Sweet stuff

October 22, 2016

Good sweet stuff, right here.

Good sweet stuff, right here.

When fall got here a couple of days ago, it came in on a cold front with a misty, drizzly rain and overcast.

That’s the kind of day I want to be in the kitchen. And while usually that puts me in the mood to bake bread or braise something, this time, I decided to go sweet rather than savory.

I’d picked up a bag of sweetened coconut the other day at the store, because I’d been struck with a craving for coconut macaroons. I don’t make them often, mostly because I’m the only one here who eats them (Child B is my macaroon child, and will fight me for the last one on the plate). Macaroons are really easy to make, but I thought it might be nice to have something chocolate as well, so I made no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies to boot.

My macaroons are gluten free, although some are not. I use almond flour to make everything hold together, where some cooks use regular flour. As I use almond flavoring anyway, it only makes sense to use almond flour, particularly as it’s my gluten-free child who’s the macaroon fan.

So. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bag sweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp almond flavoring
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup almond flour

In a decent-sized mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar and flavoring until well blended. Dump in the coconut. Stir until it’s well coated with the sugar/egg mixture. Now start adding almond flour; start with a quarter-cup, and sprinkle in a little more at the time until it gets to the point where it looks like it’ll hold together nicely.

Dip out tablespoonsful and roll them between your palms into a ball; put on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly. They won’t spread out much, if any, so you can crowd them in. Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Try not to burn your mouth on that first one.

For the oatmeal no-bakes — surely you have made this, as it must be the most ubiquitous cookie in the world. But if not, here you go:

  • In a 2 1/2 quart saucepan, melt a stick of butter with 2 cups of sugar, 3 tbsp of cocoa, and a half-cup of milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and boil for about 3 minutes.
  • Move to the counter where you’ve already put out a couple of sheets of waxed paper to drop the cookies on. To the chocolate, add
    • 2 1/2 cups of quick oats
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    • 1 tsp vanilla

Stir all that together until it’s well blended and the peanut butter is melted, and commence to drop spoonsful onto waxed paper. Give them about 15 minutes to cool, and you can move them to a plate.

If you have a notion you can add chopped peanuts to this, or other nuts, or shredded coconut. Depending on what add-ins you use, you may need to decrease the oats a bit.

I guess I have made those cookies about a million times since Mama taught me when I was a kid. My children go nuts for them. I haven’t been making the macaroons as long, but I’ve about got them down to a science as well. I made these concurrently, and wound up with a nice plate of sweets in contrasting shades of brown and gold.

I would share with you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em if you were to drop by. At least, if you were to drop by before we eat them all.



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