Coconut

Coconut Sugar Cookies

Having worked for Buy.com over 6 years now I can honestly say it is by far the best company I have worked for, which is why I am so thrilled I get to be a part of a new and exciting chapter in Buy.com’s history.

It was officially announced this past Friday, Buy.com is no longer privately owned, we are now officially under the umbrella of Japan’s leading Internet Company Rakuten, Inc.. Talk about going from one extreme to another!

It is exciting to think of all the opportunities for growth and development that will no doubtingly present themselves as a result of this transaction.

So to celebrate the acquisition I thought it would be quite fitting to bring these into the office with me this morning.

Creamed butter and sugar

Roll cookies between parchment or wax paper

Coconut Sugar Cookies

Coconut Sugar Cookies

Coconut Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract

Sift the flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder, and salt together.

Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, approx 4 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and blend until completely incorporated.

Add the sifted dry ingredients and slowly mix until the dough has come together and formed a uniform mass.

Shape the dough into a square, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, roll into desired shapes, and place them onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet with the cookies in the freezer for at least 15 minutes, this will insure the cutout cookies retain their shape as much as possible.

Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, cool cookies on a rack then transfer to a sealed container.

Coconut Sugar Cookies
Coconut Sugar Cookies
Coconut Sugar cookies

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A couple of weeks ago the folks at POM Wonderful offered to send me a small case of 100% Pomegranate Juice to sample. It took me two seconds to respond to their request, yes please!!

I was introduced to Pomegranates during one of my very first visits to Guadalajara. My aunt had a huge tree in her back yard and when they were in season, everyone would come over and take buckets full home.

Most of the pomegranates that left my aunts house ended up at one of her eight brother’s houses. And no, these very tasty and nutrient rich seeds didn’t end up on top of a delicious spinach salad. Nor were they seen made into a delicate pomegranate juice reduction and served over a delicately poached salmon.

No sir! These babies were juiced and turned into Ponche de Granada.

You see, one of the traditions my uncles grew up with was that of enjoying an aperitif prior to their main meal of the day. This usually consisted of Ponche de Granada prepared by my grandfather who was of Spanish decent.

Since not all of us are blessed with having a pomegranate tree growing in their backyard nor have we all grown up to love and enjoy a little pomegranate aperitif before our dinner.

Here are a couple of alternatives:

Thanks to the folks at POM Wonderful we can enjoy fresh pomegranates when in season, or buy fresh pomegranate juice from our local supermarket.

If you are like me and don’t mind having a little dessert before dinner instead of an aperitif here’s a little something I put together for you. Enjoy!

Coco-POM Wonderful Sorbet

Coco-POM Wonderful Sorbet

1 can coconut milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks whisked
1 1/2 cups half-half
8 ounces pom wonderful

Warm coconut milk, sugar, lemon zest and salt in a medium saucepan.

Coco-POM Wonderful Sorbet
Pour half and half and POM Wonderful into a separate bowl and place a strainer over it.

Gently pour 1/2 cup of the warm coconut milk into the whisked egg yolks and stir to temper them.

Once the egg yolks have been temmpered pour back into the saucepan with the warm coconut milk.

Stir the mixture over medium heat until it is thick enough that it coast the back of a wooden spoon.

Coco-POM Wonderful Sorbet
Remove from heat and pour through the strainer and into the bowl with the half and half and stir.

Chill the mixture in the refrigerater when cool, freeze it in your ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Coco-POM Wonderful Sorbet

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Sumac Macarons with Orange Buttercream

Well the day has finally arrived… Today I get to announce the lucky winner of my Ice Cream Maker Giveaway!

Good news for one lucky reader and for everyone else something yummy to look at and/or try out.

I know you weren’t expecting a Mac post to go along the Ice Cream Maker Winner announcement. But when you visit me, I want to you to expect the unexpected.

Sumac Macarons filled with Orange ButtercreamSumac Macarons filled with Orange Buttercream

Sumac Macarons with Orange Buttercream
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 90 grams egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites)
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • 200 grams confectioners' sugar
  • 100 grams almonds (slivered, blanched, sliced, whatever you like)
  • 10 grams sumac
Instructions
  1. Prep the eggs: 48 hrs in advance, separate the whites from the yolks and place the whites in a super clean bowl. Leave at room temp, uncovered or loosely covered with a towel at least 24 hrs. Refrigerate after that if desired. You can use eggs that have been “aging” for up to 5 days.
  2. Prepare the macarons:Place the powdered sugar, almonds, and sumac in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Sift a couple of time to remove bits and pieces. Regrind if necessary. You can also use a coffee grinder for the nuts.
  3. Once your nuts and powdered sugar are mixed together, rub them in between your fingertips to break the bigger pieces.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
  5. Add the ground almond mixture to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
  6. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit.
  7. If using convection: preheat the oven to 280F. If using regular electric or gas, preheat the oven to 300F.
  8. When ready, bake for 18 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.

 

Sumac, Ground Almonds, & Confectioner's SugarSumac, Ground Almonds, & Confectioner's SugarSumac Macaron BatterPiped Sumac Macaron ShellsSumac Macaron Shells

Orange Buttercream
 
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ⅔ cup sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1½ ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Beat all of the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer or with a hand beater for about 5 minutes at medium speed, until creamy and light. Chill until cold, but still spreadable, before using.


 
A little orange zestOrange Buttercream piped onto Sumac Macaron ShellsSumac Macarons filled with Orange ButtercreamSumac Macarons filled with Orange Buttercream

OK, OK, enough with the torture… let’s announce the winner of the Ice Cream Maker Giveaway shall we?

Our lucky winner is SGS from Correspondence Committee Congratulations!!

I also wanted to share the stats I collected. If you chose more than one flavor I selected the very first one you mentioned. :)

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor Stats

Thanks to everyone who participated!

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Where has this month gone? I just cannot grasp the fact that one quarter of 2010 has now come and gone.

There are so many things I want to get done in Q2, and since I’m a bit of a procrastinator . I’m going to write a list of what I want to accomplish figure out a way to hold myself accountable.

It’s gotten so bad that as of today March 31st, I have yet to start the March Daring Bakers’ challenge an Orange Tian. I still plan on making it because I came up with a really good twist.

I wonder how “late” can a “late” post be?

See what I mean?

Hopefully I’ll get it started within the next few days. Sigh…

Well, I’ll leave you with these yummy Mini Coconut Rum Butter Cakes while I go sort out my thoughts.

First thought – Perhaps I have too much on my plate? Nahhh…



Coconut Rum Butter Cakes
adapted from Petite Sweets by Beatrice Ojakangas

Coconut Rum Butter Cake
Makes 6 Cakes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 oz buttermilk
1 teaspoon coconut rum
3.5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
toasted coconut, sliced strawberries, or powdered sugar (optional for garnish)

Coconut Rum Butter Cake Ingredients
Preheat oven to 325 F.

Silicone Mini Bundt Pan
Spray the mini-bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle a little desiccated coconut powder if desired.

In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Combine the buttermilk and coconut rum in a small measuring up and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg and continue mixing until light and fluffy.

Coconut Rum Butter Cake Batter
Stir in the buttermilk mixture, then the flour and beat on low speed until the batter is smooth.

Silicone Mini Bundt Pan
Divide the batter equally between each mini-bundt. Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until the cakes feel firm when touched.

Coconut Rum Sauce
adapted from Petite Sweets by Beatrice Ojakangas

Coconut Rum Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons coconut rum

Combine the water, sugar and butter over medium-high heat.

Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the rum.

While cakes are still warm pierce several times with bamboo skewers or a fork, and pour half of the rum sauce over them.

Remove from pans after cakes have cooled and spoon remaining sauce over cakes.

Before serving garnish with toasted coconut, sliced strawberries, or lightly dust with powdered sugar.

Coconut Rum Butter Cake

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This weekend I’ll be going over to my nieces house to celebrate her birthday and I will be bringing along this little baby.

Actually I’m going to have to drop it off Saturday morning on my to the “Build Your Best Blog” Seminar in Los Angeles.

Diane Cu and Todd Porter of White On Rice Couple and Jaden and Scott Hair of Steamy Kitchen will be leading presentations on topics that will help optimize our blogs and take advantage of current tools and resources to do so. I’m all for “optimizing”!

I’m sorry I don’t have a yummy drool worthy photo of a big nice slice of the cheesecake. I’ll try to take a picture of a slice on Saturday and update this post with it.

I’ll be sure and leave a little note attached to the cheesecake box that says “Save a slice for Josie, or else!” when I drop it off Saturday morning!






Pineapple Mango Cheesecake
adapted from The New York Times Dessert Cookbook
Mango Cheesecake by Nigella Lawson

Crust
8 oz animal crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
4 oz unsalted butter softened and cut into pieces

Pineapple Mango Cheesecake - Ingredients

Cheesecake batter
8 oz fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
8 oz fresh or frozen mango chunks
3 8 oz packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
2 teaspoons pineapple rum
2 teaspoons coconut rum

Pineapple Mango Cheesecake Crust
Ground animal crackers in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs.

Pineapple Mango Cheesecake - Crumbs
Add dark brown sugar and butter. Pulse until mixture clumps together like damp sand.
Pineapple Mango Cheesecake - Crust
Press mixture evenly into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and refrigerate while preparing filling.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Pineapple Mango Cheesecake - Frozen Fruit
Pineapple Mango Cheesecake - Pineapple Mango Puree
In a food processor or with an immersion blender puree the pineapple and mango. If using frozen fruit, bring to room temperature by heating the puree in a small saucepan over low heat.

Pineapple Mango Cheesecake - Cream Cheese
In a food processor or stand mixer blend the puree with the cream cheese until smooth.

Pineapple Mango Cheesecake - Eggs
Add sugar and continue mixing, slowly add eggs one at a time until well combined. Finally add the lemon juice, pineapple rum, and coconut rum, mix well.

Pineapple Mango Cheesecake - Batter
Place springform pan on a double layer of heavy-duty foil. Crimp edges up around pan to make a waterproof casing. Place foil-covered pan in a deep roasting pan. Pour filling into pan and pour boiling water into roasting pan to come about halfway up sides of cake pan, but not higher than foil.

Pineapple Mango Cheesecake
Bake until filling is set and wobbles slightly in the center, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove pan from water bath. Discard foil and place pan on a cooling rack.

When cool, refrigerate overnight.

To serve, remove sides from pan and place on a serving platter.

Time: 2 hours, plus overnight chilling
Yields: 8 to 10 servings

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