Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Eight Years of Blogging! Chocolate Drizzled Toasted Almond Coconut Macaroons

Chocolate Drizzled Toasted Almond Coconut Macaroons, Gluten Free, Paleo

Today it has been eight years since I started my blog!  I cannot believe it—eight years!  When I started it, just to keep track of and share happenings of my boys and my life with my family and friends, I had no idea I’d still be at it this many years later.  My boys are sure growing up!

Smith Boys


It’s strange to think back to 2008.  Sam wasn’t even one when I started my blog.  He’s now almost nine!  Scott is 17, Parker is 14, and Taylor is 12!  Bah!!!  It’s too much to keep thinking about, so let’s talk macaroons instead.


I love coconut.  I don’t think I’ve ever met or made a macaroon I didn’t like.  But I think I’ve made one that might be my favorite now….and for always?  These have toasted almonds, ground nice and finely.  They are made with coconut sugar and raw honey, unsweetened coconut and egg whites.  Perfectly gluten free and refined sugar free, but you must believe me—they are so good.  Perfect, if I must say so.  Yes, they are great plain, as is.  But if you know me, I have to add a little chocolate to just about everything.  So I melted some Enjoy Life chocolate chips and drizzled it over the tops of the cookies, then sprinkled some more of the freshly ground toasted almonds on top.  Heavenly!


Coconut Macaroons

They really are great without the chocolate.  I know, I ate a few of them before the chocolate came along.  But come on—everything is better with chocolate.  It had to be done.  I just wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t.  You want the recipe, I know, that’s really why you’re here. 


Chocolate Drizzled Toasted Almond Coconut Macaroons

Can you guess which one I ate first?  That’s right—the one where the bigger drizzle of chocolate fell upon it. ; )


Chocolate Drizzled Toasted Almond Coconut Macaroons, by Katrina, Baking and Boys! (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Refined Sugar Free)


2 large egg whites, room temperature

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup raw honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups unsweetened (dessicated) shredded coconut

1/2 cup freshly toasted, then finely ground almonds*

3-4 ounces Enjoy Life chocolate chips (3 ounces is 1/2 cup)

1/2 teaspoon coconut oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites and begin beating them on high speed with the wire attachment until foamy.  Gradually add the coconut sugar then the honey. Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Add the vanilla, almond extract and salt and beat until soft peaks form.  Fold the coconut and ground almonds into the egg white mixture.  Using a cookie scoop, put the coconut mixture into mounds on the baking sheet, using your hands/fingers form each firmly together on the tops.  They can be fairly close together on the baking sheet as they do not spread.  Makes about 16 cookies.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheet until almost cool.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Melt the chocolate in a glass dish in the microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between.  When it is almost completely melted, add the coconut oil and stir until melted and combined.  This only takes about 90 seconds total.  Using a small spoon (or add the chocolate to a sandwich-sized plastic zip top baggie with the corner snipped off), drizzle the chocolate over each cookie.  I happened to have some extra ground almonds and sprinkled it over each cookie. 


Drizzled Chocolate Toasted Almond Coconut Macaroons

I took the inspiration and basic recipe for these from a recipe for some macaroons I made a couple years ago that were also the bomb--White Chocolate Lime Coconut Macaroons and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Coconut Macaroons.  These were also delicious!  Try them!  Credit goes again to What Jew Wanna Eat for the original recipe.


Happy Eight Years of Blogging to me.  Who knows—maybe another eight year or more?  I don’t even want to think about how grown up my boys would be then—and how old that would make me…..

Friday, February 05, 2016

World Nutella Day—Homemade Healthy Nutella


Homemade Healthy Nutella on Toast

Happy World Nutella Day!  What does that mean for me?  I’ve always liked Nutella.  But it has lots of sugar and I don’t eat it anymore.  What did I do about this dilemma?  I made my own!  And you can, too!  It’s super easy and taste pretty darn good.  Is it exactly the same?  According to my boys, NO!  But for me, it works and I’m happy.

I made the Nutella  copycat and decided I needed to have it on some toast.  I don’t often have gluten free bread, but happened to have some I’d recently bought at Costco.  It comes in an interesting shape.  After slathering on the Nutella, I noticed it kind of reminded me of a ghost.  Then since it’s not Halloween, which would be super cute and fun to make these then, I made a second piece of toast and another cute ghost with a red mouth (although it looks more like a nose)—perfect!  Now they look like a perfect Valentine pair—don’t they?  Ready to dance the day away!

Homemade Healthy Nutella

The recipe made a half quart (so 2 pints, it’s the wider but shorter jar), right?  Yeah, I know, I could check on the world wide web or ask my mom, but I’m too lazy and just can’t wait to tell you about this.  I know homemade versions of Nutella have been done before and I looked at some of them, but ultimately decided on my own amounts and ingredients.  Some had added coconut oil and regular sugar, etc.  I didn’t think that was necessary.  I like the maple syrup I used in this, but I’m interested next time in trying to make it with raw honey, too.  It’s definitely not too sweet, I’m now so used to things not being very sweet since I don’t eat much sugar/sweet things anymore, so this was just right for me.  I believe it would even be considered Paleo and vegan.

Homemade Healthy Nutella

Homemade Healthy Nutella, by Katrina, Baking and Boys! (Paleo, vegan, refined sugar free, gluten free, dairy free)

1 ½ cups toasted (and skinned) hazelnuts, chopped (I bought some that are already toasted and chopped, which I prefer over toasting and skinning them myself.)

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

½ cup Grade B maple syrup (Grade A is okay)

Put the hazelnuts in the bowl of a blender (I have a Blendtec, which is super powerful!). You could also use a food processor, but note that it does take a lot longer to grind the nuts into a butter, maybe 10 minutes. Pulse nuts in the blender, scraping down the sides every 10-20 seconds. In the Blendtec this literally only takes about 2 minutes until it’s a pretty smooth butter. Add the cocoa powder and half the almond milk and pulse to combine. Add the rest of the almond milk, vanilla and salt and pulse to combine well. Add about half the maple syrup and combine, taste and add more to your liking, up to half a cup. I used the full amount.  I am going to try it with raw honey next time, I just like the flavor better. Store in a jar in the refrigerator. Makes half a quart/2 pints. This would be perfect to put in little jars for gifts, but it would be hard not to eat it instead.

Homemade Healthy Nutella on Toast 2

I mean, really, this looks like it totally needed a companion.  And I needed a second slice of toast with this Homemade Healthy Nutella on it, too.  So it was a win for both of us.  Until this started happening……..

Homemade Healthy Nutella being eaten on toast

Sorry ghosts on toast, it had to happen. ; )

You can find a whole lotta Nuttela greatness and love on the Facebook page and on Twitter#WorldNutellaDay  You can also find a lot more Nutella laden recipes (and mouth-watering photos) on my blog.  I’ve been posting something for World Nutella Day since 2009!  And guess what—my blog will be 8 years old in less than two weeks!  How cool is that!