time for macaroons

march is quickly becoming a busy month.  i’ve been trying to keep to up with the various holidays, celebrations, and observances.  last week was st. patty’s day, this week passover begins, and next weekend is easter.  i feel the urge to make something for each event because in some capacity or another my family celebrates each one.  so, for passover, i decided to make macaroons.  i chose to make 3 different kinds of macaroons.  why make something more difficult than it has to be? because that’s what i’m good at.

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this is the first time i’ve made macaroons.  i never really liked them until a few years ago when i developed a liking for coconut.  here, i provide 3 different recipes; the first two are egg white based, and the last one is egg and nut free.  the first recipe, coconut macaroons, were a little plain.  so, i decided to dunk them in chocolate sauce…soo (extra o for emphasis) much better.  the almond-coconut macaroons were pretty good;  next time i might add more almonds, and a bit more almond extract.  lastly, the chocolate macaroons.  these are by far my favorite.  i decided to dunk 5 of the 9 macaroons in chocolate because i had some leftover, and because chocolate-chocolate macaroons are naturally better than chocolate macaroons.

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// coconut macaroons

adapted from elana’s pantry

makes about 24

pre heat oven 350°

line a baking sheet with parchment

ingredients:

3 large egg whites

1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

directions:

with an electric mixer, beat egg whites with salt until the whites form a peak – about 5-6 minutes

fold in agave, vanilla, and coconut with a spatula

using a tablespoon, scoop macaroon balls onto parchment paper leaving about 1 inch between each cookie

bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned

can be stored in an air tight container for about 3 days, or they can be frozen for up to one month

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// almond-coconut macaroons

adapted from martha stewart

makes 16

pre heat oven 350°

line a baking sheet with parchment

ingredients:

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 large egg white

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup whole almonds, chopped

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

pinch of salt

directions:

in a large bowl, whisk agave and white.  stir in the remaining ingredients

using a tablespoon measurement, scoop macaroon balls onto parchment paper leaving about 1 inch between each cookie

bake until top and bottoms are lightly browned, 15 minutes

can be stored in an air tight container for about 3 days, or they can be frozen for up to one month

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// chocolate macaroons

adapted from against all grain

makes 9

pre heat oven 350°

line a baking sheet with parchment

ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons agave nectar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon full fat coconut milk

in a medium sized bowl, combine coconut, cocoa powder, and salt

in a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients.  combine using a spatula, work the coconut oil into the mixture until smooth

add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  mix until combined

using a tablespoon, scoop macaroon balls onto parchment paper leaving about 1 inch between each cookie

bake for 10 minutes – allow to cool before removing from baking sheet

can be stored in an air tight container for about 3 days, or they can be frozen for up to one month

// chocolate sauce

1/2 cup dark chocolate (either chips or a bar)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

directions:

set a heat proof bowl over simmering water

add the chocolate and coconut oil

use a spoon or whisk to stir until melted

remove from heat and dunk the bottoms, tops, or sides of macaroons

with help from a spoon or spatula, lift the macaroon out of the chocolate sauce

place macaroons on a parchment lined baking sheet or platter.  when all the macaroons are dipped, place in the refrigerator for an hour or so

serve at room temp and enjoy (*if you’re freezing them, seal in an air tight container.  set on counter and thaw a couple hours before serving.)

roons

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whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

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this is a variation of a recipe that i make often. however, i got inspired to make these delicious cookies with coconut oil, in lieu of butter, after a conversation i had with my mom. i figured if i was going to go butter-free, then i might as well try egg-free as well, and use ground flaxseed meal. basically, this is an almost vegan cookie. to make it entirely vegan simply use vegan chocolate, and vegan sugar. in addition, i substituted regular cane sugar for coconut palm sugar, because its low glycemic index. the end product -to my immense surprise – was a complete and utter success! not only are these cookies chewy, but they are crunchy as well. there is also a slight hint of coconut when you’re finished chewing. all-in-all this recipe can be made with ingredient replacements or not. either way, these are yummy and super satisfying.

adapted from the Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from Good to the Grain

:: make about 17 cookies ::

pre heat to 350°

adjust the racks to the upper and lower thirds of your oven (i baked my cookies one sheet at a time because my oven cooks unevenly).

line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

:: dry mix ::

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oat flour (you can substitute any other flour or use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat – i’ve used almond flour with good results)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

:: wet mix ::

1/2 cup unmelted coconut oil (or 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (i use dark brown muscovado sugar, regular brown sugar works fine as well)

1/2 coconut palm sugar (or raw cane sugar)

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal (or one egg)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 ounces (1/2 cup) bittersweet chocolate (you can use a chocolate bar and chop it, or use chocolate chips)

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:: directions ::

in a bowl combine the dry ingredients and sift, or combine with a whisk.

in a separate bowl combine both sugars and add the coconut oil. use a hand mixer on low to combine until the ingredients are blended, about 2 minutes.

add the flaxseed meal (to activate the flax, combine 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespoons water. let it sit for about 5 minutes), and mix until combined. next, mix in the vanilla.

add the dry mix to the wet mix, and blend on low until the ingredients are combined, about 30 seconds. make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. add the chocolate and use a spatula to mix in.

depending on what ingredients you are you using, you may need to scrape the batter out onto a work surface to fully incorporate your ingredients.

scoop mounds of dough on the parchment lined baking sheets. (i used a tablespoon to make even balls of cookie dough.) leave about 2 inches between each cookie.

bake the cookies for 16-20 minutes rotating the sheets halfway through. cookies will be dark brown when fully baked.

:: enjoy ::

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