By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”
-- Robert Fulghum
Recently, on The Writing Gourmet blog I listed some popular cookies, including chocolate chip, macaroons, and gingerbread. It was tie. Macaroons and chocolate chip were the winners. As I finish the final touches on The Healing Powers of Chocolate, certainly chocolate is on my brain. But so is fresh and good for you coconut. I feel oh-so marooned in the mountains and am craving Coconut Macaroons...
But like who in this household has time to bake moist and chewy scrumptious cookies with European roots? Not moi. Not this weekend. (Note to self: Train my two Type-A, food-loving French Brittanys to bake for me during work days.) First, I went online and noted many Websites that boast their petit and handsome gourmet macaroons. Pricey little cookies. The dark chocolate dipped ones attracted me right away. They brought memories back to the San Francisco Bay Area. One restaurant on the peninsula offered to die for large macaroons--half covered in dark chocolate. Bliss.
The glitch is, I'm isolated here--working hard on the proofs--in the Sierras just like the two cookies in the photo above. A fire is burning out of control in Yosemite and oddly enough Mother Nature has decided to let the winds blow into the Tahoe Basin. Gosh, we're more than 200 miles away. Ironically, after this galley is back to New York, I was going to take the pooches to Yosemite--never been there. But in my study I have that famous Ansel Adams poster of the famous spot people all over the world visit--except me. It will have to suffice for now.
Back to those fab French coconut macaroons with dark chocolate. Here is my working version of the cookie mounds which I will bake in the fall. You may try it and tell me how it works. And yes, I may try my hand at plain ones first. I'm a bit chocolated out for the moment. I assure you--as our mothers always told us during challenging times in life--it too will pass. Chocolate, all kinds, all forms, will always have a place in my world year-round.
Callie's Mountain Coconut Macaroons
1 1/2 cups fresh or premium shredded coconut
1/2 cup sweet condensed milk
2 large egg whites
1/8 cup flour (high altitude)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine coconut, milk, and flour. Put in egg whites and almond extract. Plop larger than smaller drops of dough onto a lightly greased (extra virgin olive oil, yes it works) cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for about 20 minutes or till golden brown. (Optional. In microwave melt 1/2 cup 60% cacao content dark chocolate chips. Stir in a bit of condensed milk for a smoother, sweeter texture to frost tops of cookies.)
Note: This is my sweet fantasy for tonight. It should work. But I warn you it may not be failproof if you try it at home. You're on your own. If you want to play it safe, munch on a handful of fresh coconut or dark chocolate chips and wait for me to try it out first. Read: I think the ash is getting inside my brain. Cookie time.