Baking Cookies for Swapping

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A note for all of you with those good health conscious January resolutions.  I’m sorry.  I try to avoid those resolutions.  There’s something about butter and sugar that makes my life need more of them.  And these practically perfect cookies won’t really help you stick to those resolutions at all.  But they are delicious and so rich you can’t really eat more than one or two of either.  🙂

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I hosted a cookie swap in mid-December and in a terribly haphazard way forgot to put these recipes up for the greater blog-reading world (all of you fantastic readers) to make for yourselves… until now.  These are both truly delicious cookies – decadent in all the right ways.  But I’m a fan of chocolate, so I’m probably a little biased.  Also BF goes over the moon every time I make these macaroons, to the point where he has started to learn the recipe so he can make them for himself when I’m not around.  Love it!

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Mountain Top Coconut Macaroons
I have no idea where this recipe came from but it’s awesome.  I dipped it in chocolate and it was better.

4 large egg whites
1 cup white sugar
dash of salt
3 cups shredded coconut (I try to use a mixture of half finely shredded and half coarse, but use what you’ve got on hand)
1/2 cup flour (I used cake flour because I had it but all-purpose is fine)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2-1 semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Finely shredded coconut, for sprinkling

In a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water (or a double boiler if you’re fancy like that), whisk together the egg whites, sugar and salt until they are warm to the touch and frothy/creamy. The sugar will be fully melted and everything should be a uniform white color.  Remove from the heat.  Add the vanilla, flour, and coconut and stir to combine; it will be sticky.  Cover with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for an hour or two until the mixture is firm.

Once your cookie dough is firm, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment.  These cookies are a little sticky and parchment can do double duty here to hold the cookies after they have been dipped in chocolate, so I strongly suggest that you use it.

Using a small cookie scoop (about 1 Tbs) scoop the cookies onto the parchment. They don’t really expand, so they only need 1″-1 1/4″  between the cookies; enough so that if they do spread they aren’t stuck together.  Bake them for 10-15 mins, until the tops are golden brown.

Allow the baked cookies to cool for about 15 mins so that they are cool to the touch and then dip the tops in the melted semi-sweet chocolate.  Immediately sprinkle a few shreds of coconut on top of the chocolate and let them harden (20-30 mins).  ENJOY!

Jackson Pollock Lace Florentines
Adapted from The Fannie Merritt Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook, circa 1959 (best one!)
My favorite part of these cookies is getting all Jackson Pollock with the chocolate.  Spatter painting – it’s for more than just canvas.

2 1/4 cups oatmeal, I use old fashioned oats and give them a pulse in my food processor
2 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (Fannie calls for light but I prefer the deep caramel tones of the dark)
3 Tbs flour (I think you could safely add oat or another kind of flour here; its mostly so the sugar has something to hold it together)
1 tsp salt
1 cup melted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, oatmeal, salt, and flour together until evenly combined.  Add the butter and stir to coat everything.   Stir in the egg and vanilla.  Drop in teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet at least two inches apart, these spread (a lot) so don’t be stingy with space.  Bake until lightly browned, about 7 mins.  Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet then move them to rack once they have set.  Be careful, these cookies will burn you directly from the oven, complements of molten sugar.

Once the cookies are cool to the touch, crowd them onto a wide flat surface and go all Jackson Pollock on them with the melted chocolate; leave swirls (if you like fancy) or spatter paint them!  It’s up to you!  Have fun!  I love this part.

Eat them delicately. They will crumble and be luscious.  They will melt in your mouth the way a good piece of caramel should, but they’ll make you feel a little bit okay about it.  After all, they are oatmeal cookies, right?

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