"-Free" cooking is requested more and more. Last weekend I made sugar-free cupcakes for a friend's birthday, and I am afraid they were more like short-cake muffins than birthday cupcakes, texture-wise. I used Splenda and a four-star recipe (from Splenda's website) and while they may have tasted fine, I could tap the top of them and hear a hollow echo. Not really ideal for a cake. Then trying to make sugar-free frosting was a challenge, and I ended up mixing a sugar-free white-chocolate instant pudding mix with heavy cream and beating the bejezus out of it until it was stiff enough to pipe through a bag. I think the frosting tasted fine and it looked pretty. I shaved some dark chocolate over the top and the cupcakes were very pretty, but I am concerned that they were a disappointment. I haven't heard. No news is, so far, good news.
My friend Peggy follows a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, and shared with me her cookbook Easy Gluten-Free Baking by Elizabeth Barbone. Ms. Barbone is a frequent guest chef on our local tv station WNYT Channel 13. I'm taking the cookbook home for the weekend, but before I do I'm sharing with you her recipe for Chocolate Dipped Macaroons:
Chocolate Dipped Macaroons
1 13-ounce package sweetened coconut
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 large egg white
1 cup chopped dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.In large mixing bowl, combine coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and egg white. Mix well with wooden spoon.
- Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until deeply browned. (You want to really brown these lovely cookies. A nice brown crust will provide for a wonderfully chewy cookie, somewhat reminiscent of a campfire-browned marshmallow).
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet. Don't move until they are completely cooled.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20-second increments, stirring each time. Continue until all the chocolate is melted.
- Dip macaroons in chocolate. Place dipped macaroons on a clean sheet of parchment paper and allow to set until firm.
2 dozen cookies