Hello All: Last week my mood matched the dark and gray weather here in New England. With my mother’s illness weighing on my shoulders, I felt enveloped in responsibility and care. Giving in to darkness does not come easily. Like Pollyannain one of my favorite childhood stories, I constantly challenge myself to find the best in every situation. I felt I was losing the game.
I spoke with my dear husband Al and close friend Jane about how I was feeling. Both of them encouraged me to do something for myself that would take me out of the doldrums. I boarded a bus to Boston to attend a food styling workshop I had looked forward to for some time. Along the way, I ate a grilled cheese sandwich with Vermont cheddar and local apples on homemade raisin bread. My son had made up the recipe. Suddenly, I felt him close, rather than far-away in Montreal. As we moved along the highway, I saw light filter through clouds outside the bus window, forming a spectrum of violets and greens.
Once I arrived in Cambridge, I stumbled upon a bookstore where I leafed through books in a leisurely way. New authors and worlds opened up to me as I read the first few chapters of The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. Then I searched out my destination: Tatte Bakery where I would meet Aran whose amazing photos have inspired me to grow as a photographer. We had only had internet connections before and I was delighted to feel her warmth and creativity in person. With a hot cup of tea in hand and the aromas of fanciful baked goods all around me, I suddenly was reminded of the sweet part of life.
These Chocolate Chip Macaroonswere introduced to me by a friend several years ago. Sweetened with dark chocolate and crunchy toasted coconut flakes, they form a confection reminiscent of childhood candies. Enjoy them with a cup of tea or glass of sherry. They help set the mood to find the best in yourself.
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
Notes: Aran Goyoaga is the author Canelle et Vanille, and Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten Free Cooking. Tatte Bakery and Cafè has locations in Cambridge and Brookline, MA.
CHOCOLATE CHIP MACAROON
Yield: 36 Cookies
For the cookies:
- 1/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes, loosely packed
- 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate morsels
For the glaze:
- 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate morsels
1. Adjust 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
3. Place the butter in a small pan over low heat to melt, then set aside to cool but do not let it harden.
4. Meanwhile, in the small bowl of an electric mixer add the sugar to the eggs and beat at high-speed for 6 minutes until the mixture is almost white.
5. On the lowest speed add the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating only until incorporated.
6. Remove from the mixer, fold in the melted butter and then the vanilla. Then fold in the coconut and finally the chocolate morsels.
7. Use a well-rounded teaspoonful of the mixture for each cookie and place them 1 1/2 inches apart on the parchment paper.
8. Bake two sheets at a time, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to bake once during the baking to insure even browning. Bake for about 18 minutes or until some parts of the tops of the cookies are lightly golden-colored.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
10. Meanwhile, cover one or two more cookie sheets with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate morsels reserved for the glaze, either over the stove or in a microwave oven.
11. With a small metal spatula, spread some of the chocolate on the bottoms of the cookies, spreading it smoothly all the way to the edges in a rather think layer. After you spread the chocolate on a cookie, place it chocolate side down on the lined cookie sheet.
12. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm and the cookies can be lifted easily. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve cold.
Note: This recipe was given to me by a friend and I do not have the original source. Thank you to whoever you are
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