mean I think few people would complain about ice cream. On to the next!
Photo Credit: Covered in Cookbooks
“Coconut Face Cake”
Adapted from Coconut’s Cookbook: Fun and Fluffy Treats to Eat
- 1 package brownie mix
- 1 7 inch cake pan
- 1 package powdered sugar
- fine mesh strainer
- Coconut stencil
Yes those are the exact ingredients listed in the recipe. You can also substitute the Coconut stencil with any stencil you have that is food safe and it will have the same desired effect. You will also need all of the ingredients required on the box of brownie mix. In my case that was just eggs, water and oil. I added all of those ingredients to a bowl and then mixed them up. Basically the book states to just follow the instructions on the box for the brownie mix. The instructions will vary based on the mix you choose.
Photo Credit: Covered in Cookbooks
Once the brownie mixture was mixed up I poured it into a cake pan instead of my normal brownie ban like the recipe indicated and put it in the oven following the box instructions.
Check to make sure the brownie is cooked by sticking in a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out with wet batter on it, the brownie needs to cook longer. If the toothpick comes out with dry crumbles on it the brownie is cooked through. When it is cooked through, take it out of the oven and let it cool. Caution, if the brownie is too hot the powdered sugar might melt. After it is cooled down place your stencil on top of the brownie and using the sieve, shake the powdered sugar over the stencil as neatly as possible and then remove the stencil to see the image. It appears we were a little heavy handed on the powdered sugar but we still wound up with the desired effect.
I think it came out pretty cute, even if a little imperfect. It was definitely a great compliment to the ice cream sundae. I hope I was able to make Coconut and Licorice and the American Girl fans out there proud.
These recipes were both very simple but still fun and I think I would have really enjoyed them as a little kid. It’s funny I never made the brownie as I was worried about ruining the stencil but it is really cute so I am glad I finally got to use it. This would be a fun opportunity to make your own stencil or customize the image and the sundaes for a particular theme that you and your family or friends would enjoy.
Are you pro boxed brownie mix or do you prefer home made? Do you have a favorite flavor of ice cream? Did you grow up with American Girl? Sound off in the comments below.
If you would like to purchase this cookbook, it is available on Amazon and can also be found from many second hand sellers on Ebay and similar sites. If you are interested in learning more about American Girl or taking a deep dive back into your childhood, you can visit them on their website or in person at American Girl Place in Rockefeller Center, NY.