Sunday, October 30, 2011

Coconut macaroons: and our Halloween Pumpkins

Just as the Diwali excitement seemed to be dying down, I got swamped with "What are we doing for Halloween" concerns. My uninterested "nothing" for an answer did not go very well with little anxious hearts.   "Can we at least go trick-or-treating with Vienna?" asked Anya. "Yes mommy. I be a butterfly with Bienna", chimed in baby P. A and I exchanged a look, 2 looks actually. One with a "no" (yours  truly); and the other with a "let them go" (A, of course). And the decision was made. I called Vienna's parents to ask about the plans, and got invited to a pre-trick-or-treating sweet tooth affair. Which meant that instead of getting to spend a lazy Sunday, I had to come up with something to take to their place.

All those Indian sweets that MIL and I had sweated upon before Diwali did not seem appropriate enough, especially to take to people I barely know. A quick look at my pantry, and I realized I was seriously out of options. Did not have even a box of cake mix, or refrigerated cookie dough.  A's ingenous suggestion "We'll buy a box of cupcakes or cookies" didn't really sit well with me. Then I stumbled upon a a pack of shredded coconut, left over from making coconut ladoos some time ago.  That reminded me of a recipe for coconut macaroons I'd tried during the Holidays last year. Although not really a Halloween recipe, this is what I sent with A to this trick-or-treat event.

Coconut macaroons

Shredded, unsweetened coconut  3 and 1/2 cups
Sweetened Condensed milk 1 cup
Vanilla essence 1tsp
Sooji/ semolina 3-4  Tbsp*

Dark chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Combine the first 3 ingredients together and mix well. Add the semolina 1Tbsp at a time till completely incorporated.
  2. Using a spoon, drop dollops of the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about 15 min. Allow to cool completely before trying to remove them.
  4. Melt the chocolate chips over hot water. Then using a fork, drizzle some chocolate over the macaroons. Or dip one half of the macaroon in chocolate. 
Baby P's evil grin!
My two cents: So we had our Halloween with carved pumpkins, spooky spiders and cocnut macaroons!!

Anya's Boo Hoo ghost
I first tasted coconut macaroons a couple of years ago, and immediately thought of the coconut biscuits from India. They were one of my favorite bakery things back home. The original recipe I got from a friend, asked for egg whites. I first made the macaroons just as she'd told me, then decided to adapt it into an eggless recipe with help from various sources. The first time I went eggless, I just left out the egg whites from the recipe. That made my macaroons run when baking. The semolina acts as a sort of a binder and holds the macaroons' shape when baking.

Another thing is to take them out of the oven just as the edges turn to brown. Keep a watchful eye on them. If left too long, they tend to burn easily. And wait for them to cool before attempting to remove them.

An easy to whip up treat for both Indian and non-Indian palates!!

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