Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Macaroons, Version 2 and Hot Times in the Desert




I came back with a tan-how's that for a hot opener? It feels so good. And now it is back to the routine, as my father says. I think he lives for the sake of routine. I, on the other hand, have a hard time with that path. Not that I don't have a routine, but mine is always ready to be broken! Phoenix was beautiful and the weather was perfecto. Passover was glorious. My kids were there and what can be more glorious than that?



We had a great Seder with my folks and my brother and then we stayed up until midnight and watched the Lunar eclipse. The blood moon, as some call it. The moon looked like a red clay marble that glowed in the dark sky. It will happen again on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and also next year on Passover and Sukkot again. It happened previously in 1492, 1948, and 1967. Weird, huh? And no, I don't have photos. This is just one for the memory books. Though I will have to see if Alex got some. He set up his Go Pro on time lapse. The amazing thing was that even my parents stayed awake. Now that was one for the record books!




Our week continued with lots of family events and lots of eating, some spa-ing, some shopping and our second time to view the Chihuly glass at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens. We love Chihuly and though I didn't think this exhibit was as good as the first, we still had a super time. This year there will be an exhibit in Denver and I can't wait!









We came back to gorgeous weather in Denver and the mess of having my kitchen painted. I think it has been at least 18 years since the trim work has been done, so it was definitely time, don't you think? I think it will be finished today, but then it will take a good day before I have it put back together. Painting is sure one way to get things cleaned up around here. And to think I really need to have the rest of the house done, too!


And I almost forgot. My brother told us good bye from this car, that is his baby. His other baby is the driver.





So guess what? Not much cooking going on around here, but I did make these fabulous macaroons to take to Phoenix. I found them in the little food circular, "Relish" that comes in the newspaper. Dan Cohen wrote the Macaroon Bible and this recipe came from that. The funny thing is that is is basically the same as my old macaroon recipe but the ingredients are put together differently. You will have to do a side by side comparison to see which you prefer.



Manservant put it this way: "The original version tastes like it is chewy and full of coconut. It is dense and good. This version tastes like the coconut is more baked in and therefore it is lighter. They are both good and it is hard to choose. It just depends whether you want the more baked in, lighter tasting macaroon or the more dense, chewy macaroon. But they are both chewy in their own way." So, there you have it! No winner-unless you consider yourself the winner, that can't go wrong!




I did make a few new versions this year. They were all a hit! My lemon version was made with the zest of one lemon stirred into about 1/4 of the macaroon mixture and drizzled with a lemon juice confectioner's sugar glaze. The mocha version was basically a heaping tablespoon of espresso stirred into 1/4 of the plain macaroon dough with added chocolate chips. I liked those! And then I took plain ones and dipped them into chocolate.  Last but not least, I added 2 T of cocoa to about 1/4 of the batter and mixed it well. I then made a little well in each cookie and dropped in a scoop of Nutella. Between all these macaroons and some matzoh toffee we were set. Truth be told they barely made it through the week!




Vanilla Macaroons
From: Dan Cohen, The Macaroon Bible
Servings: 24

Ingredients:

1 c sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla
1 14 oz bag sweetened, shredded coconut
2 large egg whites
1/4 t coarse salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Combine condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Add coconut and stir until thoroughly mixed. Beat egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Gently fold egg whites into coconut mixture. I use wet hands to form mixture into small goldballs golfballs. (Don't I wish?) Do not squeeze to hard and compact the mixture. Place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool.

And as for those egg yolks... I put them in a little glass and add a pat of butter. Mix them well. Add some salt. Put them in a microwave for thirty second intervals, stirring in between. Take them out when cooked. Cool. And feed to your waiting and patient dog!



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61 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good time was had by all; I'm still hunkered down in bed; starting to feel better; about time huh?

    Love me some macaroons; save some OK? Pretty please? :)

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    1. Really hope you saw a doctor! Had a great time!

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  2. I have a friend that makes chewy coconut macaroons and I keep asking her to make some with almonds on top and cover them in chocolate. She has never gotten around to it. Now that I have your recipe, I'm going for it! By the way you have a beautiful family. There is nothing better than that. Period.

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    1. Feel free to use either recipe, Karen. They are both good. I have also mixed in almond extract and they are really good. Thanks you so much!

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  3. Sounds like you had a great trip! Great pictures, and fun recipe. We have a macaroon recipe that's similar to this, too -- I'll have to look at it to see what the differences are. Fun post -- thanks.

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    1. Most of them are so similar, but subtle differences do change them. The good thing is that there are no bad things! Thanks, John!

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  4. How wonderful that you baked and took these with you-- did they travel well? I wondered if they would last if I packaged some up and sent them in 2 day mail to my grandmothers? Glad to hear you had a good trip and visit with family.

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    1. Holly, they travel great. I store them in a giant zip lock bag on a paper plate. They last at least a week. The texture changes a bit but they are still delicious. They are not a fragile cookie. Thanks!

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  5. I don't see the sweetened coconut shreds over here...wonder if I could simply replace them with the unsweetened dried one. They all look so good!
    Chihuly glass shots in Botanical Gardens are really cool.

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    1. I have made these with the unsweetened coconut but they do tend to dry out quicker. You may also have to adjust the sweetness or even add a bit more condensed milk, but they do work and they taste great! Thanks, Angie. Chihuly is pretty cool!

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  6. What a nice visit, Abbe! How wonderful that you all could get together for the holiday. The tablescape was elegant with a beautiful centerpiece.You macaroons, too, looked wonderful. You may have spoiled everyone, though, Abbe. They may expect the same, if not more, macaroons next year.
    Like you'd mind. :)

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    1. It was a nice visit, John. We hadn't all been together for a long time! If we are invited back, they may get more macaroons! Or babka, or poppyseed cake-depends on the time of year! You know me, John!

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  7. I absolutely love macaroons and yours look great! My parents and I are thinking about moving to Phoenix. It sounds like a great place and much warmer than Michigan.

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    1. Much warmer than Michigan. Summers are like winters in Michigan. everyone stays inside. But it is a dry heat! Thanks, Laura!

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  8. I can't wait for the Chihuly exhibit here in Denver. Loved it in Seattle.

    Sounds like a beautiful trip with your beautiful family. when do we see the newly painted kitchen ? :D

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    1. Haven't gotten to the walls yet, Ansh. This was just all the trim and cabinets. But...maybe next time we can meet on the deck! I can't wait for both!

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  9. I love this post Abbe - such great time with family and you did get a tan! So jealous about getting your kitchen painted - I have so many things that need painted! Beautiful children :) Beautiful photos, lovely recipe!

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    1. It is quickly fading! Yes, we are slowly painting everything. It has been wy too long. Thanks, Tricia!

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  10. Oh I love macaroons, and the vanilla sounds especially nice. Sometimes those circular recipes are the best! I love the garden installations, the glass is spectacular.

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    1. You are so right, Sue! The glass is always spectacular...Just like our recipes!

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  11. I love Chihuly glass sculptures. I saw them when I went to Dallas. What a great time you had with your folks! The macaroons look to die for...

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    1. They are spectacular and different wherever you see them. We are hooked! Thanks, Denise!

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  12. Ooh, I love your twist on macaroons. I've never met one I didn't love :) My favorite recipe to date is one from Alice Medrich...with no sweet and condensed milk, justt egg whites. Sounds like you had a terrific Passover and lovely trip to Phoenix. We may head to Denver in July...if it looks like we'll have any down time, I'll let you know. I'd love to meet up :)

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    1. Let's plan a date, Liz! I'm always ready for some fun! I've tried Alice's, but we like the chewier type.

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  13. Abbe, we loved reading this post...macarons look perfectly tempting...so happy you had a wonderful time , that looks like a loving,strong and happy family..and those clicks look amazing...succulent gardens always amuse us and those colors and cactus together look magical...thanks for sharing :-)

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    1. Loving, strong and happy. Thanks, Kumars! The glass is magical when mixed with the starkness of the desert.

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  14. I am a big fan of macaroons, coconut and chocolate time :D
    Delicious!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  15. Abbe, these look fantastic. I always thought the recipe would be more complicated than that. Well, now I know! ^.^

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  16. a macaroon bible?
    What a great idea!

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  17. Love all your pictures of family and your surroundings. While I don't mind a routine, I too like to shake things up a bit! I had no idea macaroons had that few ingredients! It's one of Tony's favorites - I need to step up and make him some!

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    1. Let him get well first-then hit him up with some! That and a cigar!

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  18. What a delicious recipe for macaroons with condensed milk...look delicious Abbe.
    The pictures of the desert garden and your family are awesome.
    Hope you are having a great week :D

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  19. Abbe , looks like all of the you had a great time ! Love the family photos and you look wonderful , by the way ;D I haven't had macaroons in years :P Your vanilla macaroons look delish and the mocha version sounds divine !

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  20. Macaroons are one of my very faves, and these look so delicious! So simple, too! Yay! Loved the pics of your trip - what a great time you guys had! So fun to see your lovely family pics, and also the shots of the Chihuly garden. We were lucky to be in Pittsburgh a few years back and caught the Chihuly installation at Pittsburgh's botanical gardens - truly fabulous!

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    1. Zoe is running in Pittsburgh this weekend. Supposed to be a great place. But so are these macs!

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  21. So glad you had such a lovely time with your beautiful family! And we're glad you're back. I don't think your house or your kitchen needed painting but I'm sure it looks new and fab to you, change is always good.
    Lovely macaroons, I love them. Can you give us some of these next time ;)?
    Hope to have you come and visit me soon. I'll will let you know! xx

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    1. You got it, Nazneen. I love change-until I don't!

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  22. I still need to try to make macaroons! This looks so good!

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  23. We love macaroons! and yours looks amazing! love the chocolate ones too!
    Glad you had a great holiday with the family!

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  24. Hope you had a wonderful Passover, Abbe!
    It''s always great to have the whole family together for such a special celebration.
    The macarons look amazing and my husband is going to be more than happy because I'm going to prepare them soon and he has a sweet tooth :)

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  25. Love all of the photos. Thanks for taking the time to upload and share. And those colors from Phoenix! Beautiful. Is it ok if I call you a name for having a tan??? :)

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    1. No names, please! It is going fast. But the weekend is supposed to be nice so maybe yard work will help keep it!

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  26. Beautiful pictures...all of them! And what a delicious treat to take along. I love the other flavour versions as well.

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    1. Thanks, sugar. I love all the different varieties!

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  27. These photos from the Botanical Gardens are soooooo beautiful.
    Passover is definitely a time to spend with the family :)

    You're macarons look great!
    I should really try to make them soon (although my husband doesn't like coconut)

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    1. I hated coconut as a kid. Maybe he changed? I saw the video of when Chihuly was in Jerusalem. It was spectaular!

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  28. I have been to the botanical garden and truly it is wonderful. Very sweet family photos. Thank you for sharing. I can say quite fervently that I love macaroons!
    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Carol! I am so glad you love macaroons. Many don't!

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  29. I'm glad to hear you had a nice visit with your family! Your macaroons look yummy, too - those are something you can't go wrong with!

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  30. They are so easy to make, Sharon!

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  31. You've never had macaroons? OK. I confess. Never liked them as a kid, because I used to hare coconut. Oh, how times have changed!

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