coconut macaroons

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An amazing thing happened last week.  I had a Saturday off, I had a fresh batch of coconut macaroons and there was light.  The macaroons were a result of a Thursday night gluten-free cooking class (best present ever).  Since Jon and I both participated in the class we ended up with about 60 coconut macaroons.  I took a batch to work where they were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone from residents to social workers to administrators.  A few were enjoyed by guests we had visiting for the weekend and the rest – well – let’s just say that my lunches were pretty sweet last week.

coconut macaroons
yield: about 24 cookies

recipe notes:  The original recipe calls for a 250 degree oven, however we baked ours at 300.  This gave them a crispier shell.  The recipe recommends baking 25 to 30 minutes.  We started checking them around 25 min.  If you want softer cookies, take them out when they’re soft but if you want them crispier on the exterior, keep them in & turn down the oven temp to 250 for another 5 or so minutes.

2 egg whites
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded dried coconut
1/2 – 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
chocolate, for dipping (optional)

1.  Preheat an oven to 300°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.

2.  In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they just barely hold soft peaks. Beat in the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, stir together the 3 cups coconut and just enough of the condensed milk to make a sticky batter. Fold in the egg white mixture.

4.  Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Dip the spoon into cold water every once in a while to prevent the batter from sticking.

5.  Bake until the cookies are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the oven off. Prop the oven door ajar and leave the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool completely on the pans, then remove the cookies from the pans.

6.  Optional:  Melt some chocolate in a double broiler.  Dip cookies, cool on baking sheet.

Source: Williams-Sonoma

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chocolate dipped strawberries & chocolate bark

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When I first started out on my gluten-free diet, I cut out quite a bit more than just gluten.  I cut out dairy and pre-packaged anything (except for my daily gluten-free, dairy-free bar).  I cut out baked goods and I cut out chocolate.

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As I got a little more comfortable and less scared that something terrible would go wrong with my stomach, the first thing that got re-introduced was chocolate.  Just a little tiny piece, and went that went ok, it became my regular dessert.

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And while chocolate is great on its own, it certainly doesn’t hurt to do something fancy with it, either.  So when I found myself with a bowl full of strawberries I decided to embellish.  And when I melted a little too much chocolate for all the strawberries, that extra became peanut coconut apricot bark.  Both were delicious.  And gluten-free.  And a much welcomed treat.

recipe notes:  I apologize for lack of measurements in each of the following recipes.  I would imagine that a bag of chocolate chips (12 oz, typically) would cover a quart of strawberries, but that’s just a guess.  You’ll have to experiment.  The good thing is that there really isn’t a down-side to having too many strawberries – or too much chocolate.  If you’re left with more melted chocolate that strawberries to cover, start dipping whatever else you’ve got (pretzels, macaroons) or skip ahead and make some chocolate bark, another recipe for which measurements are arbitrary and the ingredients are adaptable to whatever you have on hand (see last year’s version).

chocolate dipped strawberries
yield: variable 

strawberries, cleaned
chocolate (I like dark, anything works, make sure it’s gluten-free)

1.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2.  In a heat-proof bowl (I ❤ pyrex) set over (but not touching) simmering water, heat the chocolate until it melts.  Stir occasionally until smooth and melted throughout.

3.  Dip the strawberries in the chocolate then place on the baking sheet.

4.  Place the baking sheet in the fridge to cool.  Serve cool from the fridge or at room temperature.

chocolate bark
yield: variable

chocolate
peanuts
coconut (shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)
dried apricot, diced

1.  Let a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2.  Melt the chocolate, as above.  When the chocolate is melted, pour 1/2 of the peanuts, coconut and dried apricot into the melted chocolate and stir everything together.  Pour the mixture out onto the parchment paper and use a spatula to spread it out, if needed.  I usually spread it to about 1/4-inch thick.

3.  Top the bark with the remaining peanuts, apricots & coconut.  You may need to press down on the peanuts and apricots a bit so that they adhere to the melted chocolate.  But no biggie if they fall off later.

4.  Cool in the fridge or on the counter until the chocolate has hardened again.  Break into pieces.  Enjoy.

source: Anna Maria original, inspired by chocolate

 

coconut macaroons & a care package

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February is a big birthday month in our family.  I was fortunate enough to celebrate with my brother in person.  My sister, away at college, got a care package.  Last year for her birthday we made my grandma’s coconut cake, but this year I needed something both portable & gluten-free (because even though she’s not, I am, and I needed to taste them before I sent them).  Enter macaroons.  Sweet, light, coconut-y goodness.

I_0183Happy Birthday, sweet girl.  You’re the best.

coconut macaroons
yield: 24 macroons

4 egg whites (from large eggs)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups sweetened coconut flakes

1.  Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (I used two silpats).

2.  In the bowl of standing mixer or with a hand-mixer, beat egg whites, vanilla, and salt on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, another 3 minutes. Gently fold the coconut flakes into the egg white mixture. (If you want a more dense, less meringue-like macaroon, you can skip beating the whites altogether. Just whisk the egg whites, vanilla, salt, and sugar until frothy, then fold in the coconut.)

3. Uing a small dough scoop (or just a large spoon), form mounds of batter and drop onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the macaroons are just turning golden. Remove to a wire rack and cool copletely.

source: thekitchn

also in the package?  Some clothes of hers I borrowed (thank you) and a new scarf (because every college girl needs some lululemon)

macaroons, elsewhere: lime in the coconut macaroons from bon appetit

lemon & coconut bars

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Ah, lemon.  Oh, coconut.  What a lovely pair you are.  These delicious gluten-free bars were the part 2 of the skillet jambalaya dinner date.  Emily worked on these while I was busy with the skillet jambalaya.  They were baked while the skillet jambalaya cooked, cooled on the counter while we ate and enjoyed promptly thereafter.

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All in all, these get a major thumbs up as the first gluten-free baked good to come from my kitchen (even though I wasn’t the one making them).  The custard was super delicious – creamy, lemon-y and just the right amount of sweetness.  The crust was equally good – less sweet, a little more dense, but with a lovely almond/coconut flavor.  Whether you’re gluten-free or not, these are definitely a worthy treat.

lemon & coconut bars
yield: about 20 2×2 inch bars

recipe notes:  The original recipe calls for baking these in a 12×8 inch baking pan.  We used a smaller one – a little 2 quart rectangular pyrex dish I have that is more 10×8-ish.  So, I think these were a little thicker.  If you want super thin, you could probably do a large pan, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Crust
5 tbsp (75 g) coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups/480 ml (200 g) shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup/240 ml (100 g) almond flour
1 pinch sea salt
2 egg whites (save the yolks for the lemon curd)

Filling
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
6 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup / 80 ml lemon juice + 1 tbsp zest (around 2 lemons)
1/3 cup / 80 ml  (35 g) almond flour

Dusting
Coconut flour or powdered sugar

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

2.  Melt coconut oil in a sauce pan on low/medium heat. Add maple syrup, shredded coconut, almond flour and salt. Stir around until everything is combined. Remove from the heat. Crack two eggs, save the egg yolks for later and add the whites to the sauce pan while stirring. Keep stirring for about a minute. The mixture should be quite sticky now. Line a 12×8 inch (30×20 cm baking dish with baking paper and pour the coconut mixture into it. Use your hands, a spatula or the backside of a spoon to flatten it out. Press it down firmly so it becomes quite compact. Bake for 10-12 minutes and then remove it from the oven. Meanwhile, start preparing the filling.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs + the 2 egg yolks with an electric mixer until frothy. Add the rest of the ingredients. Beat for two more minutes. Pour the mixture over the baked crust in the baking dish. Bake for around 16-19 minutes or until edges are light brown and center is set. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing up the bars. You always want to dig in immediately, but it is much easier to eat after it is set. Cut into roughly 1 x 2-inch (3 x 6 cm) rectangles. Dust with coconut flour or powdered sugar.

source: green kitchen stories