Hi! Figured I was gone for good, didn’t you? I don’t blame you — it has been a while.
I wish I had a super exciting story as to why I’ve been MIA for so long, but I don’t. I did sell my condo and move, which was pretty exciting (to me, anyway), but you probably don’t care too much about that. I traveled a bit (for work and for play), watched my brother get married, celebrated my sixth wedding anniversary and drank some pretty good beer, but again, I won’t bore you with the details. However, I will provide a few pictures as evidence that I haven’t been a total hermit for the past few months.
Let’s just say I took an extend break and leave it at that, shall we?
During that extended break, the hubs and I traveled to San Francisco to visit our friends, Jen and Naz, for Thanksgiving. Jen has always been a great baker, but recently she began eliminating refined sugars and grain from her recipes. Sounds impossible, I know — but it’s not. Start with these macaroons, for example. She made these during our visit, and I really loved them. We also enjoyed a pumpkin pie with a nut and date crust — delicious.
I came home eager to begin experimenting with grain and refined sugar-free recipes. Not because I plan on eliminating these things completely, but because I think every little bit helps. Plus, if everything tastes as good as these macaroons, why not?
Spiced Chocolate Macaroons (makes approximately 18 cookies)
What you need:
- 2 cups unsweetened fine-shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon, plus more for garnish
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 – 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (You may need more or less depending on how finely your coconut is shredded. The finer the shred, the more coconut milk you’ll need.)
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
How you do it:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. Place another cookie sheet under the lined one. Coconut oil burns easily, and adding an extra cookie sheet will help prevent the bottoms of the cookies from scorching.
- In a large bowl, combine together the first five dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and using your hands (the easiest way, trust me), mix the dough until all ingredients are combined.
- Using a rounded one tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop up some dough, tightly filling the spoon. Dispense the dough onto the cookie sheet. It should be a nicely formed mound that holds together. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 or 11 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheet itself. Otherwise, they’ll fall apart.
- After they’ve cooled completely, melt the dark chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Carefully dip the bottom of each cookie in the chocolate, and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with all cookies, then put the entire tray in the freezer until the chocolate hardens. Sprinkle additional cinnamon on top as garnish.