Friday, July 8, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Macroons( Eggless)






So here comes the recipe for these macroons.......one of the easiest recipes I have come across while I was looking for coconut cookie recipes .  I did see the pictures for these macroons on google but then I also came across the recipe on Sinfoodie.Not only are they good looking but are super delicious as well.  I took them over to one of my relatives house for 4th of july get together & no one was ready to believe that they were home made( I could not believe it myself when they were finally ready)   .So now I have suggestions pouring in that I should start marketing them..........Hmmmmm I like that & so will u.......

Ingredients: This will make about 10 macroons

  1. 1 1/2 cup of shredded sweetened coconut
  2. 100 gms of sweetened condensed milk
  3. 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  4. 1/4 cup melted chocolate for dipping 
Preparation:

  1. Transfer condensed milk into a bowl , mix in the flour until well blended.
  2. Now start mixing in the coconut a tablespoon at a time until all of it is mixed well. If the mixture looks too runny more coconut can be incorporated or if it looks too stiff while mixing in the coconut we can save some coconut  from the 1 1/2 cups. 
  3.  Sprinkle some shredded coconut on to a work surface, now pick up about a tablespoon of mixture with your hands & place it on the shredded coconut pressing it down while pinching it at the top so as to get the shape of a mound. You will get a perfectly flat bottom & since the bottom is now covered with dry shredded coconut it will not stick to the  tray while baking , transfer all the coconut mounds to a baking tray.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 F & bake for 12-15 mins. until the tops look perfectly golden. 
  5. Transfer to cooling rack & let cool completely.
  6. Melt baking chocolate in a small bowl ( can also be microwaved since the quantity of chocolate is too small) & holding the top , dip the bottom of the  macroons in the chocolate so as to cover almost half of the macroon, transfer to another lined baking tray or can even be placed on cling wrap. Refrigerate for about 5 -10 mins for the chocolate to set completely. So here you have very professional looking macroons with the minimalist of ingredients. Enjoy................



Walnut Pistachio Cream Cheese Cookies( Eggless)


I came across the pictures for these cookies on the internet & they looked exactly like that they had come out of a local bakery in India. Since I had cream cheese in the fridge I planned to try them out as part of my Independence day celebration package. After looking at the pictures I  browsed  the internet to see if I could find the recipe & I did. This was an original" Martha Stewart "recipe  for Walnut Cream cheese cookies. But I also had the picture in mind for the cookies we used to get as kids, fresh from a local bakery & they were more of Pistachio cookies as I remember each of those cookies having just 1 or two pieces of pistachios looking through.So I have tried this recipe with some modifications & the result was the picture above.

Ingredients:



  1. 1 cup all purpose flour & 2 tablespoons 
  2. 1/4th tsp salt
  3. 1/4th tsp baking soda
  4. 1 stick unsalted butter ( half cup) at room temp
  5. 2 tablespoons cream cheese  at room temp.
  6. 1/3 cup  powdered brown sugar
  7. 1 tsp pure  vanilla extract
  8. 1/2 cup of coarsely  chopped ,lightly toasted  nuts( walnuts, pistachios, almonds)
  9. 1/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts
Directions:



  1. Sift 1 cup flour, salt & baking soda together in a bowl , keep aside.
  2. Beat the butter & cream cheese  together in the bowl of an electric mixer until pale & fluffy , add sugar & vanilla extract & beat again on medium speed for atleast 2 mins. 
  3.  Reduce speed to low & add the flour  2 tablespoons at a time. Mix until just well combined.Add the nuts & mix again .
  4. Transfer the dough mixture to a work surface , sprinkle with some flour & roll the dough into a ball. ( if the dough is too soft & sticky just sprinkle another tablespoon of flour & roll it in. I did it as the dough initially was very soft & sticky) 
  5. Divide the dough ball into 2 parts & roll each part into a log about 8-10 inches long & around 1.5 -2 inches in diameter.
  6. Spread some finely chopped walnuts on the work surface & roll the logs on the walnuts , coating completely.
  7.  Wrap each log into plastic wrap & refrigerate for  a min. of 30 mins or longer .
  8. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F , now take out one log at a time & cut them into 1/2 thick slices , place them on greased baking sheet 1 inch apart & bake for 8-10 mins.  or until golden around the edges.
  9. Cool on baking sheet for 5 mins & then transfer them to a cooling rack, let cool completely. 
  10. This recipe will make  3 dozen cookies.
Note: I baked the 1st batch on 350 degrees F acc. to the original recipe, but the cookies were done in just  8 mins & the bottom of cookies was very dark brown( almost black)  so i reduced the oven temp. to 300 F for the next batch & the cookies were done in 10 mins & were perfectly crunchy & golden.

Date Nut Spice Cake Loaf



Soooo it's summertime here in NJ & this is  the time we look forward to after the long snowy winter.
Lots of sunshine , outdoor fun, beach , barbeques  so summer time is really fun. Last weekend was the 4th of July ( America's Independence day) , Long holiday weekend, summer, sunshine, meeting friends & family  so it was the perfect time to try some new recipes. Since my husband is not a big fan of sweets or rather I should say that due to some medical constraints he has to keep away from sugar I have to look for excuses to bake something. A lot of recipes & pictures have made their quarters in my head for quiet some time now & what better excuse  could I find to unload my head of some of this stuff so I could make room for  more recipes. So here I  go with 3 recipes for the long holiday weekend. .....

Date Nut Spice Cake Loaf
Walnut Pistachio Cream Cheese Cookies
Chocolate Coconut Macroons

The 1st one  is a "Date Nut Spice Cake Loaf "  a  recipe inspired from 'Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa" . I had seen her baking this bread loaf in one of her episodes few days back & ever since I had wanted to bake it. She had made a bread loaf but I wanted it to be more like a cake so I made some modifications and the cake is sooooo very very delicious.......The recipe has a lot of ingredients & each ingredient contributes to the flavour of this cake  so I would say that have all the ingredients ready before you try it.

Ingredients:


1. 2 cups all purpose flour
2. 1 tsp baking powder
3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
4. 1/2 tsp salt
5. 1 tsp ground cinnamon powder
6. 1tsp ground nutmeg powder
7. 1/4 tsp ground cloves powder
8. 3/4 cup brown sugar ( powder)
9. 2 eggs
10. 1 stick of unsalted  butter ( half cup)
11. 1 tsp vanilla extract
12. 1 tablespoon orange zest
13. 3/4 cup orange juice
14.1 cup deseeded chopped dated
15. 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
16. 1/2 cup raisins

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F, butter the bottom of an 9x5 inch loaf pan & line it with parchment paper .
2.  Sift together 1st 7 ingredients ( flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg , cloves)  Keep aside
3. Soak the dates in a cup of lukewarm water so they become a little soft.
4.  In The bowl of an electric mixer , beat the butter & brown sugar until it becomes light & fluffy ( approx: 2 mins) scrape down the bowl, add the eggs , vanilla & orange zest & beat again until well combined
5. With the mixer on low add the flour & the orange juice alternately to the creamed  mixture & beat only until well combined .  By hand, fold in the dates( strain out the dates from the water before folding them into the mix) walnuts & raisins .
6. Transfer into the greased loaf pan & bake for approx: 50-60 mins or  until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20-30 mins , then turn it out on a wire rack & let it cool completely.

Note: To make the orange zest grate just the yellow part of the  peel of a whole orange & the rest of the orange can be used for the juice , so one big orange is enough for this recipe.