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…

Advertisements

Just One of Them Days

Oi, I’m just having one of those days. You know those days when everything you do seems unproductive?

You could build a house, and you still feel like you’ve accomplished nothing.

This morning, I woke up at 8 A.M., which you think would be a decent start to a productive day. But here’s how my day went:

Drove to Bagelz coffee shop in Wickford to study for my nutrition lab final. Instead, drank a coffee for 2.5 hours, and did some food blogging…just some.

Left Bagelz around 1, grabbed a tuna fish sandwich,  went to another coffee shop, ( I’m what you call a coffee shop hopper.) Brewed Awakenings, to do work and meet up with some friends. Instead, I drank a hot chocolate for 4 hours, and talked on the phone with the boyfriend for a half hour.

Arrived home from Brewed around 6, thinking what the hell did I do today?

Looked around my kitchen for about 10 minutes, and decided that I would make some chili.

After eating the chili, I still felt unproductive… I told you it was just one of those days.

Thinking that Finding Nemo would cure me, (I couldn’t watch Dexter yet. Yes, two completely opposite shows, I know… I’m sick) I curled up in my bed and watched until Mega Video told me I had viewed my 72 minutes of video today.

Damn them.

So, after many failed attempts of trying to be productive, (although I don’t think you can count watching a movie as such) it got me thinking.

How could I cure this feeling…

…Of course!

Make some balls! Cookie dough balls, that is!

Damn, three posts in a row that deals with cookies. I am not sorry about this.

Cookie dough balls make the heart grow fonder…wait, no, that’s not right.

But, they will definitely cure your feelings of being unproductive,  or at least they did for me.

And even if you aren’t having one of them days, these balls will still come in handy for any type of day that you are having.

I swear, I do eat vegetables.

Recipe by Joy from Joy the Baker

1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (i know we’re not baking them, it’s for flavor)

3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup Greek yogurt or applesauce or peanut butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, melted for dipping

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment (or with a large bowl and a wooden spoon) cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes in the machine.  Beat in yogurt or applesauce or peanut butter along with the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add all at once to the butter and sugar mixture and stir until incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips and wanuts.

Scoop large spoonfuls or ice cream scoops onto a  waxed paper lined cookie sheet.  Spear each dough ball with a cute plastic fork or a popsicle stick.  Place in the freezer overnight or until frozen, at least three hours.

When ready to dip the balls, melt chocolate chips in a small saucepan over a low flame or in the microwave.  Remove balls from the freezer and dip into warm chocolate.  Return to the lined cookie sheet and return to the freezer to harden.  Serve cold from the freezer.

Now, a normal patient person may wait until these balls are frozen…

I have no patience today….

It’s the simple things in life that satisfy my soul.

Thaddeus Makes Cookies

And the count down begins…until my birthday that is. Oh, did I tell you? Yes, my birthday is on Christmas. Go ahead, ask me:

Do you get more presents?

Wow, you must get ripped off, huh?

Are you Jesus?

Was it a curse, or a blessing for your mother?

OMG, you share the same birthday as Jesus?

The first birthday cake I can remember said, “Happy Birthday Stephanie & Jesus.”

Look.

I can deal with celebrating my birthday on Christmas. I can even deal with sharing my bday with the man himself.

But please.

Please, let me have my own cake. No disrespect and all; it’s just that, well, I like my cake.


A lot.

So, since we’re in the twenty five days of Christmas, I thought I would start the first day of December off with…

COOKIES! (I realize my last post was about cookies, but it’s cookie month, people.)

However, I was feeling…how should I say this…lazy.

So, when Tadz mentioned that he was in the mood to make cookies, I jumped on the opportunity.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to the baker, Thaddeus a.k.a. Tadz, Tadzy, Thad.


Whatever you feel is appropriate, here.

The decision was unanimous: sugar cookies.

Soft sugar cookies, actually. When you know your cookie type, you will discover who you truly are.

I have deep life philosophies.

For a kid who doesn’t know how to use a KitchenAid Mixer (you switch the button forward), he definitely kicked it up a notch.

Check that out…he’s piping cookie dough onto not one, but two cookie sheets. Man, I don’t even use two cookie sheets.

Dedication.

They ended up more like fluffy cookies rather than soft chewy cookies…

…with gak on them.

Yes, gak, as in the Nickelodeon green ooze poured over kids and adults on game shows. Pretty much the best stuff ever.

On cookies though?

…Still the best stuff ever.

Caution: Due to the outrageous neon colors, do not look directly at cookies when frosting. I swear, I’m still seeing spots.

Yep, I’d say I’ve successfully transformed my roomies into foodies.

These may have been possibly the ugliest Christmas cookies I’ve ever been a part of making, but sometimes it’s not about the cookies…

Who am I kidding? It’s totally about the cookies.

Tadzy did an awesome job though, and I hope he didn’t intimidate you with his piping skills. These are quick and easy to make. Don’t worry, you don’t have to make the same neon-gak frosting we created. We just ran out of milk, and had to improvise with royal icing. The cookie itself isn’t super sweet, which is why they are meant to be dressed up with frosting.

Perhaps, butter cream?

Recipe by Jenna at EatLiveRun.com

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

5 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream together the soft butter and sugar in a KitchenAid (or by hand!) until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat for about three more minutes until well combined. Alternate adding the buttermilk and the flour to the butter, starting and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla and beat on medium until everything is combined and the batter is smooth.

Pipe out (or scoop out) the batter onto a lined baking sheet, leaving about two inches of space between each cookie. Bake for about twelve minutes or until the edges start to turn golden. Let cool and frost with your choice of butter cream frosting, royal icing, or whatever your craving!

Quick Tips:

Piping these cookies can be made possible by placing the batter into a plastic baggy and cutting the corner off.

We didn’t have any buttermilk, so we made some!

How?

1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar in 1 cup of milk

let stand for 5 minutes

Super easy and Bill Nyeish, no?

Who Knew?

You know that feeling when you’ve been down in the dumps, searching high and low for an answer, and then finally one day you feel as though you’ve discovered the meaning of life?

Yeah, well, that didn’t quite happen…

But something miraculous did happen to me this weekend! Besides almost being eaten by a giant cinnamon bun (I’ll get to that in another post), I finally found my favorite choco chip cookie recipe.

For a long time, I was having trouble with my CCC recipe.

This is what I wanted.
And this is what I was getting.

They tasted like heaven, but looked like hell. Beauty isn’t everything, right? Wrong, damnit! I wanted a voluptuous looking cookie with some height to it’s bod.

But before I could venture onward with my quest to find the best recipe, I had to ask myself one very important question:

Am I a softie?

Or a tough cookie?

My perfect cookie has a wee bit of crunch on the outside, and some chewy goodness on the inside. They say the way you like your cookie is a good representation of who you are…let’s not analyze that one.

After I had that down, all I had left to do was bake and eat cookies.

Simple, right?

Well, it’s taken me 10 years to figure this out.

TEN YEARS.

Okay, okay, maybe three?

Did you know that chilling your cookie dough results in a better quality cookie? Geez, Louise! Don’t even tell me you knew, too.

See, I thought I had discovered this ground breaking new technique that would change the way pâtisseries across the world would bake their goodies. Images flashed through my mind of me holding the the first ever Nobel Pâtisserie Prize. I was even in the stages of writing my scientific article, until one day, while food blogging, I came across something devastating.

Apparently, this is not a new thing. In fact, it’s a universally known thing.

How embarrassing.

Hey, I learned it on my own though, so I think some kind of honorable mention is appropriate.

I wish I had a picture to show you, but there’s currently sugar trapped in my lens…

Best Buttery Cookies

280 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1 cup light or dark brown sugar

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1-2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

1. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. In large bowl, combine sugars. Add butter and stir with wooden spoon for a few seconds until well blended.

3. Stir in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Be sure that all ingredients are incorporated.

4. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

5. Gently stir in chocolate chips.

6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes.

7. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased baking sheet ( I made mine into little cookies cause I like minis. You can choose any size though.)

8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges–don’t even let them set in the middle. (This gives them that chewy goodness)

9. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes to allow cookies to firm up.

10. Place cookies on wire rack to cool, and repeat with remaining dough.

11. Eat ya cookies! No leftovers.

If you’re not looking to eat two dozen cookies, there’s always room in the freezer. Be sure to pre-shape them before hand, so it’s easier on you when you want to bake them later.

Advisory: Hide ya dough balls. They are a highly demanded item.

You can freeze virtually anything, and that is including savory dishes. Lately, I’ve been freezing meatballs, pizza dough, fruit, and whatever else needs chillen. Just make sure you don’t freeze your drop cookies. You know the cake-like ones? You can even freeze your homemade frosting!

Who knew?

Don’t even tell me you did…