Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
Makes 2 dozen cookies.
Note: The bakery owners say these gluten-free treats were created for Jewish Passover, but many customers buy them for Christmas. From “Zingerman’s Bakehouse,” by Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo.
• 1/2 c. plus 1 1/2 tbsp. (115 g) chopped chocolate, (56 percent cacao or higher)
• 3 egg whites (90 g)
• 1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
• 3/4 c. plus 2 tsp. (160 g) sugar
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 2 1/2 c. (340 g) sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the chocolate in a double boiler to melt. You can make your own double boiler by using a metal bowl that fits over the top of a pan. Fill the pan about one-third full of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and place the metal bowl with the chocolate in it on top. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Stir the chocolate until melted. Avoid overheating it. Once the chocolate is melted, set it aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl, by hand or with the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, stir together the egg whites, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add the melted chocolate and stir until well blended. Add the coconut and mix until evenly incorporated.
Using a 3/4-oz. portioner, form mounds of the mixture and place on parchment-lined pans. You can also use a spoon to roll the mixture into balls, using about 1 1/2 tablespoons for each. They should be the size of a walnut in the shell. Leave some space between the macaroons for even baking. They will not spread.
Bake for 25 minutes until the cookies are slightly crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside. If you are unsure whether they’re done, squeeze one. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. These cookies stay very moist in a sealed container or bag for up to a week. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Nutrition information per each:
Calories 130 Fat 7 g Sodium 95 mg
Carbohydrates 17 g Saturated fat 6 g Total sugars 15 g
Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Exchanges per serving: 1 carb, 1 ½ fat.
Crème Fraîche Biscuits
Makes 12 biscuits.
Note: Best eaten fresh from the oven, but dough can be shaped up to 12 hours ahead and refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap. From “The Fearless Baker,” by Erin McDowell.
• 3 c. (361 g) all-purpose flour
• 3/4 c. (149 g) granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp. (12 g) baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. (2 g) fine sea salt
• 8 tbsp. (1 stick, 113 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
• 1 c. (226 g) crème fraîche
• 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water and a small pinch of fine sea salt
• Turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with a rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it’s well-incorporated; the mixture should look like coarse meal. Add the crème fraîche and pulse just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix!
Turn the dough out into a lightly floured surface and press it into a rectangle about 1 1/4 inches thick (no need to be precise.) Use a pastry wheel or knife to cut the dough into 12 equal squares and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them.
You can also cut the biscuits into rounds with a 2 1/2- to 3-inch biscuit cutter. Be sure to flour the cutter and try to use it in one swift downward motion with minimal twisting for the cleanest cuts and best rise. You can reuse the dough scraps once, but keep kneading to a minimum; just press the dough into the proper thickness and go.
Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer for 5 to 7 minutes or the refrigerator for 15 to 17 minutes to chill the dough, which helps ensure a higher rise.
Brush the tops of the chilled biscuits with the egg/water wash and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until the biscuits are tall and the tops are very golden. Serve warm.
Nutrition information per each:
Calories 300 Fat 15 g Sodium 195 mg
Carbohydrates 37 g Saturated fat 9 g Total sugars 14 g
Protein 4 g Cholesterol 55 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 ½ carb, 3 fat.
Makes a 9- to 10-inch ring cake (12 to 16 slices)
Note: This is a bit like a classic pound cake, but baked with milk and oil rather than butter, and scented with sambuca. From “The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook,” by Jim Lahey.
• 3/4 c. (170 g) neutral-flavored oil, such as grapeseed or canola, plus oil for the pan
• 3 c. (435 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 tsp. (7 g) baking powder
• 3/4 tsp. (4 g) fine sea salt
• 1 c. (242 g) whole milk at room temperature
• 1 1/4 c. (250 g) sugar
• 2 tbsp. (24 g) sambuca
• 1 tsp. (4 g) vanilla extract
• 3 eggs at room temperature
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Oil a 9- or 10-inch ring pan, or angel food cake pan.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt into a small mixing bowl and set aside. Whisk the milk, sugar, sambuca, oil and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl until the sugar dissolves. Then vigorously whisk in all 3 eggs.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir together as quickly as possible with a flexible spatula until a wet batter forms; do not overmix. Pour the batter into the ring pan and place on a sheet pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the inner and outer edges of the cake and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Variation: Omit the sambuca and replace with 2 tablespoons limoncello. Add the zest of 1 whole lemon to the dry ingredients.
Nutrition information per each of 16:
Calories 280 Fat 12 g Sodium 160 mg
Carbohydrates 38 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 17 g
Protein 4 g Cholesterol 35 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 ½ carb, 2 fat.