First off, let me wish you all a very hearty Happy Easter! To some, this holiday is known as the holiday to gorge on classic dishes like leg of lamb and go hunting for chocolate eggs as well as harassing the poor bunnies into leading them into a hole to a wonderland…did I go too far? To others, this holiday celebrates one of the most important Christian events – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Either way, we all celebrate with some delicious food and post-dinner comas. I am currently falling asleep as I write this so this is actual talent – being able to type this out in a hopefully coherent manner.
For Easter, we normally do a large-ish celebration. Invite tons of family members over and have them go nuts with the food, the alcohol, and the corny jokes. However, this past year, my uncle died of esophageal cancer (caused by excessive periods of acid reflux. I’ll take a moment to warn you – if you know anyone who has periods of acid reflux, have them go to the doctor!). The grieving tradition in India is to not celebrate any major holidays for one year following his death. Thus, this year was relatively quiet. However, that did not stop us from making scrumptious foods. My mother took over the main dish and the side dish which were her classic ham (one of the very few pork items I’ll eat) and baked red potatoes with herbs. I made the dessert – which I was thoroughly eager to do because my Lenten promise had been to give up all forms of sugar (EVEN the sugar in my coffee! The atrocity!). So combining my love of coconut and chocolate, I decided this year’s Easter dessert would be chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons sprinkled with chopped nuts. I was unbelievably excited to make this – waiting this week was absolute torture.
Okay, I have a little confession to make as to how I got the idea to make it in the first place. There is this little thing called Facebook. On this Facebook, there are these things called games. One of these little games that I had gotten hooked on was a game called “Gourmet Ranch” – which is much like Cafe World except you grow your own ingredients and then cook them for the people of your restaurant. I am currently at level 20 (if you MUST know). Anyway, I digress – one of the dishes I seem to cook a lot on this game are coconut macaroons. After a long time of making this dish and desiring after the cartoon style cookies, I made the call that I was just going to make the damned thing.
So…the coconut macaroons only needs a few ingredients, surprisingly so if you’re on a budget, this would be a great dessert to make (and if you’re not, you know, allergic to any of these things):
Ingredients (this makes about 33-34 macaroons):
- Unsweetend flaked coconut (I used 2 bags)
- 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 3/4 of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons of milk (I used rice milk for my brother)
- Chopped nuts (I used a combination of almonds, walnuts, and cashews).
Before I start explaining the procedure to you, I do want to mention that I made this yesterday so the cookies could harden a bit in the fridge before I could bake them the next day. That way, I was positive the cookies would stay together and not completely fall apart on me. I figure this is the best way to save some time too, if you think you will be making this for a large group of people.
- I mixed the flour, coconut, condensed milk, salt, and the 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract together until it was a sticky mess. When it got too arduous with the spoon, I just gave up and used my hands instead.
- I rolled it into smaller-than-golf-ball sized balls and laid them out on the sheets to stick into the refrigerator for a day. (Note: your hands will get sticky! Use oil or cold water or a bit of flour to help you out. I used coconut oil).
- Once you are ready to bake them, bake them at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the cookies feel firm enough and the tops are toasted.
- Take them out to cool.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with a LITTLE bit of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and some milk on the stove under medium-low heat. Keep stirring until it melts and thickens.
- At this point, work semi-fast. Dip the cookies halfway through and lay them back on the sheet to dry.
- After the cookies have been dipped and placed, sprinkle some of the chopped nuts on top.
- Place it back in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden which will probably take about an hour or so.
- GORGE YOURSELF!!
How can I even begin to describe the feeling that rushed through me when I finally had that bite of sweet therapy?
My mother’s ham (which had been marinated with a variety of sauces and spices, none of which I can remember off the top of my head) was crunchy, hearty, and filled me up just right. And I can never say no to her potatoes 🙂 –
Oh dear god, gastronomical pleasure galore…
Now excuse me, I need to lie down and let this food finally have its chance to digest. I sincerely hope all of you had an excellent holiday.
Happy Easter and Happy Spring!