Tag Archives: coconut

Ready for cookies

I treat each cookie that I bake like a precious gem, which is especially important if you’re one of those people who are able to eat just one at a sitting… to me, each cookie is just as important as the one baking next to it.
~ David Lebovitz, Ready for Dessert

Some days call for moderation; others, for multiple batches of cookies. If you should choose to start your day by casually leafing through David Lebovitz’s “Ready for Dessert” like I did recently, then you may have to prepare for a not-so-moderate day.

How to resist falling prey to David’s recipes and photos? … c’est difficile à faire.

No one’ll look down on you for losing the battle with yourself to resist making something from David’s book or website, though. I promise.

So I have yet to attempt many of David’s recipes, but the few I have tried so far have made him one of my go-to people for inspiration and in times when I really want something to turn out well. The way I see it, most professional chefs can probably write recipes in their sleep – but not everyone can successfully write recipes for the home cook/baker who fumbles, can’t multitask that well and doesn’t have a gamut of equipment… and have him/her turn out good things at least 90% of the time.

Here are some photos of my attempt at making David’s “nonfat gingersnaps”.

I usually avoid baking recipes with “nonfat” or “healthy” in the title… what is nonfat baking? My approach is to eat salad sans dressing to be really nonfat, or bake real cake. I see no reason to avoid butter completely unless specific health reasons demand it (though I also loathe butter in excess).

When I saw the words “molasses” (never tried using it), “applesauce”, “candied ginger” and “black pepper” in the list of ingredients for these “nonfat gingersnaps” though, I knew I had to overlook its title…

So, attempt these I did. Dough clung to whisk like a pining lover; fragrance whirled around the kitchen in a style not dissimilar to how red wine tends to colour my face. And the muscovado, molasses, cinnamon and double dose of ginger caused magic to bubble in the bowl…

They emerged less crisp and “snappy” than I expected…

…but very nicely spiced, and on re-reading David’s recipe which says “such a soft, chewy texture”, maybe they aren’t TOO far off from what he first whipped up in his kitchen.

I might just have to keep working on it, though. Practice makes perfect, y’know? :-)

Next on the agenda was David’s “chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons” (not to be confused with macarons).

Eight egg whites are used in this recipe, but good news – there is no painful whisking (usually an egg white requisite) involved!

My nose kept hovering too close to the pot in the making of this one.

[Coconut, I like how you make things smell so nice!]

[I also like the fact that you like chocolate as much as, if not more than, I do…]

Though really… if you’re feeling lazy/not-in-the-mood-for-chocolate (it happens, right?) these macaroons are also pretty good on their own…

The recipe said the batter would generate 60 cookies, but somehow I ended up with substantially less than that amount, even taking into account the fact that I made them quite large. There were certainly more than enough to give away, so not complaining.

Enjoy your weekend, dear readers! And I hope you bake some cookies soon.

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Yellow

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.
~ Pablo Picasso

This evening, I turned up the music and turned down the lights, to make a cake. It was a two-layer coconut milk and lemon curd cake with buttercream frosting and toasted dessicated coconut, if you’re curious about what cake it was. I based it loosely on this recipe.

Everything was so yellow today. The sunlight streaming in through the window. The mixing bowl. The butter. The lights in the oven. The lemon curd.

I put on Angus & Julia Stone’s “Down the Way” album (a birthday gift my friends Em and Claire sent to me in the post – perfect songs to bake to), and baked as the sun skipped away and the yellow in the kitchen sighed and waned.

I didn’t switch on the lights till it got so dark I couldn’t read the words on the sugar packet.

I discovered how to make an impromptu popcorn machine (with too-cold butter, sugar and a crazy electric whisk) and fell into the familiar fragrance of coconut milk, which reminded me of another home.

The CD finished just as the buttercream frosting came together.

I retrieved the jar of lemon curd from the fridge (Mom’s homemade curd), then smiled as I saw still more yellow – Fran’s rubber gloves by the sink! The colour of rubber duckies.

Struggled a bit with the icing – making things look pretty isn’t my forte! ;-)

The cake is adequate, I wouldn’t venture to describe it further. But I so enjoyed the process of watching it come to be – yellow beginnings, messy endings and all – that I am only a *tiny* bit sad about the fact that it doesn’t taste more fabulous.