Tag Archives: cookie

Coconut Lime Macaroons

So I mentioned to save those six egg whites from the Sour Cherry Grand Marnier Creme Brulee, but it’s taken a while to post a recipe.  But that seems to be life.  I’ve been in a post New Year’s state making lists of what I value, writing up a personal mission statement and embracing how life is so good.  In July I was dredging through the seas of anxiety & fear, while September came and it was more like wading.  Fear has plagued me in the past(I’m probably not the only one), and it crept up its little head again.

What I have been embracing is the present.

Looking at the little things that bring joy into my life.  Those little things when you add them all up they are exponentially greater than any fear trying to budge its way into your heart & mind.

Little things…infectious laughter of my two year old, the smile on my four year old when I pick her up from the bus, the warmth of Ben’s hand on my back, special snapshot moments with friends that remind me of heaven and sharing these little macaroons with friends while watching Anne of Green Gables.  What little things remind you of joy in this present?

A Year Ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Loaf Cake & Palace Temple & Hospitality

Coconut Lime Macaroons (printable recipe)

These little gems are perfect after you finished making the sour cherry creme brûlée, due to the leftover egg whites.  I love limes and I love coconut, so they are pretty much a great combination.  Plus, they’re a non-fuss sort of treat.

Ingredients:

6 egg whites, room temperature

1/2 cup agave nectar, or raw honey

2 cups almond flour

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

zest of one lime

1/4 tsp lime oil

Frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

zest of 1/2 lime

juice of 1/2 lime

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on high speed until the egg whites are medium peaks.  Add the agave nectar or honey and salt and whip again until stiff peaks.

In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, unsweetened coconut, lime zest & lime oil.  Combine.  Pour 1/3 of dry ingredients into whipped egg whites and fold it into the egg whites.  Continue with remaining 2/3 (in 1/3 portions) until the wet & dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Using a cookie scoop (about 2 Tb), scoop dough and place on the lined baking sheet 1 inch apart.  Bake for 15 minutes (look for slightly browned parts on the top, but overall white).  Cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Make the frosting: Sift the powdered sugar.  Add in the butter and blend it all together using a fork.  Add the lime juice & zest.  Mix until it’s creamed together.  Taste.  If you need a bit more lime taste, then add a bit more zest.

Frost the tops of cooled macaroons.  Serve and eat!

If you want to opt out with the frosting, then up the agave or honey to 3/4 cup in the macaroons.

Zucchini Walnut Anise Sandwich Cookies

Before I get to these lovelies, (which I’m sure you’re dying to try) I have been reminiscing of high school gym class.  Worst yet, first day of gym class as a freshman.  Oh, and it’s co-ed.  For me, nothing could have been worse.  I wasn’t uncoordinated or even the last to be picked for teams in gym, so it wasn’t about that portion.  It was about the vulnerability.  That ever-present reality of who you were standing there in rows, waiting for warm up in that all too often awkward gym uniform, while  sizing up who could be below you.  It wasn’t like your academic classes, where you could hide your test scores or become the shadow on the wall (at least you were in your full clothing to say the least).

But gym class.  For the dreadfully modest, awkward body shapes, and lack of strengthened muscles–it was like watching the “all humiliation channel.”  And for a person who has never been the “jock,” I think that’s what working out/exercising can be like at times.  So when I was considering joining Jogo Crossfit, it was as if all these fears of 9th grade gym class flooded my system.  Was I going to be able to keep up?  How out of shape am I?  What if I can’t do the exercises required?  What if people are sizing me up?  Oi Vye!  The night before my first class I got those butterflies in my stomach (along with the multiple questions).

Yet, what I found was something so different.  When we were set up doing running warm ups, I was without a partner, which meant I would run by myself.  I was fine with this, but so surprised by one of my fellow Jogo teammates, that he came back to run every single warm up with me.  He did double time.  Everyone was encouraging me saying, “Good job!”  But not in that, “we’re saying this because we have to” way, but in the, “I’ve been there, we’ve all been there..and you’re honestly doing a good job,” way.  I never thought you could be hospitable in a gym setting, but I feel like I found it here.  It’s community being embraced.  It’s working as hard as you can without sizing someone up and encouraging others toward the goal.  It’s vulnerability and allowing others to see my weaknesses, while embracing where I’m at without comparison.

It’s hard, really hard, but good.  In fact, I think it was due to me getting some hardcore exercise that gave me energy to make these here cookies.  I’ve had them on the dock in my memory bank for a while and I think I hit a home run with them.  They make use of the ever abundant summer zucchini (so why just use it for zucchini bread?).  The honey-anise cream cheese brings it together with great harmony.  I love the soft taste of zucchini with the licorice-fennel taste of the anise and crunch of the walnuts.  And if you just exercised a bit, then these whole wheat & unrefined sugar treats won’t make you feel like it was done in vain.  So what are you waiting for?

Zucchini Walnut Anise Sandwich Cookies (printable recipe)

These cookies have an every so subtle hint of anise, which pairs lovely with the summer zucchini & honeyed cream cheese.  And by using whole wheat flour you feel a bit healthier eating more than one cookie.  Use a box grater for the zucchini and be sure to squeeze out the water, as zucchini is full of it.

Zucchini Walnut Anise Cookies:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened

1/2 cup Sucanat sugar

1/4 cup rapadura sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 tsp anise extract flavoring

1 1/4 cup grated zucchini, squeeze out the additional water

2/3  cup toasted & chopped walnuts

Honey-Anise Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounce cream cheese

1/4 cup honey, mild flavor

2 tsp anise extract

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350.  Combine all the dry ingredients into a small bowl.  Beat the butter for 30 seconds on medium speed in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.  Add in both sugars & beat on medium speed for another 30 seconds.  Scrape the sides down.  With the mixer on low-speed, add the egg & anise extract.  Mix until combined.  While the mixer is still on low-speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.  Squeeze out the water in the zucchini before you add it to the dough. Add the zucchini and mix until it is evenly distributed.  Then, add the walnuts and briefly mix just until they are combined.

On parchment lined sheets, drop one tablespoon of dough at a time, 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Put on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to foil or parchment sheet.

Make frosting: Put cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 30 seconds on medium speed.  Add honey & anise flavoring, beat for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Putting together: Put about 2 Tb of frosting on one upside down cookie and take another cookie (without frosting) and sandwich together.  Makes about 15-20 cookie sandwiches.


Lemons for Lindsey

Coconut Cream Cheese Filling

My good friend Lindsey’s birthday was last weekend and I know my practical gifts of love made in my kitchen are always a sure hit with people, especially Lindsey who never hesitates to sing my culinary praises.  In fact, if I’m feeling a bit blue, I can ask Lindsey what she liked about my latest creation & by the end—I’m encouraged.  Ya know, sometimes it doesn’t take much.

When I asked Lindsey what her favorite type of flavors or desserts were she said, “Lemon, not pie or cake–not so much!”  Well, I understood what she was talking about.  Because I really like lemon desserts, but lemon meringue & a lemon cake (or should I say lemon filling) doesn’t sit well with me.  I do like lemon curd though & lemon tart; however, the meringue atop a lemon pie is so sad most of the time.  And the lemon filling in cakes is typically poorly done.  I knew what she needed was lemon sandwich cookies, but all the recipes you would come across for lemon sandwiches are the rolled out kind and this tired mama wasn’t feelin’ it after putting my girls down for bed & cleaning up the chaotic remains.

So after perusing my cookbooks I came across this Vanilla Sugar Cookie and knew it could easily be adapted to suit that lemon hankering I was seeking.  I thought I would make two different kinds of frosting to spice things up a bit.  And since I wasn’t about to go and buy more cream cheese than what my fridge was holding, I did what any inventive baker would do–split it in half & say a blessing to see if the frosting would multiply like the loaves & fish.  Some had lemon & some had coconut filling.  And I would say both hit a great spot with just the right amount of lemon in the cookie.  Ben even said, “These are pretty good for a lemon cookie, because I don’t like lemon cookies.”  And he ate more than one.

Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

Lemon Sandwich Cookies with Coconut & Lemon Filling (printable recipe)

I was inspired by the Vanilla Sugar Cookie in The Good Cookie Cookbook.  I wanted to make a lemon cookie and used two different fillings.  One is a lemon filling, while the other is coconut filling.  You choose what you like best..or do both!

Cookie Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar
zest from one lemon (about 2 Tb)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ tsp lemon essence
squeezed juice of one half lemon
Coarse sugar (turbinado) for sprinkling

Coconut Filling Ingredients & Lemon Filling Ingredients

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
1 cup sweetened coconut
½ to 1 tsp lemon essence

Directions for cookies: Preheat the oven to 375.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silipat.

Put the granulated sugar into a bowl and add the lemon zest to the sugar.  Using your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar, in order to get as much of the oil out of the zest as possible.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, & salt and set aside.

In a mixer bowl, add the butter and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute.  Add powdered sugar & the lemon zest sugar to the butter, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, till the mixture is light & fluffy.  Turn off the mixer and add one egg at a time, briefly beating at low speed just until the egg is combined.  Add lemon essence & lemon juice and mix for about 10 seconds.  With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients until it’s all combined.

Put about ½ cup of coarse sugar in a bowl, then take the other half of the lemon and do one light squeeze onto the sugar.  It will get the sugar a bit wet, but not drenching it.  Have your hands lightly wet, put one tablespoon of dough in your hand and roll it to make a ball.  Continue doing this placing the rolled dough 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheet.  Either roll the balls around in the lemon turbinado sugar or sprinkle the lemon turbinado sugar on top.  Lightly press down on each ball, so you’re making them into a circle (not too much & not too little either).  Bake for 9-11 minutes.

Put on a cooling rack and let them cool for about 5 minutes.  Remove and put on aluminum paper.  Meanwhile, make the frosting.

Directions for Frosting: Beat the butter in your stand mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.  It should be light & fluffy.  Now add the cream cheese in halved pieces and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, still on medium speed.  Turn mixer down to low and slowly add powdered sugar.  Once the powdered sugar has been fully incorporated, then turn up the speed to medium and beat for an additional 30 seconds.

Get out a medium bowl and scoop out 1/3 of the frosting.  Add ½ tsp of lemon essence to the bowl and mix thoroughly.  Set aside and there is your lemon frosting.

Add the 1 cup sweetened coconut & 1 tsp coconut extract, mix thoroughly and there is your coconut frosting.

Assembling:
You might have assorted sizes, so match up the ones most similar and begin frosting by putting about 1 tablespoon of frosting on each cookie smoothing it out and put another cookie on top.  Then eat one or two to sample, so you can attest to their goodness to your family & friends.