The best thing about the blogging community is how warm, supportive ‘n straight up awesome my fellow bloggers are. Have you met Nora of A Clean Bake? This lady used to run a blog named Buttercream Fanatic which was much like mine, full of butter ‘n sugar ‘n everything good for your taste buds but bad for your waistline (#sorrynotsorry). Unfortunately, Nora began dealing with digestive issues in early 2014 which resulted in her eliminating foods such as wheat, refined sugar and dairy from her diet. So, long story short – she’s changed the focus of her blog to clean eating to accommodate her health restrictions and also to help us all eat better. Nora’s recipes are wheat-free, refined-sugar-free and often vegan but you’d never be able to tell by looking at her photos. Everything is ridiculously drool-worthy. You gotta love that.
Not only is Nora’s blog amazing but she’s a wonderful person, through and through. She’s getting married soon so a few of us decided to throw this lovely lady a Great Gatsby-themed virtual bridal shower.
I wracked my brain for a looooong time deciding what to make for Nora. I wanted to ensure it was gluten-free and vegan, with little by way of sugar. In other words, a recipe antithetical to my blog and everything I personally stand for (just kidding).
I decided on these rich, decadent little nuggets of chocolate coconut macaroons. They meet Nora’s dietary restrictions and they’re easy to pop into your mouth at a bridal shower. Having been to a bazillion of them, I totally appreciate being able to cram bite-sized food into my mouth with only one hand (because the other hand is invariably gripped around a glass of booze). It’s the only way to celebrate!
In honour of Nora, I also had Leonardo DiCaprio make an appearance in this post.
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
4 ounces chopped milk chocolate (or dark)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp instant espresso flour (can be decreased to lessen the coffee flavour or omitted altogether)
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup ground almond flour
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a heatproof bowl, melt the chopped milk chocolate in the microwave (at 15 second intervals so as not to burn the chocolate) or over a saucepan of boiling water. Set aside to cool.
Using a food processor, blend the coconut flakes for approximately 1 minute.
Add the sugar, cocoa and espresso powder. Blend for 1 minute. I added a healthy, heaping tablespoon of espresso powder because I love mocha. If you don’t, omit the espresso powder altogether or just add one teaspoon (at the smaller amount, it won’t taste like coffee. It will simply enhance the chocolate flavour).
Add the egg whites, salt, vanilla, almond flour and melted chocolate. Blend until smooth.
Place the batter in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. I found that it was fairly wet right after blending and it was spreading a bit. After chilling the batter, use a small cookie scoop (approximately 2 tablespoons) and scoop the batter onto your cookie sheet. Leave two inches of space between each scoop.
Bake for 13 minutes, until the tops are shiny and the cookies are just set. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes. They will continue baking on the sheet. Remove the cookies and place on wire racks to fully cool.
Seriously, these cookies are freaking easy to make and they’re fantastic. Super rich, moist, intensely chocolatey with a nice coffee kick, and chewy due to the coconut and almond flour. They’re the perfect little treat after a meal (or could constitute a meal if you’re anything like meal) and excellent chased down with a hot mug of tea or coffee.
Nora, break out the Dom, eat cookies and flirt with Leo before you become a married lady! I hope you’re enjoying every moment leading up to the big day. Love ya, girl!
Make sure to visit the blogs of all my friends to see what they made for today’s party: