I warned you didn’t I? As promised, here is my homage to St.Raphael (aka the real St Valentine). Ok, I’ll be honest and call it what it really is, a need to use up the way too many dried cherries and shredded coconut that I have kicking around the house. But shhhh….it’ll be our little secret right? 😉 (we all know no one’s actually reading this except me, so yes Amber, I promise not to tell anyone that you’re a user of leftovers. *Exasperated eye roll*).
The sad thing about this weekend though was that I was completely out of the loop/ off my game/ living under a rock and didn’t realize that the Oscars are tonight. I’m not exactly sure what I would’ve done if I’d realized before this morning, but you can bet your sweet candy ass that this dessert would’ve been a lot more Oscar-themed. I may have even decided to go the super lame pun route and made a dessert that’s a tribute to Oscar the Grouch (you know, since it’s the way we all feel by the time the Oscars are over 😉 ). Ah well, I hear it’s this new thing they do every year, so I guess I’ll have another chance.
On the other hand, maybe this still works out better since I was kind of hankering for macaroons since my French macaron post. So red-themed+macaroons = double duty post (bet you didn’t think you’d get a math lesson included here as well did you? I’m all about education, so I’m providing that little number exercise to you free of charge).
If you will recall, my big issue with the French macarons was the difficulty in recreating the frothy egg-white based merginue that is a ubiquitous part of said macaron. Now technically, even the coconut version of macaroons traditionally have egg white in them, but it’s nowhere near as integral a part of this deliciously chewy piece of tastebud nirvana. Thus, alternatives will be a lot more forgiving. The egg whites used in coconut macaroons are essentially acting as more of a binding agent, so your options for substitutions are virtually limitless (I mean, if you don’t care about taste or whether or not the dessert could kill you, feel free to throw a little tar in there….actually don’t do that, it will “tar”nish my reputation if anyone thinks you got that advice from me. Yes, that entire setup was so that I could make that terrible (read: amazing) pun. You’re welcome).
As I started making these, after a quick glance in the fridge, I was reminded that I also had some leftover red wine buttercream from last week. After a split second of contemplation, I said to myself “it’s red/pink, what the hell, let’s toss that in as well.” Never have leftovers tasted so delicious.
Then, both because chocolate makes everything better, and as the most half-assed attempt at “Oscar-ifying” these bite-sized morsels, I dipped the bottom half in chocolate (which I felt made them look a little bit like they were wearing tuxedos…well…sortof. Although I then drizzled chocolate on top, and that makes everything classy right? At least give me that? 😉 ).
Speaking of leftovers though, my red wine brownies from last week also left me with over half a bottle of wine left (I know, tragedy right? 😉 ). Coincidentally, it was also “tongue-stuck-to-a-metal-pole-à-la-“a Christmas story””-cold this week. This Christmas+freezing cold (more math!!) reminder had me reminiscing about mulled wine, so I’m including for you in this post a bonus quick and dirty (and for you wine snobs extremely sacrilegious) microwave, single serve (or as many servings as you’d like if you can do more math) mulled wine recipe. Because it was so disgusting out and nobody in their right mind would step outside if there was any earthly way of avoiding it, I basically put in all the spices and ingredients that I had on hand, and improvised the things I didn’t. So feel free to do whatever works for you, it’s wine, it’s warm, you really can’t screw it up (and if you do, just drink a lot of other stuff first, and then you won’t even taste it 😉 ).
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 3-4 tablespoons Frangelico (or water)
- 1/4 cup + 1.5 cups shredded coconut, divided
- 2-3 tablespoons red wine buttercream (see recipe here)
- 1/4 cups maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup almond flour/almond meal
- 3/4 cups vegan chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
1. Soak cherries in Frangelico (or water, or whatever other liquid you enjoy) for 30-60 minutes (or longer if you have the time).
2. Preheat oven to 250F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat (or grease it).
3. In a food processor, put 1/4 cup of shredded coconut and process for about 5-8 minutes (until it’s basically coconut butter).
4. Add soaked cherries (including Frangelico mixture), red wine butter cream, maple syrup and vanilla to the coconut butter in the food processor. Process until relatively smooth (approximately 5 minutes).
5. In a separate bowl, combine the 1.5 cups of shredded coconut and the almond flour.
6. Add the cherry/coconut paste to the dry ingredients and stir until fully mixed.
7. With a small cookie scoop, or a tablespoon, drop mixture into golf ball sized balls onto the cookie sheet. They don’t spread out when baking, so you can put them relatively close together.
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms just start to brown. They’ll be soft coming out of the oven, but they will harden relatively quickly as they cool.
9. While they’re cooling, put chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30-60 seconds. Stir until completely melted.
10. When cookies are completely cooled, dip bottoms in the chocolate and using a fork, drizzle extra chocolate on top. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm.
- 3/4 cups wine
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 2 whole cloves
- 3-4 gratings of whole nutmeg (if you have it, or just a pinch of powdered nutmeg)
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar (depending how sweet you want it to be)
1. Combine everything in a mug and microwave for 1-2 minutes (i.e. until warm).
3. Drink and be merry.