Dark Chocolate Macaroons

I have a problem…

It all started when I entered the Stinson Beach General Store, and I spotted a macaroon the size of my face.

For the past two weeks, since I left California, I’ve been dreaming about biting into the chocolate of a coconut dipped macaroon.

And as I always say, follow your dreams…

Now, I did have some awesome pictures of golden coconut, and fluffy egg white clouds for your entertainment…

…until that is, my camera flew off my bed, and some how they were all deleted.

Luckily, I had some extra macaroons hiding in a cabinet where no one could devour them in case such an incident occurred.

Growing up in a household where everything in the fridge had a disclaimer: “Eat this and I’ll eat you!, I learned at a very young age how to hide food.

Hey, it’s survival.

My skills paid off, and I saved just enough to dip another batch of macaroons into a heavenly bath of dark chocolate.

If you’re looking for a chewy cookie to satisfy your coconut craving, these are the perfect fit. Also, to all those coconut haters out there, give this cookie a go. She won’t over power you with her coconut flavor, and her dark chocolate will certainly make you come back for more.

They are super simple, require only 5 ingredients you probably already have, and bake in no time at all. Plus, you’ll impress your friends with ’em.

I mean just look at these sassy cookies.

Photo courtesy of Hayden Radke

Baking makes friends.

Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients:

4 large egg whites

pinch of salt

1/2 cup sugar

12 ounces sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

1 cup  of your choice of chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate and dark chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place coconut on a baking sheet, spread out evenly and place in the oven.  Return to the oven every five minutes to stir the browning coconut.  Once evenly browned, after about 15 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a mixer fitted with a whip attachment. whip egg whites and salt until they become white and begin to stiffen. Add sugar in 3 parts. Continue to whip until the egg whites are very stiff. Fold in toasted coconut.

On parchment lined cookie sheets, drop a teaspoon of the mixture leaving 1 to 2 inches around each cookie. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The outside should be golden brown but the insides should still be moist.

Place chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. (or microwave, but be careful not to burn it! Burnt chocolate taste, well burnt)  Place bowl over a pan of simmering water so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water.  Allow to melt.  Stir until loose and creamy.  Partially dip the macaroons in the chocolate then allow to cool and harden on a parchment lined sheet.

To speed up the hardening of the chocolate, I placed mine in the freezer, or you can put it in the fridge. Just don’t forget about them! You wouldn’t do that though…

Love Bites: Mini Vanilla Cakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

You know that you’re a foodie when you get up at sunrise to frost a cake, and end up being late to your TA office hours. When asked why you were 20 minutes late, you glance up at the ceiling, wondering if they’d even believe the true story, and burst out, “I burnt my oatmeal!” As if that’s a better excuse?

True story. Hey, I can’t lie about who I am.

Yep, casually getting up at 6 am to take pictures of food on my back porch has become a part of the daily routine now. My neighbors may or may not think I’m a complete weirdo. Especially, since I screamed bloody murder after almost dropping LJ’s birthday cake. I’m okay with it though.  I’ll just make them some cookies. Cookies aka problem solvers.

Seriously, I thought putting a cake on a porch railing was a grand idea? Anything for the shot, baby.

Don’t worry I had a back up cake just in case…

Mini Vanilla Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting. Because who doesn’t want their own personal mini cake on their birthday?

A cake for the boys and I, and a cake for LJ’s birthday. I think that’s a win.

By the way, I decided to make a special post series called Love Bites. These posts will be solely dedicated to pictures of food because sometimes, you just want to stare…

or drool…

Yeah, I drool. I told you, I can’t lie about who I am!

Don’t act like you’re disgusted. I know you do, too.

Wanna Cookie?

Hey Guys!

I just wanted to share my exciting news with you all. Love at First Bite reached over 1,000 views!

Whoa, she really does have friends

Now, this measly number may seem like chump change compared to the other food blog sites out there, but this is a landmark for me. So to all my readers, thanks for checking out my blog! I really appreciate all the love, and support. If I only knew every single one of you, I would make treats for all!

But I’ll tell you what…because I’d really like to hear from you, if you tell me:

1.your name
2. what your favorite food is
3. or anything you’d like to ask me or tell me

you will be automatically entered for a chance to win a goodie! (brownies/cookies: I’m thinking something I can ship without getting mangled)

And don’t you worry, I will either A.) hunt you down and hand deliver to you or B.) send them in the mail to you by plane so they arrive in perfecto condition. Okay, maybe not by plane, but who doesn’t like getting a treat in the mail?

(Disclaimer: Chance, Hayden, Zach, and Tadz are excluded from this goodie give away…sorry guys)

Just be sure to leave your info below in the comment section!

I will draw a random name, and announce the winner in the near future.

So I leave it in your hands!

Let me tempt you with this Mocha Marble Chocolate Cake…

And I understand if you don’t want a treat, well not really, but I do understand if you want to be kept anonymous… I kind of have a thing for mysterious people.

And beards.

As well as cornbread…

Not together though.

That’s kind of weird.

Sir Chocolate, Meet My Good Friend, Mr. Peanut Butter.

(Tacky title, I know, but when I saw this picture, I immediately imagined a conversation between peanut butter and chocolate going down that way. I mean look at that jar of peanut butter… he is clearly a Mister. )

Once upon a Saturday morning, while listening to some music and reading some food blogs, I suddenly started craving some luscious milk chocolate. Suddenly, my music stopped, and I heard a faint voice persuading me to indulge in a Reese’s peanut butter cup…

…I may have a slight obsession with chocolate, I’ll admit that.

I may even have a tin of dark chocolate covered almonds tucked away in my car. Or maybe, I place pieces of sea salt dark chocolate randomly and then forget about them, so a week later when I find them, I scream with joy.

Yes, I am a nutritionist who stashes chocolate. Am I ashamed to admit it? No, and you all should have your stash to go to for a choco pick me up. (In moderation, of course. And hey, it’s dark chocolate…antioxidants, right?)

However, the voices were not from my chocolate withdrawals. Those damn Pandora commercials: annoying, right? But it got me thinking…

Chocolate. Peanut Butter.

Sweet. Salty.

Ladies and gents, I’m not sure there is a better pair. Okay, maybe there are, but this is up there in my top 5, at least.

Seriously, how can you go wrong! (I apologize for those who have peanut allergies. But hey, there’s always Nutella, right?)

Anywho, as I laid wrapped in my twin sized comforter (I was spoiled with my King last year), freezing my tootsies off because I was too cold to turn the heat on (you see the problem there, don’t you?),  I dreamt of ways to blend the two together. Not just any old peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie would do. No, I needed to step up my game. I needed to create something legend-… wait for it… and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY! (Legendary for those of you non-fans of How I Met Your Mother. I heart How I Met Your Mother…legendary show in itself.)

Hmm, but where could I find a recipe that was going to live up to that?

Well, throughout the course of my foodie nerd web-surfing, I came across this new food blog. Joy the baker has some of the best friggen baked goods I’ve never (yes, I meant never) eaten in my life. You can practically taste them through your computer screen. I highly recommend checking her blog out. I may even force you.

After wiping the drool from my mouth, I decided to use one of her recipes that best represented the famous taste-bud combo.

Allow me to introduce you to:

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Score.

Sweet and salty heaven in a bar.

Maybe it was the love from the chocolate and peanut butter married together to make a sweet and salty combo that was so irresistibly legendary. Or quite possibly, it was the smooth milk chocolate frosting blanketing these bad boy blondies.

One thing is for sure, these bars have some pretty powerful effects on people. I took one bite, and I felt the love. Ask my roomie, Hayden, how they were. Although it wasn’t clocked, we may have shared a solid 5 minute hug as a result of this magnificent pairing of foods.

Looking for an A on that next Chemistry test? Want to score a date with that cutie you’ve been checkin’ out in English class? Or maybe, you just wanna feel the love yourself. How, you ask? Make the bars. Share the love.

These bars have powers. Take full advantage.

Right, so here’s how you can take advantage of people…oh, I mean make these bars to share with someone special.

P.S. As Joy mentioned, you’re gonna need some milk. A gallon preferably. Oh, and some friends because you’ll end up eating the whole pan if you choose to go stingy.

Recipe from Joy The Baker

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting

makes one dozen big brownies in a 9×13-inch pan

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 5 cubes

2 cups dark brown sugar

1 cup smooth and natural peanut butter

2 eggs

2  teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease a 9×13-inch pan, line with parchment paper if you have it on hand, then grease the parchment paper.  If you don’t have parchment paper, these blondies will be just fine.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sugar together until the butter is just melted.

Butter and brown suga. Yum.

It should look like this once the butter is melted.

Remove from the burner and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then add the peanut butter.  Stir until incorporated.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes more, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.  You want the sugar, butter and peanut butter mixture to be cool enough that the eggs won’t begin to cook when they’re added in.

Whisk together salt, flour and baking powder.  Add dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients.  Stir until just incorporated.

It will start to get pretty thick, so your spoon should be able to stand up by itself.

Pour the thick batter into the prepared pan and smooth out.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the blondies comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.

See how it pulled from the side there? That blondie is done!

Okay, now that your blondie is chillen, you can get crackin on the good stuff…

Milk Chocolate Frosting

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar

3 Tablespoons milk

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, cocoa powder and salt.

Ah, the day my Kitchen Aid mixer bestowed itself into my life was a day that will never be forgotten. Excuse my awkward face.

Don’t worry if you don’t have one of these. I mean if you’re cool, you will have one. The truth hurts, I know.

No worries though; you can just grab your grandma’s hand-mixer.

Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar followed by 1 tablespoon milk.  Beat well.  Add another cup of powdered sugar, followed by 2 tablespoons of milk.  Melt milk chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler.

It should look like this at first, but wait for it because it gets oh so better.

Add the melted chips to chocolate frosting and beat to incorporate.

oh. my. chocolate.

Go ahead. Try it now. You will not stop.

You can add the final 1/2 cup of powdered sugar if you need a bit more thickness, but I didn’t need this.  Spread evenly over peanut butter blondies.

Share wisely.