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Monday, November 23, 2009

Cure for the Common Macaroon

Sometimes my curiosity gets the best of my cooking sense; it can turn out intriguingly well or unusually strange. It is kind of like fishing in a sense- despite the fact you have caught many fish in your life before and in the same spot with the same bait, when the slightest element is changed the whole trip, or dish in this sense, goes to pot. On the occasion of experimentation the other night when Dawn was grading papers, I looked through the cabinets to figure out what I could concoct cookie-wise. Dawn becomes a bit scared when I begin making unusual noises in the kitchen such as mincing objects that sound like they should not go into a certain dish, and this occasion was no different. I told Dawn before I searched through the cabinets that I wanted to make polenta pound cake to which she responded, "we don't need that much dessert."

After more brain storming I found white grits, shredded coconut, ginger root, and apple cider. A combination of ingredients seldom thought of together and you may be thinking it sounds rather hair brained yourself, yet the result is a sort of revamping of coconut macaroons from their mundane stupor. Life consists of juxtapositions and cooking is no different evidenced in the flavor profiles of sweet & sour, crispy & succulent, crunchy & gooey, and salty & sweet just to name a few. These cookies played on the crisp toasted coconut up against the moist grits livened by the fresh ginger. I will toast and grind some coriander when I make them again but for this experiment I used a pinch of cumin for earthiness. They say that curiosity killed the cat but in this case it turned out pretty well.

Ginger Coconut Macaroons

4 T. peeled pureed ginger
4 T. apple cider
1/2 t. cumin
3/4 C. white instant grits
1 3/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. plus 1 T. vanilla extract
5 T. all purpose flour
4 T. shredded coconut plus 1/3 C. for topping (all toasted)
1 T. balsamic vinegar for topping
1/3 C. dark brown sugar plus 1/4 C. for topping
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 tsp. baking powder
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toast grits until toasted corn aromas begin emanating and grits begin to become tan. Dump into microwave safe bowl with water and sugar and cook in microwave for two minute intervals, stirring to avoid clumps, until grits are cooked but still slightly soupy. Toast coconut in cast iron skillet until an amber hue. Remove grits from microwave and add cider, flour, ginger, coconut, cumin, and vanilla. Once mixture has cooled some add egg, baking soda, and baking powder. Scoop heaping tablespoons of mixture, which will be on the wet side, onto silicone baking sheet covered pan. Bake for approximately six to seven minutes.

While cookies are baking heat vanilla, balsamic, and sugar in small pan until thickened into a light syrup. Once cookies come out of the oven, while still hot, dip tops of cookies in syrup and into toasted coconut. Let cool and enjoy. 


Fresh Local and Best said...

You are so creative! The macaroons look very good!

Jennie said...

I love the sound of these! Great combination of flavors! Love the Vanilla - Balsamic syrup! YUM!

Reeni said...

These have a lovely, rich spicy sound to them. Very delicious! And the balsamic syrup is so unique!

Divina Pe said...

This is surely a different kind of macaroon. Very unique and creative. Must try this one.

Erica said...

They look beautiful! Love your creativity! Hope you're having a wonderful night

tam said...

Yummy they look delish!

Thanks for stopping by x x

MaryMoh said...

Saw a lot of macaroons lately. Always thought they must come sandwiched with a very sweet filling. Yours is different...very creative & I think it looks easier to make. Looks pretty & delicious....yum

3 hungry tummies said...

looks very delicious! well done!

Cocina Savant said...

Thanks for all the support and insight everyone. I hope you all have an incredible week.

Cucinista said...

These do look very creative, which is my favorite kind of cooking. Weird noises and a little off-recipe measuring is either brilliant or a disaster, but I'm willing to risk the disaster for the chance at brilliance every time. Thanks also for stopping by to comment on my blog.

Emily said...

Mmm perfect for autumn! These cookies look delish.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and allowing me to find yours. I think you are quite clever and brave to have combined all those flavors. I never would have thought of it.

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