Saturday, February 26, 2011

Coconut Almond Cherry Macaroons! yum! yum!

Looney Toony Macaroony!

Coconut Almond Cherry Macaroons

After much ado, I finally got this one right. This was specially created for Jeremy. :)

Difficulty level: Average to experienced cooks

Equipment: Food processor (if you have one it will help a lot, if not, it’s cool.) *parchment paper* (yes you must have it or you will have a big mess and run screaming from your kitchen and set fire to your sheet pans.), stand mixer or hand blender will help a lot also.

14 oz package sweetened shredded/flaked coconut
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
½ tsp salt
1 cup raw slivered/sliced almonds (Trader Joe’s has thinly sliced raw almonds that work great here)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
About 24-30 frozen sour pie cherries (check the frozen aisle) average size bag should be fine. Do not substitute- the sour quality of the cherries works very well here.

Preheat oven to 325˚F.
In food processor, pulse coconut until the shreds/flakes are a bit smaller, breaking them down to smaller pieces. If you don’t have a food processor, don’t worry about it.
Place coconut into large mixing bowl, then add the sweetened condensed milk and mix thoroughly. Add the salt, and vanilla. Place the almond slivers in your food processor and pulse until the almonds are nearly powdered. If you don’t have a food processor, put the almonds in a sturdy Ziploc bag, cover in a sheet of paper, place on sturdy cutting board and bash it with a hammer until your almonds are powdery. Add the almonds to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
In another bowl, or in the bowl for your stand mixer, beat the egg whites until you have soft peaks. Gently fold a little of the eggs at a time into your coconut mixture, using care not to completely deflate your eggs.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Carefully scoop a 2 tbsp size ball of the mix onto your parchment. A small size ice cream scoop works well for this if you have one. After your scoop is on the paper, take a cherry and with clean hands, push it into the center of your blob, (but not all the way to the bottom) and mound your dough around the cherry to cover it up. Continue until all the mixture has been used. (You do not need to defrost the cherries. Use them straight out of the freezer and it will be a lot less messy.) You should end up with about 24 macaroons or so.
Bake at 325˚F for about 30 minutes or until your macaroons are mostly golden brown on the top and bottom. Yum! Yum!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sweet Potato Bread! yum! yum!

Holy crap this is gooood! This is a tea bread, much like banana bread but different and special.


Sweet Potato Bread

Makes one loaf

1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter (one stick)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Optional: 2 tsp real maple syrup
Grated rind of half an orange or one whole small orange. (Moro is best here)
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
¾ cup cooked sweet potato (roasted, boiled, microwaved, any way you want as long as it has been peeled)
3 heaping tablespoons of sour cream
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Cut butter into ½ inch cubes and place in a bowl or bowl for stand mixer. Beat butter until light yellow and fluffy. Slowly add sugars and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and add eggs slowly one at a time. Add maple syrup (optional), orange rind and spices. Beat in the sweet potato until mixture is creamy and well combined. Sift all dry ingredients(flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) together and add slowly in three parts, alternating with sour cream each time. Beat on med to med-high speed until batter is fluffy and light in color.
Pour into well greased loaf pan. Bake on center oven rack for one hour. Oh Yum yum!