Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Passover-->macaroons. Double recipe was overkill, so I have plenty leftover and more mixture in the refrigerator to bake later. Similarly to biscotti, everyone was pleased with the difference a fresh macaroon makes. They are unusual to find. Most are large, dense, and dry. These were not.

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix coconut, milk and vanilla.
Beat egg whites and salt with whisk attachment until medium firm peaks.
Fold into coconut mixture.
Shape into small mounds with a spoons or ice cream scoop, or use mini muffin papers (I did both).
Bake about 20 minutes until tops are starting to turn golden brown.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Savory Breakfast Muffins

I have made many batches of these. I love playing with savory instead of sweet, and I love the protein punch that these pack for starting off the day. I grab one of these on my way out the door and I have an instant healthy meal. The base allows for endless variations of flavors, and I plan to keep experimenting. They don't have the cake-y consistency of a normal muffin, so expect something more like a quiche or a souffle.

1 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup almonds, ground into flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

variation 1:
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (in oil)
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped

variation 2:
artichoke hearts
feta cheese

variation 3:
diced sauteed potatoes
pine nuts

variation 4:
sauteed chopped asparagus
pine nuts

Preheat oven to 400.
Combine everything but 1/4 cup parmesan to sprinkle on top.
Bake 30-35 minutes until set, risen, and golden brown.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Zucchini Walnut Mini Muffins with Lemon Poppy Seed Frosting

This zucchini bread recipe is one of my all-time favorites from 101cookbooks. I had been making cookies which are easy to ration out and give away, but bread is harder to serve. The mini muffins are the perfect variation, with the addition of the lemon frosting as a cherry on top. This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread or 48 mini muffins. I plan on expanding on my mini muffin/cupcake success and coming up with some new ones to try. I would eagerly accept suggestions for flavors.

These have been a total hit. I brought them out in an egg carton to meet friends at a bar. I ended up giving some away as tips for bartenders and freebies for strangers. I brought some to Sports Basement and some to my kiddo's house. And of course family and other friends have made a considerable dent. The mini aspect makes me more generous, which I love.

1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup poppy seeds
zest of 2 lemons

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on (squeeze out some moisture and fluff again before using)

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.
In small bowl, combine walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest.
In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugars and beat again.
Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down sides of the bowl.
Add zucchini.
In separate bowl, sift together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 2 batches, stirring in between.
By hand, fold in walnut, poppy seed, and lemon zest mixture. Save a bit of this mixture to add to the frosting.
If making loaves of zucchini bread, bake for about 40-45 minutes. If making mini muffins, bake for about 17-20 minutes.

For frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, then add remaining poppy seed mixture. Smooth onto muffins once cooled.

Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe is from the cookbook Rael bought me for my 21st birthday. It is called Cooking Up A Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans. I have made them four times now, and each time they are wonderful. Folks paid a dollar a piece for them at the most recent MAPP and the Sports Basement crew has had two batches (one that I baked in the toaster oven in the break room). Another bonus treat: I made sandwiches out of these (fresh from the oven and still warm) with a coconut almond fudge gelato. They were to die for.

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 275.
Spread coconut on baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until toasted a delicate brown.
Let cool. Crush in a food processor or put coconut in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
Set aside.

Preheat oven to 325.
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
In large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy, then add egg and vanilla. Beat again until fluffy.
Stir in flour mixture by hand, then stir in oats, coconut, and pecans.
Form dough into balls 1 inch in diameter and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with a piece of parchment paper and the bottom of a glass.
Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.