Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cherry Chocolate Macaroons

I've been wanting to make these cookies for a while now. So yesterday we made a batch and took some to my daughter's elementary school teacher for teacher appreciation week. I've gotta be honest, there is nothing quite like these cookies! They're a class all their own. Just imagine soft, chewy, almost cakey cookies with coconut, cherries, and chocolate. I just can't even describe the deliciousness...

Cherry Chocolate Macaroons
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 & 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 & 1/2 t. almond extract
2 eggs
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
3 & 1/2 c. flour
1 & 1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1 (10 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, halved (reserve 2-3 t. liquid)
1 c. chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar for about 4 minutes. Add salt, extract, and eggs.
 Cream again until light and fluffy.
 Add baking powder, baking soda, flour, and coconut. Mix until dough is crumbly.
 Add cherries, cherry liquid, and chocolate chips. Mix by hand until dough comes together.
 Scoop dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
 Bake for about 9 minutes.

These cookies are such a unique, tasty treat. The combination of flavors and textures is just divine. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter

Yesterday, the kiddos and I went for a stroll and hit some stores along the way. I stocked up on some chocolate bars ... I went a little crazy. I should really learn to not go food shopping when I'm hungry. Anyway, today I discovered a great way to use those chocolate bars. My two favorite loves combined into one amazing spread.

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter

1 (3.5 oz.) bar dark chocolate, broken in pieces (or 1/3 c. dark chocolate chips)
1 t. coconut oil
2 c. roasted salted peanuts
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla

I used dark chocolate, but I suppose you could experiment with milk if you like.
 Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl.
 Microwave in 30 second intervals until melty and smooth. Set aside while preparing the peanuts.
 Put peanuts in a food processor.
 Process for about 4-5 minutes or until smooth.
 To the peanut butter, add chocolate mixture, brown sugar and vanilla.
 Process for another 2 minutes.
 Pour into a jar and refrigerate.
 It firms up very nicely after it's been in the fridge for a few hours.
 Honestly, I haven't even put this on anything yet because I just keep eating it with a spoon...