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…

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.

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…

Happy Food Day!

So, this is my family.

Photo Courtesy of Catherine Reusch Daley

There’s really six people there: 5 ladies and 1 gentleman.

Life’s a blast.

And oh, yeah, today’s Thanksgiving, huh? But you know, everyday at the Reusch residence is Thanksgiving. There’s no such thing as dainty meals around here. We always need at least 3 side dishes, sometimes even 2 main courses, and always

always

always

dessert.

Wait! Before I go on, I have a nagging question that I must ask you. When does your family actually sit down for Thanksgiving?

Since the beginning of my life, I was made to believe that Thanksgiving dinner was always around noontime. About a year ago, my life was turned upside down after learning the truth about Thanksgiving.  Are we the only family that does not eat around dinner time?

HOW DO YOU WAIT THAT LONG?

Think about it…

You eat turkey for lunch, and turkey for dinner!

It’s like having Thanksgiving twice!

As you can tell, family dinners are the highlight of life for us.

As well as desserts.

In fact, the turkey is not the star of Thanksgiving around here, either.

I must give credit, where credit is due. From the bottom right hand corner counter clockwise: Chocolate Cheesecake by Rose (me), Chocolate Cream Pie and Pumpkin Pie (real pumpkin!) by Sarah Reusch, Maple Pecan Tart and Raspberry Crostata, both by Sammy. Desserts not featured: Rice Pudding by Mama, and Maple Whipped Cream, or heaven in whipped cream form.

Oh, and these….

Homemade Coconut Delight Girl Scout Cookies, created by Sammy, the other foodie daughter. Dear Lord. I think I ate my body weight in these.

Desserts have clearly taken over the spot light. As they should.

And you can bet ya bottom dolla that I tried every single one, too.

Happy Food Day, everyone :)

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.

Remember, Remember the 25th of November

So, I may have a slight obsession with pumpkin.

It’s strange, really. You see, I used to despise pumpkin.

Loathe it is more like it.

Remember, remember the 25th of November…

Oh, I remember like it was yesterday, alright. It was around 11:23 P.M.  as I innocently ventured into the kitchen for some Thanksgiving leftovers. There was all but one dessert I had left to conquer.

There it was.

Seducing me with it’s 8×8 round, tender body, was a pumpkin pie.

How could I have refused? So, I snagged that pie and conquered!

Three hours later and Steph was defeated.

I’d rather not publicly share the rest of that story, but if you want to meet for a cup of coffee and oh, say, a slice of German chocolate cake, I’d consider it.

To this day, I am still on the search for whomever is responsible for baking that pie; the pie that altered my life for three years.

(If you happen to know of, or have any information regarding the pumpkin pie-maker who attended a Reusch Thanksgiving the year of 2007, please contact Stephanie Reusch.)

This is where I will end my story of November the 25th. I’m afraid that if I go any further with this tale, I may have a pumpkin-hating relapse.

So, how did pumpkin and I reunite, you ask?

I don’t quite remember, really. Sometimes, the stars and cosmos align, and everything just falls into place.

If I had to pinpoint it though, I think it may have been around this time last year that I finally started to come around to my fellow orange nemesis.

I was roaming the internet for some good eats when I wandered upon this site. Not to be confused with Joy, which is another fabulous site for baking. I saw these,

and thought, dear lord, I must have, now.

And so I baked.

And so I ate.

And so, my friends, I fell in love again. It was love at first bite. (Oh, blog call out!)

Pumpkin and I have shared a meal everyday since then…

Okay, that is just a blatant lie, but I have recently made an obsessive amount of pumpkin goodies within the last 3-4 weeks…

Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Simply elegant. Can be used as a crowd pleaser at your holiday party, or a bribery tool to get your boyfriend to drive to Rhode Island at 8:30 on a Friday night.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. A great snack to take camping ;)

Pumpkin pancakes + one chocolate chip pancake. Hey, gotta please those pumpkin-haters. I don’t want any mass riots.

Pumpkin cranberry bars. Fresh cranberries are the way to go.

Some other goodies I have made, but not captured on camera: pumpkin oats, pumpkin granola, and pumpkin ravioli.

And I’m about to make some pumpkin seeds! But no pumpkin pie. I just don’t think I’m quite ready for that, yet.

Have you ever had a bad experience with food? If so, don’t pull a Steph, and let it defeat you for three years of your life. Face your fears. You’ll be a better foodie, (or person, whatever you want to call yourself) if you do.

Oh, oops, I don’t know how that got in here.

Family Dinner: BFD style

Honestly, on a Friday night, especially after a track workout and a long week, the last thing I want to do is cook. Plus, deciding what to cook for three boys can get tricky.  Holy Hell, Steph, did I miss something? Did you have children while away at college?

No, worse. I live with three boys.

Just kidding!

So, this is us in a nutshell:

(Again, me with an awkward face. This is why I only take pictures of food. It’s as if cameras can only capture the essence of my awkwardness.)

So, what’s it like living with boys? Oh, it’s just fanfreakintastic! They cook all the time for me, clean the dishes, tell me I’m the best roommate ever, yadayada.

….Yes, that may be slightly fabricated. Although, I must say, they do cook/bake some pretty yummy shtuff. And ladies, they are currently on the market;) Minus Hayden though… he’s already got himself a babe.

Anywho, I love living with them. And being the only girl definitely has it’s perks. Like last year, I was given a whole floor to myself that was fully equipped with a bachelor pad, private bath, and a bedroom the size of a ballroom. So, it only makes sense that I get stuck with the Cinderella room this year, right?

I have to admit, I kind of like my Harry Potter room. Except, it really isn’t ideal for my dancing needs. There’s  also the possibility of it being haunted, but that’s another story for another day…

Anywho, between classes, Lang Naturals, and track, I really don’t have much time to make our family dinners anymore. Family dinners with the boys. Oh, have I missed them.

But like I said before, it was Friday, and I was dead. Pooped out, if you will. So what does a girl, who loves to cook, do when she doesn’t want to cook?

BFD!

And no, that’s not some kind of dirty innuendo.

Ya sick!

Learn the acronym. It will get you out of a serious bind someday.

BREAKFAST FOR DINNER

Veggie fritatta with Yukon gold and sweet potato home-fries. And a side of fresh fruit, of course!

Make it happen.

I swear, I do live with guys.

Family dinner nights do entail family cooking. Share the foodie love.

Nothing better than a table covered with heaping amounts of breakfast food, and some awkward, sexual dinner conversations to bring a family closer together.

And no, that’s not my man thumb.