That recipe I promised you

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A few weeks ago, before the craziness of learning to drive and starting a new business took over my life, I said I’d share a recipe that I found on the end of a box of the ginger Annas cookies. When I made this for myself, I will be honest, I did not follow the letter of the recipe. Instead, I took a handful of cookies and crushed them, then layered them with chopped strawberries and my soy whip cream. It turned out to be really tasty and I could see serving it at a dinner party or something like that.

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Intimidation Level: Macaroons

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I stopped into Whole Foods yesterday, and of course I had to swing by the bakery section to see what they had going on. Usually there are a few vegan options, like the chocolate mousse and parfait I’ve mentioned before. But not this time. Of course I’ve got to get a chocolate fix, and my dad had settled on getting a few tartlets (which had a curd or filling that I couldn’t eat), so this led me to staring down a selection of macaroons.

I’ve tried a few of their flavors before, and I would not repeat most of them. I had a raspberry that was pretty tart, and a vanilla that had a strange flavor I can’t quite describe. But it’s pretty hard to screw up chocolate, so that’s my go to macaroon. They are a bit pricey ($1.99 each where I live), but the two chocolates I got were totally worth it (one of which is pictured above). But as much as they rock, they’re too expensive to get often. Coincidentally, my grandmother bought me a macaroon backing set (silicone mat, recipe book, and piping bag with pieces) for Christmas.

I started looking into making the macaroons myself. I bought the almond flour, some flavorings, and I already have some food coloring. But the recipe book that came with the kit doesn’t make the instructions all that clear. So I started poking around online and found a few places that have videos about making the cookies and how to fill them.

It’s never fun seeing “level: advanced” on a recipe. But I’m determined to actually make some, so I thought I’d ask if any of you have tips or experience making macaroons. Any tips fellow foodies?

Review: Annas Ginger Swedish Thins

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One night, I was at the grocery store, sort of cruising the aisles. I was on a mission for chocolate. Sometimes you just get those cravings, so you slip on whatever shoes are handy and head out. It was one of those nights. On my way towards the checkout, I passed the coffee aisle and decided to check out what syrups and things they had. Nothing struck my fancy, but tucked away under the dispensaries were two stacks of these cookie boxes.

Now, I may or may not have mentioned that I am a writer (and not just of this lovely blog–you can check out my author page at rebeccalallen.wordpress.com). You may be asking yourself, what does my being a writer have anything to do with these cookies? I’m coming to that very quickly. One other thing I probably have not mentioned is that I am not a fancy person. I occasionally pretend I am, what with elaborate menus and the odd well put together outfit. But make no mistake, I am a highly unfancy person. It so happens, though, that one of the ways I let myself pretend to be fancy is when I drink coffee. I don’t know why, but drinking coffee has always seemed a very sophisticated, adult thing to do. (Being an adult is also something I occasionally let myself pretend I am, also. Ha!) It’s probably pop culture and watching my dad at work that has led to me to think of coffee this way. Here’s where the cookies come in. As I was standing looking at the boxes, it occurred to me that having something a little dainty, but still flavorful, to have alongside my coffee would be the epitome of sophisticated adultness. So I picked up a box of the ginger flavor (they also make an almond flavor, which I’ll talk about in another post) and headed home.

The mug features Shakespearean insults! A gift from my undergrad thesis advisor.

The mug features Shakespearean insults! A gift from my undergrad thesis advisor.

The next day, while I worked on my novel, I made myself up a hazelnut latte to pair with my new find. The cookies are very thin, light, and crispy. The ginger isn’t overwhelming at all, which is nice. They’re actually much more like graham crackers than ginger snaps (which is what I was expecting). They worked well with my latte, and even the cherry tea I made the next day. I would recommend trying them if you like spice cookies. Plus they come with a little desert recipe that I’ll write about in a separate post.