Monday, April 2, 2007

Macaroons & Misery

HOW I MANAGED to not take pictures of a star-shaped bowl full of macaroons, I will never understand.

We were invited this evening to a Seder dinner with the
Fader family in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. I was not personally raised of the Jewish faith but Mint in large part was and the Fader family are good friends of hers. This is offered in explanation of how I came to partake (for the second consecutive year, might I add) in the great Passover feast, and it is a prelude to a week's worth of unleavened bread-tastic recipes.

Macaroons, it turns out, are
incredibly simple to make, which is fortunate because we were asked to bring them to the dinner, and if you love coconut as much as I do then it's likely you too already have everything you need to make macaroons a reality in your life:

1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract

Combine coconut, sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl. Stir in egg whites and almond extract, mix well. Grease a baking sheet lightly and preheat oven to 325-degrees. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on edges. Cool off of baking sheet.

Now, I doubled this recipe and thus used four egg whites. This was way too many egg whites and my macaroons went runny in the oven. Slightly
disastrous. I also used larger-flaked coconut (some would call it "shaved," perhaps) and I wonder if this didn't contribute to the problem. Mint bought some much finer-flaked coconut (itty bitty little flakes!) and this, along with only three eggs whites in the now only sorta-doubled recipe, was perfect.

As an added bonus, we stuck tiny pieces of candy bar chocolate into the tops of some of the
pre-baked macaroons and they emerged from the oven with the appropriate amount of chocolate deliciousness melted right in with none of the trouble of needing to double boil water to melt chocolate and add wax and crap and dip them later.

The Seder dinner itself was delicious. I'm always a big fan of starch, so dishes like
kugel, in both potato and vegetable varieties, are always a big hit with me. Even the sweet gifelte fish turned out to be just fine, sliced cold with tomatoes and cucumbers. Mix in way, way too much wine (and a religious tradition that mandates you very quickly drink all of it) and you know damn well you're going to have a good time.

Afterwards, we went to the Cherry Tree on Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn to watch the last half of the Ohio State game. I'm not even going to bother mentioning the team that beat them, but suffice it to say that I'd rather talk about Michigan than That Team from Down South.

Oden, please don't leave us now.

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