Just Baked

August 23, 2010

Swiss Coconut Macaroons

Swiss Coconut Macaroons

Back in the beginning of July, Jon and I went to visit some of his family for a few days. I ended up being too busy to find the time to bake anything to bring with us, so in a panic I ran to a nearby deli* known for having outrageously large cookies and cakes, not to mention tasty sandwiches. I didn't know if their baked goods were, well, any good, but in my pastry frenzy I bought a half dozen or so giant cookies and then threw in a couple of mountainous coconut macaroons for good measure.

Were they any good? Well, let's just say I wished I had bought twice as many of everything. I've been wanting to devour macaroons ever since, and the pre-packaged ones from Whole Foods just wouldn't cut it.

Recipe box to the rescue! It just so happens that my gram made excellent macaroons, so I used a BBQ that Jon and I were going to as an excuse to make a batch of them. I'm not exaggerating when I say that they were the first thing to disappear from the food table. It looks like I'm going to have to make another batch of them for just Jon and I!

*"Famous 4th Street Delicatessen," definitely my favorite deli in Philadelphia.

August 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

I've always loved peanut butter cookies. They're definitely in my top 5 list of all time favorite cookie varieties. When I was in Girl Scouts, I always ranked Do-si-dos above Thin Mints and Samoas. When my mom would go to the local bakery and ask what type of cookie I wanted, it was almost always a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. Peanut butter cookies rock, and there's nothing you can do to convince me otherwise!

My gram's recipe box contains several variations of the traditional peanut butter cookie, but I decided to start with the cake mix cookie recipe first, for a couple of reasons.

1.) Some of the other recipes are ones written out by her friends, and have suspiciously clean recipe cards.
2.) I was already making macaroons that day, and felt a tiny bit lazy.
3.) I had never made peanut butter cookies with a cake mix base before, and wanted to see how their texture would be.

Since I was already planning to coat the macaroons I was making in chocolate, I decided to do the same to these cookies - adding chocolate to peanut butter cookies only makes them even more delicious. I used the seed method of tempering the chocolate, since I don't have a chocolate thermometer or a block of marble or granite handy. It worked out just fine, and was pretty easy. I would recommend it if you want to add a little chocolate to these or any other cookies you make.

Seriously, I am the worst at working with chocolate, and look how these turned out!

Peanut Butter Cookies - Chocolate Coating

Now let's make those cookies.

August 20, 2010

Macaroons and Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies and Coconut Macaroons

So! We packed up all of our belongings, double checked every drawer and cabinet and room, put everything in a Uhaul and drove across the country with a puppy and a smelly hedgehog.

And I forgot all of my bowls and bread pans in my old apartment. I have no idea how I managed to do that, since I packed up other things from the same cabinet, but sometimes these things happen.

Anyway, I quickly replaced the bowls, because trying to beat eggs in square tupperware containers is not my idea of a good time. Also, I needed to make some cookies to take to a BBQ that one of Jon's classmates was hosting, and you just can't make cookies without a mixing bowl.

I've been wanting to eat coconut macaroons for weeks, so I knew from the start that I was definitely going to try my hand at a batch of those - especially because I've always been told how amazing my gram's macaroon recipe is. I wanted to make a second batch of more typical cookies as well, just in case some people at the BBQ hated coconut. I eventually went with peanut butter cookies, just in case someone else decided to bring chocolate chip.

Of course, then I had to decide what recipe I would use for the peanut butter cookies, because I immediately found 3 different ones. I went with the cake mix based one, just to be lazy since I was already making macaroons as well.

I'll post both recipes over this weekend, along with a link explaining how to temper chocolate and make it nice and shiny.
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Honey Never Spoils by Temma Hankin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.