Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Because I just can’t get enough!

Freshly cut slices of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

For realzzzzz tho, I’m a diehard banana bread lover, especially when it’s loaded with all of the same flavors you find in your favorite Girl Scout cookie (Samoas, I’m looking at you!) This Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread just MAY be the best recipe adaptation I’ve ever made.


My passion for banana bread started when I was just a wee tyke (okay, maybe a preteen) getting interested in the world of cooking and baking. My mom had a Mrs. Fields I Love Chocolate Cookbook (thanks to my Dad’s obsession with ‘Vitamin C,” as we dubbed it in our household) and, upon leafing through it for inspiration, I settled on making the cookie goddess’ Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, if only because (a) it looked really easy and (b) it made two loaves!

Let’s just say this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread was a smashing success in our household, and became my go-to baked good whenever we wanted a little breakfast treat or dessert around to munch on.

Two freshly baked loaves of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread cooling on their racks.

It’s been a while since I busted out the ol’ recipe that I copied out of my mom’s cookbook by hand to bring with me to my “adult” home, if for no other reason than I’ve been busy baking everything else under the sun for this blog (like this Hummingbird Bread, this Harvey Wallbanger Cake and these Addicting S’mores Granola Clusters.)

But pregnancy tends to bring you back to your homegrown roots, and I found myself craving a sweetly satisfying breakfast bread that I could easily enjoy a piece of when I wake up at the crack of dawn and still have a couple of hours to wait before the hubs is awake and it’s time for our Power Protein Smoothie.

So, I decided to take what I already knew was a favorite of mine and really make it my own. This oh-so-delicious Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is the proud result! I used much of the original Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe, except I decided to add a tropical twist with some finely shredded unsweetened coconut. I also not only reduced the overall sugar content in the recipe, but decided to use brown sugar as a partial substitute to really give the bread some caramelly flavor which, if you saw my above note about Samoas, is obviously a great compliment to the chocolate and coconut flavors.

Three stacked slices of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread ready to be eaten!

Don’t be scared off by the large quantities of some of the ingredients. Keep in mind that this recipe makes two loaves! And I would like to point out that they freeze REALLY well. I’m starting to think about what I’m going to want to load our freezer with before Baby D. comes, and if the second loaf of this last batch of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread happens to get consumed in the next four and a half months (which is very likely,) you can bet I’ll be making more. We need to be sure we’re well-equipped with delicious breakfast foods when we’re incredibly sleep-deprived and walking around the kitchen like zombies.

And the whole reason I came to enjoy making banana bread still stands true today – it is so easy! The hardest part might just be planning enough in advance so you can pull some butter out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature before making the batter.

Aside from that, you can have the batter mixed, poured out into the loaf pans and into the oven in less than 15 minutes. Then the only tricky part is waiting the hour it takes for the loaves to cook. It won’t be long before the smell of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is wafting through your house!

An overhead shot of a loaf of freshly baked Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Freshly cut slices of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.
Print
Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 5 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 20 mins
 

This fun twist on banana bread adds two classic flavors - chocolate and coconut! It's an incredibly easy recipe and makes enough to enjoy now AND later!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Servings: 2 8.5-inch loaves
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups mashed bananas (about 8 bananas)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two 8.5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both types of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the bananas and beaten eggs and mix until well incorporated. Add the vanilla.

  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and, using a spatula, fold in the coconut and chocolate chips. 

  5. Pour the batter evenly into your two prepared loaf pans, then place in the preheated oven for 65-70 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a little bit of melted chocolate is okay.)

  6. Let loaves cool, in pans, on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out of pans to cool completely. 

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | CaliGirlCooking.com

Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread

One week from Memorial Day means this cheesy goodness ↓

A close-up shot of easy, five-ingredient Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread.

And this cheesy goodness goes by no other name than (somewhat obvious): Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread! I’ve been wanting to make this perfect cookout accompaniment for quite some time now, and I figured what better time to do so than for the holiday weekend that basically kicks off summer!


And I’m not stopping there. That’s right, this week I’ll be bringing you all kinds of fun BBQ-friendly dishes to get you loaded up with recipes before the hubs and I skip town and head up to Tahoe for a much needed getaway with a few of our close friends. My hubby’s birthday happens to be on Memorial Day this year so we thought, what better way to celebrate than at one of our favorite places with some of our favorite people? We’re keeping it fairly low-key, though, with a spa day penciled in and surely lots of time just relaxing around the house and catching up! I hear there may still even be snow there, which would be pretty cool.

Sorry, just a little digression, because what I’m really here to talk about is this Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread. I’m very happy to report that it turned out just every bit as good as I had imagined. And it’s so easy! We’re talking about FIVE ingredients and FIVE minutes on a high heat grill (or under the broiler.) That’s it!

Looking down on a delicious loaf of ooey-gooey Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread.

Of course, if you wanted to be really adventurous, you could whip up your own BBQ from scratch, but if your household is anything like ours, you probably have at least a bottle or two of your favorite premade stuff hanging around your pantry or refrigerator.

I was lucky to have some of the Sweet ‘n Spicy BBQ Sauce from Montana Mex on hand (thanks, Eduardo!) and decided to give it a spin for this recipe. If you haven’t heard of Montana Mex or Chef Eduardo Garcia, it’s about time you did. (Sorry, just another little digression and, no, this is not sponsored! I truly was just incredibly impressed by Eduardo’s story so I wanted to share it here.)

Every year, Chris and I are lucky enough to attend some of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s events through his company’s sponsorship connections. When we heard we’d be getting tickets to the opening film this year and what the film was about, I have to admit I was a LOT more excited than I had been for the films being screened in previous years.

Charged is a film about Chef Eduardo Garcia’s survival and inspiring recovery from being charged with 2400 volts of electricity while out hiking in the woods one afternoon. Although not for the faint of heart, the film is full of Eduardo’s unwavering positivity in the face of adversity and perseverance through some very challenging obstacles.

We were lucky enough to get to chat with him after the film, and I was honored when he offered to send me a box of his company’s products. Chef Eduardo founded Montana Mex after he became frustrated with so many of the Mexican food products available here in the United States that were laden with chemicals and preservatives. So he and his business partner set out to make a line of Mexican-inspired condiments without all of the gunky stuff. Which you know is right up my alley!

A close-up shot of gooey and delicious Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread.

Charged won’t be released to the general public until September (at which time you most definitely need to go see it), but if you come across any film festivals that might be airing it before then, GO! If you like inspiring stories, survival and food, you will not be disappointed.

Eek, ok! Let’s get to this Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread. Good thing it’s so easy to make because I have been rambling for far too long already and I’m sure we all have more important things to be doing on a Monday morning.

So here’s what we do: We start with a huge loaf of fresh, crusty bread. A pain rustique or ciabatta (something with lots of little air pockets in the dough) would be ideal here. We want lots of nooks and crannies for all of the butter, garlic and BBQ sauce to ooze into.

The beginning stages of making Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread - slather on butter, BBQ sauce and fresh garlic!

We slice the bread long-ways for maximum surface area, then start slathering on the good stuff – first butter, the BBQ sauce and garlic, then cheese. Because this BBQ garlic bread is CHEESY.

The second step to make Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread - slather it with cheese!

Throw the loaf halves onto the grill (if you have space to spare) or pop them under the broiler and you’ll have delicious Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread in as little as five minutes. If that’s not the perfect cookout side dish, I don’t know what is!

Another close-up of this ooey-gooey delicious Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread!

A close-up shot of easy, five-ingredient Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread.
Print
Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Not your average garlic bread! This version is loaded with zesty BBQ sauce and smothered in melted cheese, the perfect BBQ side dish!

Course: Side Dish
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf fairly flat, crusty bread (such as ciabatta or pain rustique,) sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4-6 tablespoons melted butter (depending on how large your loaf of bread is, mine was pretty big)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups shredded Asiago cheese (or Parmesan, or your favorite cheesy bread cheese!)
Instructions
  1. Place halves of bread cut side up on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. If using the grill, turn it on high and let it begin warming up. If using the broiler, turn it on high to preheat.

  2. Spread melted butter evenly onto loaf halves, then do the same with the BBQ sauce.

  3. Sprinkle on the minced garlic and then cover the loaf halves evenly with the shredded cheese. 

  4. If using the grill, place the bread (topping side up) directly onto the grates. If using the broiler, keep the bread on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling and edges of bread are browned. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread | CaliGirlCooking.com

Hot Cross Buns

Buns for dayzzzzzz.

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

I told you this week was going to be all about the Easter prep, and today I’m definitely not going to disappoint with these Hot Cross Buns. This is yet another family recipe that I’ve successfully transcribed from my Dad’s improvisational ways, and let me tell you, I’m so glad I’ll now have this recipe in my back pocket whenever springtime rolls around.


I’m not really an expert on Hot Cross Buns, except for the fact that they’re incredibly hard to find good store- or bakery-bought versions of. When I lived at home (or would come home to visit for Easter when I lived away) we went through way too many years wasting our time trying to find “just the right” version at one of our local bakeries or grocery stores. Problem was, they were never as good as we imagined, or as we imagined we could make them. Leave it to my Dad to solve that problem, and solve it he did.

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

What I love about Hot Cross Buns is that there are so many iterations of them. You can spice the dough (as I do in this recipe) or leave it really basic and buttery. You can add in the classic fruit cake mix to liven things up a bit, or you can leave it simpler with raisins studding the dough, or nothing at all. For the icing, you can tint it the classic yellow hue with food coloring or simply allow the sweet topping to take on whatever natural color it gets from your icing ingredients. Long story short, just about any person out there can find a Hot Cross Bun recipe that they want to make over and over again, year after year.

For my own sake, I hope you find this recipe for Hot Cross Buns so enjoyable that they become an annual tradition in your household. After all, there’s nothing like a warm, buttery, icing-topped carb-bomb to start your Easter morning off right 😉

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

In fact, I may need to pack a few of these in Ziplocs for our ride to the airport on Sunday. If we can’t have our usual Easter meals and festivities due to travel, we might as well get our Easter treats in wherever we can!

I’m not going to sugar-coat it (haha, you see what I did there?) but these buns do take a little bit of time to make, definitely not for their difficulty level, but simply because they go through the standard double rise you do with most yeast breads. That being said, a little bit of planning goes a long way, and I can guarantee that once you practice the recipe one time through, it will get easier and easier every time.

I speak from experience since I had a little blonde moment the first time I made these and forgot to add the butter to the dough. Good news was, the Hot Cross Buns turned out to be gorgeous-looking. Bad news was, they were suuuuppper dry and didn’t taste nearly as good as they looked. And because I hate wasting any food, I simply proceeded to load up that first batch of Hot Cross Buns with butter every time I wanted to eat one, and I probably ended up consuming way more butter than I would have if I had just included in the recipe in the first place. Hey, we all learn from our silly mistakes!

I’m happy to report that no silly mistakes were made the second time I gave this recipe a whirl, and I was able to whip up perfectly composed Hot Cross Buns in almost no time flat.

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

What I love about these Hot Cross Buns is that, once you get through the whole double rise process, you bake them off and they’re ready to devour in just 15 minutes (well, 25 minutes if you allow time to cool and frost them.) That means that you don’t have to wait too long to enjoy after their magnificent smell starts wafting through the house!

Although I personally didn’t try it, I’d bet you could easily adapt this recipe to make the second rise an overnight one. That way, all you need to do in the morning before breakfast is pull the buns out of the refrigerator, give them their little crosses and egg wash, and pop them in the oven. I may try this the next time I give these a whirl (undoubtedly in the very near future) but if you try it in the meantime, let me know how it goes!

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m signing off to go get myself a bit more organized for our trip, but Happy Humpday! You deserve to celebrate with some Hot Cross Buns 🙂

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Hot Cross Buns
Prep Time
2 hr 10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
2 hr 25 mins
 

A family recipe for this classic springtime baked good - a buttery dough studded with plump raisins, topped with the perfect touch of icing.

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 1 dozen
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the buns:
  • 1 packet active-dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed to "bathtub temperature" (I heated mine up for 30 seconds in the microwave and it turned out perfect)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/3 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup raisins (or fruit cake mix, if you prefer)
  • 1 egg white
For the icing:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine the yeast and warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

  2. Add sugar, eggs, butter and salt to the yeast mixture and beat to combine. You may want to use a whisk for a few seconds to break up the egg yolks since the dough hook doesn’t do a great job of it.

  3. In a small mixing bowl, sift together 1 cup of the flour and the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add this to the mixture in the stand mixer along with the raisins and beat on medium-low until flour is well-incorporated.

  4. Scrape down the sides of the stand mixer and add additional 1 1/3 cups flour. Once again turn the mixer on medium-low and mix until a sticky dough forms. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with a damp hand towel, and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size. 

  5. Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. You may also need to coat your hands with a bit of flour to keep the dough from sticking to them. Cover the dough once it’s turned out and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  6. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover and let rise for another hour.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using kitchen shears, cut a cross in the center of each bun, then brush with egg white. Place in oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the tops of the buns have turned golden and bread sounds fairly hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and let cool.

  8. While buns are cooling, prepare the icing. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the icing ingredients. Transfer to a piping bag (or Ziploc) and then snip off the tip. Using the crosses you cut into your buns before baking as a guide, make a cross on each bun. Enjoy as soon as possible!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch!

**Author’s Note: You may notice that this girl-powered post is coming to you a day later than my usual weekly posting schedule. We had originally planned to post our Spring Fling Brunch on Wednesday, March 8, but then discovered that many of the ladies in our lives (coworkers, friends, family, etc.) were participating in A Day Without a Woman. After some deliberation, we decided to postpone our posts until Thursday to show our support for all females and gender-oppressed individuals. As always, I so appreciate your support for me and so many of my fellow bloggers and lady entrepreneurs. I hope you enjoy reading about our brunch just as much as we enjoyed throwing it!

I told you this was going to be a fun week!

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com


I am so excited for today’s post because it has been a long time coming. I’ve mentioned it before, but I truly feel so fortunate to have met so many amazing lady entrepreneurs IRL in my small little community of Santa Barbara. I’ve met fellow bloggers, freelancers, small-business owners, you name it. I’ve enjoyed interacting with every single person I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with, and have learned so much by having this diverse sounding board to bounce ideas off of, ask for advice, etc.

Way back in November, my fellow blogging babes, Hana-Lee from Wander and Wine and Becky from Baking the Goods, and I started throwing around the idea of a collaboration brunch. We all have such unique niches when it comes to our blogs (Hana-Lee focuses on wine and travel, while Becky’s the baker and I’m the cook with a side of mixology) that we thought it would be a great opportunity to play off of each other’s strengths and introduce our readers to all of the fantastic things everyone is doing in their own little corner of the Interwebs.

Well, after much rescheduling and the craziness of the holidays, we were finally able to pull it off. The result was a super fun and festive Spring Fling Brunch we held on a beautifully sunny day last week. I whipped up this hearty Breakfast Panzanella, while Becky brought a stunning Ricotta, Potato & Spring Pea Galette and, of course, Hana-Lee brought the wine. We were also able to get some of our other local lady entrepreneurs involved – Vanessa from Garibaldi Goods provided her over-the-top delicious homemade bread (and some jam, of course!), Amy from Bright Inc. provided the beautiful flower arrangements, and Alison from Sugar Cat Studio whipped up some brunch-themed cupcakes. Be sure to check out all of their blogs/websites/businesses because they are all amazing and work their little tushes off to turn out some amazing products. So fun!

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

Let me just tell you, starting the photo shoot for this brunch at 12pm was pure torture. We did so in order to capture the best lighting, but by the end of our almost two-hour shoot, all of our stomachs were audibly growling because all of the food looked (and smelled) so good! Don’t worry, we were sure to taste everything afterwards because, you know, quality control.

When we decided to give our brunch a spring theme, my mind immediately turned to creating a dish that was full of incredibly fresh ingredients (hello, warmer weather) yet hearty enough to not shock our systems too much after a season of all of those comforting winter foods. I knew a Breakfast Panzanella would go perfectly with the Spring Fling theme and set about making a version loaded with two of my favorite breakfast items – bacon and eggs, of course!

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m sure you’ve had (or at least heard of) the classic version of panzanella before, which generally consists of cubes of crusty bread, fresh basil and tomatoes, and some sort of dressing involving olive oil, vinegar, shallots and capers. For my Breakfast Panzanella, I omitted the capers in the dressing (I’m not the hugest fan) and of course added bacon and eggs, plus some fresh mozzarella, because CHEESE.

What resulted was a perfectly balanced salad – the basil and tomatoes are a reminder that warmer weather is just around the corner, while the crusty bread gives the dish that hominess we still crave during this transition between the seasons. This Breakfast Panzanella is also loaded with protein from the eggs, bacon and mozzarella, so it will fill you up and give you a nice solid base for all of that wine you’ll be drinking.

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

This salad also comes together in almost no time at all. You can toast the bread cubes and cook the bacon the night before, which means you’ll be able to sleep in approximately 15 minutes more before you have to roll out of bed to scramble up some eggs and whisk together the dressing. What’s left after that is simply tossing everything together in one big bowl and garnishing with some fresh basil! If this Breakfast Panzanella isn’t the perfect brunch dish, I don’t know what is.

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

My recommendation to you? Call up some of your girlfriends STAT and set a date for a Spring Fling Brunch of your own. Then head on over to my gal pals’ blog posts for all of the other deets you’ll need to make it a smashing success.

For the recipe for Becky’s Ricotta, Potato & Spring Pea Galette, head on over to Baking the Goods.

For all of Hana-Lee’s wine recommendations and pairing notes, head on over to Wander and Wine.

And be sure to check out all of the other ladies’ sites as well for further inspiration!

Bright Inc. for all of your floral inspiration,

Sugar Cat Studio to grab some tasty cupcake mixes,

and Garibaldi Goods for small-batch artisan foods from local California producers.

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Breakfast Panzanella
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

The classic Italian bread salad gets a morning makeover with the addition of bacon and eggs. The perfect dish for a spring-themed brunch!

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 4 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 6-8 basil leaves, plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 5 cups cubed crusty sourdough (about 1/2 of a large loaf)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces ciliegine (baby mozzarella balls)
  • 3 eggs, scrambled
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once bacon is cooked, remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. Do not dispose of the bacon grease in the pan!

  2. Add 6-8 basil leaves to the saute pan with the bacon grease in it (still on medium heat) and then add the bread cubes. Toast, tossing to coat, until all of the cubes are golden brown. If the cubes seem dry, drizzle on a little olive oil as they continue to toast. You may notice that the basil gets crispy and crumbly as it cooks along with the bread, this is okay! The little bits of basil will add some additional flavor to the salad once it’s done. Once the bread cubes are nice and toasted, spread out on some parchment paper to dry out and cool completely.

  3. Next, mix up the vinaigrette. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients by shaking in a Mason jar or whisking vigorously in a small bowl. Set aside.

  4. Place the cooled bread cubes in a large bowl. Chop up the now cooled bacon and add it to the bowl as well, along with the ½ cup of chopped fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, ciliegine and scrambled eggs. 

  5. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Garnish with additional chopped basil, if desired. 

 

Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey

I hope you all love breakfast as much as I do.

Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey | CaliGirlCooking.com

Because this week is all about the breakfast recipes, and I’m not going to feel bad about it. Technically, this Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey could be breakfast OR lunch, or even a snack, so there’s that. And it is anything but basic, so don’t stop scrolling because this is yet ANOTHER recipe for the OG avocado toast. You are going to make this version with grilled halloumi and honey and you’re going to LOVE it.


First and foremost, have you even heard of halloumi cheese? If so, than you know that it is an amazing, firm, salty Greek cheese that is incredibly versatile – it can be grilled, sautéed, shredded, you name it! And if this is your first time hearing about halloumi cheese, prepare for your mind to be blown.

Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey | CaliGirlCooking.com

I was first introduced to the stuff at a little Mediterranean bar and grill in downtown Napa called Tarla. My friend and I were trying it out for the first time, so naturally we asked the waiter what dishes he recommended. He promptly told us we had to get the Saganaki, and boy, am I so glad we did! Not ten minutes later, we had a little cast iron dish of flaming halloumi cheese in front of us, drizzled with truffle honey, accompanied by Chardonnay-infused Turkish apricots and raisins, and served with little toasts to scoop up all the goodness. I was immediately in heaven.

But, that all-too-common fear of the unknown took over and, although I knew you could find halloumi cheese at certain gourmet grocers and specialty stores, it took me these five or so years since I tasted that little bite of heaven to finally buck up and buy some of the cheese to experiment with. This Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey was my first foray into the halloumi world and, let me tell you, I’m never going back.

Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey | CaliGirlCooking.com

I touched on it already, but one of the greatest things about halloumi is that, when sliced and grilled or sautéed, it will actually hold its shape and not melt into an oozy puddle. It gets these gorgeous brown grill marks and picks up the flavor of whatever you cook it in.

Because there were already a ton of flavors I planned on loading on this toast, I kept my grilling method simple and cooked the halloumi up in a healthy pat of butter in my cast iron skillet. This gave it the most gorgeous slight char (anyone else here a huge fan of slightly golden-browned cheese?) and the cheese literally soaked up all of that delicious, buttery flavor.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though, because as all good toast does, this Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey starts with high-quality bread. You could essentially use any type of bread for this, but I highly recommend something that’s a slight step up from your average sliced sandwich bread. I used a local bakery’s whole wheat levain and it was absolutely outstanding. Plus, that way you can hand-cut the slices as thick as you want!

Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey | CaliGirlCooking.com

So after finding your fave bread and giving it a good toast (either in the toaster or under the broiler in your oven,) we lather on a healthy dose of smashed avocado, then sprinkle on some fresh lemon juice. This acidity will help cut through the richness that both the avocado and the cheese bring to this dish.

The next layer of this ultimate open-faced sammy is the grilled halloumi. Don’t be shy about this, yes, it’s cheese, but it’s sooo worth the little indulgence. We then drizzle on a little honey to bring some sweetness and sprinkle on some chili flakes for spice, the perfect sweet-salty-spicy tri-fecta.

Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey | CaliGirlCooking.com

Some might say this Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey is TOO simple of a dish, but sometimes that’s just what we need, especially on a busy Monday. And once you taste this bad boy, you’re going to realize the explosion of flavor is anything but simple.

Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

The classic avocado toast gets a fresh makeover with the addition of grilled Greek halloumi cheese, complimented by fresh lemon juice, honey and pepper flakes!

Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Snack
Servings: 2 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 large slices thick cut whole wheat levain (or your favorite bread)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 9 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced
  • 1 large avocado
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Toast your bread using whichever method you prefer. 

  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. Add the butter and let it melt. Swirl the pan to coat, then add the sliced halloumi. You can do this in a couple of batches if all of the cheese doesn’t fit at once. Grill the halloumi a couple of minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove to a plate while you prepare the rest of the toast.

  3. Spread half of the avocado over each slice of toast, smashing down with a fork if necessary. Squeeze the lemon juice evenly over the avocado, being sure not to lose any seeds. 

  4. Place the grilled halloumi slices over each piece of toast. You may have one or two slices extra, eat these or save them for later use. 

  5. Finish off the toast by drizzling the honey evenly over both pieces of toast and sprinkling on red pepper flakes, based on your spice tolerance. Enjoy immediately.

Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey | CaliGirlCooking.com