Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dark Chocolate Macaroons

4oz unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped
8oz unsweetened, shredded coconut
6oz sweetened, shredded coconut
2/3 cup sugar
6 Tbs cocoa powder
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1) Heat oven to 325F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) Heat approximately half of the dark chocolate in a small saucepan, until just melted. Then, off the heat, stir in the remaining bits of dark chocolate. Stir until smooth. The residual heat should be enough to melt them and leave the mixture lukewarm; if it's not, heat the mixture again until just melted, but not very hot.
3) In a food processor, blend the coconut for one full minute. Add sugar and cocoa powder, blend another full minute. Add egg whites, salt and vanilla. Blend until combined, then add the melted chocolate until smooth.
4) With a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop, scoop batter into 1-inch mounds. You can arrange the cookies fairly close together, as they don't spread but just puff a bit.
5) Bake cookies for 15 minutes, until the macaroons are shiny and just set. Let them rest on the tray for 10 minutes after baking (or you can let them fully cool in place, if you're not in a rush to use the tray again), as they'll be hard to move right out of the oven. They'll firm up as they cool, but still remain softer and less dry inside than traditional macaroons.
6) Optional: They can be dusted with powdered sugar, if desired.

Review: This recipe called for 14oz unsweetened, flaked coconut. However, I had a bag of sweetened and a bag of unsweetened (both from Trader Joe's) that equaled 14oz perfectly. I worried it would make the recipe too sweet, but it was absolutely perfect. I wouldn't make it any other way!! They were densely chocolatey, not too sweet, and oh so moist. I made these for a back to school affair and they got lots of great reviews. This was especially noteworthy, considering I found these fairly easy to make!!
Adapted from:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Gluten Free Multiseed Bread (original recipe)

1/2 cup + 1 Tbs warm water
4 1/2 Tbs vegan butter
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup room temperature hemp milk
1 egg, beaten
3 cups gluten free flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbs whole flax seeds
2 Tbs pumpkin seeds
2 Tbs sunflower seeds
2 Tbs amaranth

1) Place all liquid ingredients into the bowl of a bread machine.
2) Place all dry ingredients on top of the liquid ingredients in the bread machine, except the yeast.
3) Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients, but not so deep that it touches the liquid ingredients. Add the yeast.
4) Shut the lid and set the machine for a 1.5 lb loaf, on white bread medium settings.
5) Once the bread is done, immediately remove the bread and place on a cooling rack. Gluten free bread does not do well when it stays in the machine on the warm cycle. Wait at least 30 minutes before slicing. Refrigerate leftovers.

Review: I had a recipe that I wanted to use for my first time with a bread machine. However, I couldn't find some of the ingredients and subbed in my own ideas. Halfway through the recipe, I realized the author had developed her own "flour blend" that included important ingredients such as egg, sugar, salt and xanthan gum. The blend also made enough to make 2.5 loaves of bread. Eek, that made the math difficult. I really just gave up on the idea and googled how much I should use in a typical bread recipe. At this point, I realized I had my own original recipe as it wasn't even close to the original anymore. I was also scared it wasn't going to turn out well. I was joyous when I got the below results. It's the best bread texture I've ever experienced with homemade gluten free bread and it was SO TASTY. That said, this recipe will vary greatly based on the brand/mixture of gluten free flour used. I'm really going to try to stop buying the frozen loaves at the store and start making my own loaf each week. Hopefully I can stick with it!!