Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coconut Macaroons

Yummy note:  I had such a fun and whimsical read this month for my Secret Recipe Club assignment. Chelsy from Mangia has a great blog devoted to many healthier recipes and adaptations, such as gluten-free, vegan, and even Paleo, like these macaroons I ended up picking to feature. So friends if you need recipe help or ideas in these categories, check this blog out. However, one thing you will find as a common theme running through her recipes, is that Chelsy has a passionate love affair with peanut butter and coconut. So I knew with some of the allergies in my house, I was going to be making something mostly for myself to enjoy. Yippee, mommy doesn't have to share ;-)  Mangia was perfect for it though, as Chelsy often refers to many recipes as a solution for the single gal :)  It was a toss up between making this banana pineapple coconut souffle or Paleo Coconut Macaroons... Either way, both recipes were things I've never even tried making before so I thought it would be fun. Macaroons ended up being the winner, as I am a sucker for those cookies the girls sell that resemble crispy yummy macaroons with chocolate drizzle.


Coconut Macaroons 

Ingredients:
For the macaroons:
2 cups of unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 large eggs
2 tsp. of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of honey

For the chocolate glaze:
2 tbsp. or so of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp of melted shortening or coconut oil
2 tbsp honey to sweetened it up
*I also added in a splash of coffee to my chocolate glaze to get it to a consistency I liked.



Directions:
Stir together eggs, honey, and vanilla in a mixing bowl; then add in the coconut and mix well together.




Drop the mixture using a cookie dough scooper prepared baking sheet. In a preheated 350 degree oven Bake macaroons for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.




Not sure if this is normal but I had some run-offs from the macaroons.
 It was ok, just got a bit gooey and dark on the edges faster. 

 Let the macaroons cool on the pans for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Prepare the chocolate glaze in a small bowl until smooth and dip the bottoms of the cookies into the glaze.



 Once the bottom chocolate dries, flip macaroons over and finish the tops with more chocolate drizzle.  
Chewy flavorful coconut macaroons - reminds me of a Hershey's Mounds.
These macaroons were pretty delicious paired up with a nice cup of mocha... 


Wait, what's this here?  I had a tiny bit of coconut macaroon mixture leftover so I used it in a different way. I liked the how the coconut and honey made like a caramel flavor, so I wanted to try it on top of a shortbread like cookie. So I used these mini shortbread cookies as a bottom to hold this leftover coconut macaroon mix, and wow, this is so going to be a new cookie I want to make. It was amazing; crunchy cookie bottom with a chewy coconut middle, topped with a chocolate coffee drizzle.. oh, yes, or as Chelsy would say, "Mangia!"
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Protein balls

Yummy note: I love to graze, my kids seem to have the munchies a lot, too. So it feels like we are eating all the time here at my house. I have been trying to make healthier things to fill our tummies with, especially between meals. I also like to eat a little something before or after I workout, which these little protein balls fit perfect for that. They are small and quick to pop for a snack, plus when I add in the added protein powder they really seem to help ease my hunger in between meals. My kids like to eat a modified version of these which are dairy and nut-free as more of a granola bar form, but I like to make my version in a bite size form for smaller portions and with nuts. Last month, I took these to the fitness center, where I take some exercise classes, for a birthday treat and they also agreed that these little protein balls were a good healthy snack. :) 



Protein Balls 

Source: recipe slightly adapted from http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-bake-energy-bites/



Ingredients:

1 cup (dry) old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup prepared PB2 or peanut butter (or other alternative, such as soybutter, sunflower seed, etc.)
1/3 cup honey
2/3 cup toasted or regular coconut flakes
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tbsp vanilla protein powder (If you don't add in protein powder, you may want to add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract or cinnamon for additional flavor.)

*optional add-in - 1/4 to 1/2 cup of either mini chocolate chips, chopped raisins/prunes, or chopped nuts


*note if you add in additional add-ins above, you may need to adjust and add in more peanut butter or honey to keep the mixture from being too dry.

Directions:
In a large bowl, first mix together the peanut butter and honey. Then add in all of the remaining ingredients and stir together until thoroughly mixed. Chill the mixture for about an hour or so. Then roll into bite-sized balls or use a cookie dough scoop for equal portions. Store protein balls in the refrigerator so they will last longer. This recipe makes about 20 balls, depending on the size. 




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