Holy buckets, is it ever cold! The sun is shining and the sky is blue, but what a fake out! We went down to Apple Capital to do some shopping and it’s just frigid. This kind of nonsense is one of the reasons Fixer Guy and I bugged out of the Midwest. Tooooo cold. Maybe I’m weak, but why freeze if it’s not required. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Mama is in Washington, so here we are.
Anyway, we returned from Apple Capital only to discover that the fire is out. Last year we replaced the missing wood stove (apparently stripped out of the house when it was foreclosed on) so that we could use it to supplement our electric heating. A little off grid insurance. We’ve replaced the previous sad little single thickness blinds with cellular blinds to keep more heat inside the house. We had previously used them in our old house and the temperature difference was stunning. Plus they weren’t ick green. Long story short(er), this year we also lucked into an abundance of apple firewood trimmed from a local orchard. Fixer Guy figured out how to run our fancy new Buck Stove efficiently and we are now using our furnace fan only to circulate the heat from the stove to warm the house. It’s working great, unless Fixer goes out of town and I forget to feed the stove. Electric bill on our 2500 square feet reduced by something like 50%.
Wow, that was really off track. This was supposed to be a post about coconut macaroon cookies, but it was just so stinking cold in here!
So anyway, I’ve been trying to do a little stock rotation in my pantry. (I’m going to try to make my first loaf of bread this weekend sometime) I’ve got a bag of coconut shreds in the pantry that wants using. I won’t tell you how long its been in there cause it’s kind of alarming, so ‘m just going to use it. And then I’ll plot a use for that Israeli couscous…
This is the recipe that I’m using. http://www.npr.org/2011/03/29/134954716/coconut-macaroons I found it via Pinterest on the NPR website. Can I just tell you, I love NPR! Naturally, once I was committed to the recipe and had already cracked my eggs, I realized that I only had about 2 1/2 cups of coconut. So I improvised. I’m thinking that with an ingredient list as short as this, it should be pretty easy to reduce the size of the recipe. Right? Riiiight.
And since I’m pretty new to blogging, I almost forgot to take pictures of my progress.
Here’s what the batter looked like after cooking it for several minutes. The whites are turning opaque. I used a double boiler to heat the batter, which seemed like a better tool than a bowl in water, which is just an improvised double boiler. After I left the batter to sit for a few minutes, I checked on it and it looked like the batter was seperating.
So I put it back on the heat for a little longer. This is what it looked like when it was finished correctly.
Two weeks ago, I bought myself a little after Christmas gift. My old cookie sheets were just too small, I bought two of these from Sur La Table. Finally, my Silpats fit on my cookie sheets! What a relief. They worked great for sugar cookies with Bean last weekend. I’m expecting big things tonight.
I think I may have scooped the cookies a little larger than two tablespoons, but I don’t think a great deal larger and only ended up with 11 cookies, rather than 22. I wasn’t expecting the full batch, but would have thought closer to 17-18 cookies. It’s probably just as well, since I don’t need to be personally consuming that much coconut.
I also have a convection oven, so I didn’t bother rotating the pans thru the baking cycle, but I did bake them for the full 15 minutes at 325.
Here they are. They are really tasty and probably won’t last thru the weekend. They turned a nice toasty brown, had a lovely meringue crispy/chewy thing going on and the inside was sooo nice. They were also a little bit shiny from the cooked egg white, so that’s how I judged that they were done.
I served them to Fixer and Bean with sliced pineapple, which I thought made a nice addition. The acid kept the sweetness from the macaroons from becoming too overpowering. Bean didn’t like them, which is great. More for us!
These were super easy to make, didn’t take long and will be added to my repertoire of fast, go-to desserts. They will not however surpass the Cranberry-Pear Chutney over vanilla ice cream. This summer I think I’ll try that with homemade ice cream. It’s too cold to mess with right now.
Update: The macaroons not only didn’t make it thru the weekend. They didn’t make it thru the day.
We also finally bottled up the hard cider. Here’s what it looked like going into the bottles. We bottled into repurposed ceramic grolsch bottles, so I can’t show you what it looks like actually in the bottles. I had a little toot coming out of the fermenting carboy. Pretty dry stuff. I’m not much of a drinker, so I’m afraid I can’t give this a ringing endorsement. Fixer Guy also admitted that he was “winging it” with the recipe. Not super amused by that, given the agony that we went thru to make it, but he had a good time, so I guess it’s OK.