Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2014

With Thanksgiving behind us, and the tryptophan coma starting to dissipate, it’s time to think of the crunchy, sweet, delectable items we all associate with the next holiday.

IMG_2238This year exigent circumstances will require a new, more focused approach to my holiday baking, but I’m always on the lookout for some new recipes that add a new twist along with the old favorites.  This year, making something with coconut and chocolate sounds good.  I found this recipe on an internet cooking website and am going to give it a shot:

Chocolate-Drizzled Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:  1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, 4 large egg whites, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, 7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (about 2 2/3 cups), 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Fill a large saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low so the water is just simmering. Whisk sugar, egg whites, honey, vanilla, and salt in a large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over, but not touching, the simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until sugar has dissolved and the mixture looks thicker, paler, and is hot to the touch, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove bowl from the heat and stir in the coconut and flour. Cover and refrigerate the dough overnight.

Heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir the dough and drop level tablespoons onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart then bake on the middle rack. Bake until cookies are light golden brown around the edges and set in the centers, rotating the sheet halfway through, about 12 to 15 minutes total. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the cookies sit for 1 minute. Transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. Using a cooled baking sheet and the same sheet of parchment, repeat with the remaining dough. Set aside the parchment to use for drizzling the chocolate over the cooled cookies.

Place the cooled cookies on the reserved parchment sheet (they can be touching). Melt the chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave.) Dip a fork into the chocolate and drizzle it over the macaroons in a zigzag pattern. Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the chocolate has set, about 30 minutes. Store the macaroons in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2013

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2012

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2010

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2009

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When Black Friday Comes

Black Friday can bite me.

I’m tired of hearing about it, tired of the spectacle of grown people embarrassing themselves and acting like idiots to try to get the latest hot toy or specially priced flat-screen TV that will only be available to the first 50 customers, and tired of the talking heads talking, talking, talking about how important Black Friday is to the health of our economy and its retail sector.

Go out and buy, buy, buy!  Curse the lack of parking!  Groan when you see the length of the check-out line!  Feel the surge of anger when some jerk cuts in front of you or blocks the aisle or doesn’t watch their bratty kid who is knocking items off the shelves!

So today you won’t find me at the shopping malls.  When I think of Black Friday, I think of the classic tune from Steely Dan’s Katy Lied, performed live below in 2006.  My favorite lyrics from the song have a certain resonance on Black Friday, the dreaded shopping day:

When Black Friday comes
I’m gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it ’til
I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me
The Archbishop’s gonna sanctify me
And if he don’t come across
I’m gonna let it roll