Tag Archives: Coconut

{ Tres Leches Macaroons – Gluten Free! }

Finished Macaroons

I have always been a fan of caramel ever since I was a little kid, but when I moved to Argentina and was introduced to Dulce de Leche my mind was literally blown and I have been an addict ever since (I actually have a dulce de leche-scented candle burning in my room at this very moment!). You see caramel is made from pure sugar, but dulce de leche is made from sweetened milk so it has a much richer and creamier texture. In Latin American cultures, dulce de leche is used to flavor all sorts of sweets and candies, from ice cream (the best is Freddo), to lollipops, to cakes, and cookies (“alfajores”).

Dulce de Leche

Ever since my return to the US, I have been looking for more and more ways to include it in my baking recipes at home. The result?

These mouth-watering tres leches macaroons, which make for a perfect passover dessert since they are gluten free! I made them for my friend Liz’s cookie exchange this holiday season, and they were a smashing hit. I might also add that they stayed good in the refrigerator for about 2 1/2 weeks when stored in an air tight container.

And as if coconut and caramel aren’t already decadent enough, I also like to dip my macarons in chocolate! They are sinfully good and ridiculously easy to make, so print this recipe out and make them please!

{ Ingredients }

  • 2 – 14 oz bags of sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 – 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp good vanilla extract (I use Madagascar)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips for dipping (optional!)

[ To Make the Macaroons }

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Combine the shredded coconut, the condensed milk, the sour cream, the heavy cream, and the extracts in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment.

3. Mix the ingredients together on a low speed until well thoroughly combined.

Macaroon Mix

4. Use a large ice cream scoop (#12) to spoon the batter onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Do not press down on the cookies!!

Unbaked

5. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until slightly golden brown around the edges.

Baeke2d

6. Use wire racks to allow to cool completely on baking sheet. Then dip in melted semi-sweet chocolate, if desired!

Dipping Macaroons

7. Or drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate!

Chocolate Drizzled

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{ Coconut Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Frosting }

These were my absolute favorite cupcakes as a kid. I remember my mom would bake them in huge muffin tins rather than cupcake pans, letting the batter spill over the tops so that each one resembled a miniature-sized cake (sometimes we would only get 8 to a batch!). Then as they cooled, she would make the cream cheese frosting, allowing me to lick the beaters of the mixer before she put them into the sink—a chore that I was more than happy to do.

Today, this dessert remains one of the select few that I will eat with the frosting. In fact, I eat it predominately because of the frosting (same reason that I eat carrot cake, same frosting!). The cream cheese cuts a lot of the sweetness and gives the icing a dreamy velvety consistency. It pairs beautifully with these delicate coconut cupcakes, but you can put it on almost anything—red velvet cake, zucchini cake, pumpkin cake, carrot cake, ect…

The only notes I have on this recipe, which comes from Ina Garten’s amazing “Barefoot Contessa” cookbook, is to use unsweetened coconut when decorating the tops of the cupcakes. I think it looks prettier because it is shaved, not shredded, and it prevents the cupcake from being over-the-top sweet. Also, if you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by combining 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Just let it sit for about an hour and viola…buttermilk!

{ Ingredients }

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
  • Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
{ To Make Cupcakes } Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and prepare a muffin tin with liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar until it is light and fluffy (this takes about 5 minutes). With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Then add the vanilla and almond extracts.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry mix. Mix until just combined and then fold in the coconut with a spatula.

Use an ice cream scooper to put batter into the prepared cupcake pan. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a tooth pick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes on a cooling rack.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting }

  • 1 pound of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds of confectioner sugar
To Make Cream Cheese Frosting } In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and almond extracts. Gruadually add the confectioners sugar, until the mixture is blended smooth (about 5 minutes).
{ To Assemble the Cupcakes } Frost with cream cheese icing and top with the remaining shredded coconut. 

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