Thursday, January 27, 2011

Coconut Macroons





Not to be confused with the cute French Almond Macarons. This are very simple to make. Coconut, egg whites, sugar, and vanilla. This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart.

Coconut Macaroons
Unsweetened shredded coconut is available in health food stores. You can also use sweetened shredded coconut (reduce the sugar in the recipe from 3/4 cup to 1 tablespoon). For the variations, pair the coconut with chocolate – chips or cocoa powder – to create rich combinations reminiscent of a candy bar. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups (about 3 ounces) unsweetened shredded coconut
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, coconut, egg whites, vanilla, and salt. Use your hands to mix well, completely combining ingredients.
Dampen hands with cold water. Use 1 1/2 tablespoons to form mounds; place on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart.
Bake until golden brown, 16 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool on a wire rack. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

 After they have cooled  I like to dip them in melted dark chocolate for a more decadent taste.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fruitcake

Cherries in amaretto 

Chocolate Cherry batter

Cherries and raisins soaking in bourbon

Fruitcakes ready for the oven

Fruitcakes cooling

The traditional fruitcake brick
It's the most dreaded of all holiday food. Many jokes have been told, looks of disgust have been displayed when the recipient  discovers  fruitcake in the mail or given by someone. But I guess I am in the minority I love fruitcake. I grew up on fruitcake delivered to our house every Christmas. You know the one in the red tin with bright red cherries and green pineapple.
But really, what's not to like its fruit and cake. A few years ago a friend gave me a two small loaves of Kentucky Bourbon Fruitcake and it is the only fruitcake my husband will eat. I asked for the recipe and every since then I make one large brick shaped loaf every year. I also added a Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz. I think that any cake that has liquor added to it can't be that bad. I let my fruitcakes bubble and marinade in the bottom of my refrigerator for many weeks while changing the bourbon soaked cheesecloth.