Monday, October 13, 2008

Fail-Proof Cookies

If I had to name my one weakness besides shopping, it would have to be my ginormous sweet tooth. I cannot turn down dessert. A meal is not complete unless you have something sweet to munch on.

I had an event recently where I decided to bring some cookies. These two recipes are permanently in my brain. I don't even need to consult a recipe during this process. This can mean one of two things: I am a brilliant master baker OR these recipes are ridiculously easy. I'd like to believe it's the first but sadly, it's the latter of the two.

These recipes are crowd pleasers for any situation. The first one is dairy free so it's less fatty than the 2nd recipe. The second one is a heart attack waiting to happen. MODERATION IS KEY

Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons (Dairy Free)

3 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1) Pre-heat oven to 325oF
2) In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. (It'll look almost like whipped cream.
3) Add in the salt and beat a little more with the mixer.
4) With a plastic spatula, fold in the sugar, vanilla extract and coconut flakes. (Folding is the idea of using big circular strokes that prevents the whipped substance from losing its fluffiness)
5) Fold in chocolate chips
6) Put parchment paper on two large baking sheets. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture on to the baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between the spoonfuls.
7) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the cookie become golden.
8) Take the cookies out and do not attempt to remove until the cookies have cooled.

Florentine Cookies

2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/3 stick butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 375oF
2) Melt the butter in a saucepan or put in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave. (I normally use the defrost setting and slowly melt the butter stirring every minute to prevent burning)
3) Pour butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix in oats, milk, flour, corn syrup, and vanilla extract.
4) Place parchment paper on two baking sheets. Measure out teaspoon-fuls of the mixture and place on the parchment paper (approximately 6-8 per large baking sheet). Please leave at least 2-3 inches between placements because the mixture will spread out a lot in the oven.
5) Spread mixture evenly in a circle with a butter knife or spatula
6) Bake for 7 minutes or until edges are brown

Tip: The cookie will be extremely soft when it comes out. Do not attempt to move until the cookie has cooled and hardened. The parchment paper makes it an easy clean up.

Inspiration: Melt some semi-sweet or milk chocolate morsels and spread evenly between 2 florentine lace cookies (sandwich style). When cooled, the cookies look very pretty and gift-worthy.

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