Gastronomic Gifts VII: Chocolate Macaroons in a Flash

[There’s just nothing like a homemade gift for the holidays.  This year, with the purse strings a little tighter than usual, I’m determined to make at least a few in my kitchen–and thought I’d share my ideas in case you’d like to partake, too.  Here’s the last post in the series.]


Can it be possible that there are only TWO DAYS LEFT before Christmas??  The last few months seem to have flashed by–faster than the scenery outside a train window. Or  your waiter at a busy New York bistro. Or the chaps on a Chippendale dancer. Or even Taylor Hicks’s 15 seconds of fame. Where have the langorous, sunny days of summer gone? Whence the flip-flops, the frayed T-shirts, the cutoffs, the rain-stained Keds? To what secret destination have all the squirrels sequestered themselves (to the great dismay of The Girls)?  How did I miss entirely the red and gold and sepia-emblazoned maple trees of autumn?

Instead, we’re suddenly faced with pummeling snow, jarring, backward-beeping snowplows outside our bedroom window at 5:47 AM, innumerable layers of socks, long underwear, undershirts, turtlenecks, polar fleece, scarves, hats, earmuffs (yes, those last two at the same time), mini-gloves inside bigger gloves, boots, cleats on boots–basically, about 14 extra pounds to lug around on our bodies between December and March.  (And that’s not even taking into account any of the chocolate I’ve eaten.)

Well, as promised, here’s the final Gastronomic Gift that, like the days just passed, can be completed in a flash.  These are not ornate, sugar-coated  or piped with brightly colored icing for the holidays, but nevertheless, they were so good that I felt it would be Scrooge-like to withold these gems.

I don’t know why, but macaroons spell “holiday” to me (maybe somebody should lend me a dictionary).  This recipe for amazingly chewy, chocolatey, irresistible macaroon-like cookies is taken (almost) verbatim from the brilliant Ellen Abraham’s Simple Treats, and it is a defnite winner.  At a recent pot luck supper at my place (post to come anon), all eight of the women present raved over these and the cookies were gone, well, in a flash.

Properly named Chocolate Coconut Cookies by their creator, these yummy bites came together easily and quickly with the aid of my trusty food processor (which, I’ve discovered as I transcribe the final recipes for the cookbook,  has become quite the fixture in my baking these days). Once baked and cooled, the cookies can be stored and packaged without worry, as they are fairly sturdy as well.

Since the CFO is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, I’ll be taking a break from blogging between now and some time after Christmas (except for an already pre-scheduled post on the 25th).

Our celebration this year will be quiet and intimate, but special nonetheless.  And, for the first time, with just more than a year of blogging under my belt (and see? without even leaping on that opportunity for a fat-belt joke), I feel very lucky to be sharing this first holiday season with all of you, my readers and other bloggers I’ve “met” in the past 13 months.  I couldn’t have imagined how much I’d come to love and appreciate this amazing community back in November 2007, when I started this blog.

So thank you, all, for reading, for commenting, for offering your own blog posts, recipes, and ideas on a regular basis.  Here’s wishing you all a peaceful, restful, joyful holiday season.  I hope you are able to spend time with those you love, those you care about, and those who make you laugh.  And throw in some great food and gifts while you’re at it, too.

* * *   Happy Holidays!  * * *

Um, Mum, did we hear you correctly?  Did you just mention that Auntie CFO is coming to visit–?? All-RIGHT!  New Nylabones!”

[And don’t forget: There’s still one day left to bid on any of the fabulous prizes for Menu for Hope.  Just go to the main donation page and pick something you like, for only $10 per ticket–proceeds go to the UN World Food Programme.  My prize is a year’s subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine, plus a one kilo (2 lb.) jar of Omega Nutrtion organic coconut oil.  Prize code: CA 05.]


Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to via email. You’ll get recipes as soon as they’re posted, plus cookbook updates and news about upcoming events! (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”

Other Gastronomic Gifts:

GG I: Fudge Two Ways

GG II:  Brandied Apricot-Ginger Spread

GG III: Marzipan-Topped Shortbread **Note: the original recipe was somehow transcribed incorrectly–please use the current version with the correct amount of flour!!

GG IV: Jam-Filled Turnovers

GG V: Tutti Fruiti Christmas Cookies

GG VI: Pumpkin Butter

Last Year at this Time: Brussels Sprouts even My Honey Will Eat

© 2008 Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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  1. Aww these look amazing, too bad I’m not a big coconut fan!

    2 days until Christmas!?!?! WHAT!?

  2. Ricki, have a great holiday! Hope The Girls have fun unwrapping presents!

  3. These sound great!! I love coconut. Plus, I love that they use dates instead of plain sugar 🙂

  4. Macaroooooons!!! Classic.

    Merry Christmas, Ricki!!!

  5. Wow–these look great! I will have to bookmark the recipe to make after the holidays…my suitcase is full of homemade goodies (including your fudge, blondies, and Christmas cookies) and presents and I have absolutely NO room for clothes! Ha! But your homemade treats are worth wearing the same thing for 3 days :o)

    Thanks for all the delicious recipes, ideas, and wonderful blog posts! I hope you have a very Happy and safe and WARM holiday!


  6. Merry Christmas Ricki! These look really good, but I will have to squirrel the recipe away, as there are only 2 days to go and I am starting to PANIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aghhhhhhhh! What am I doing online, when I have so much to do?

  7. i haven’t had a macaroon in years, Ricki! i had no idea they were so easy to make! these look scrumptious, indeed! and i have to agree – macaroons spell “holiday” for me, too! yay!

    hope you have a rock’n holiday! may it be filled with laughter, hugs, and awesomeness!

  8. Yay for macaroons! Hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

  9. These look amazing!! Enjoy a relaxing and peaceful time with your loved ones Ricki 🙂

  10. Yum, what a treat! I’ve been thinking about getting the Simple Treats book, so if there are more delicious desserts like this, I might need to give it as a gift to myself this season..!

  11. Happy everything, Ricki!!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with HH & sis & of course the girls. Save me one of those little beauties, will ya? They look too good to be true!

  12. Great ideas! Having been more or less snowed in for a week now I am making my Christmas gifts too…and loving it. Happy Holidays!

  13. these macaroons look like just my sort of thing! who needs fancy icing and frosting when they look so good and full of chocolate! Hope you and HH and the girls have a great festive season with the CFO – and may there be lots of feasting to keep yourself warm 🙂

  14. I could not agree more with your homemade sentiment – I truly believe that the best gifts are homemade. Your cookies look lovely – anyone would be lucky to receive them!

  15. Wow. You’ve been more than amazing in presenting all of these beautiful treats! I’ve already made the fudge twice — the second time with brown rice syrup instead of agavé, which I was out of. Yum.

    Have a warm (ha) and wonderful holiday celebrating with your family.

  16. Can you believe I’ve never made a macaroon?!? These would make a wonderful gift, I’m so glad you shared the recipe!

    And the holidays totally snuck up on me too… but at least I’m not having to deal with snow like so many others right now… it’s 70 degrees here today!

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful holidays Ricki!!

  17. These looks absolutly delicious! Happy Holidays 🙂

  18. Ali Sterlin says:

    As usual, your recipes and running commentaire blow me away. I don’t think I am capable of actually executing one, but I do dream of tasting… Hope you and your crew have a brilliant holiday and you achieve all that you want to from now until the end of 2008. If your inspiring blog is anything to go by, 2009 promises to bring you the cudos (kudos?? maybe I am thinking of cujo..) that you deserve. Now off to bed for me as I have a very early wake up call in the morning… Three actually. Merry Christmas!!!


  19. Your macaroons look heavenly! I love the use of date paste!

    and your latkes are absolutely beautiful… Such a great idea, to cook them in an iron skillet!

    Happy Chanukkah and Merry Christmas! Hooray for double the celebration! 🙂

  20. Mmmm my grandma has a “chocolate snowball” recipe that seems similar to this. Now I want to try your version!

  21. Chocolate and coconut were born to be together! Thank you for all the fabulous gastronomic gifts, I think these might be my favorite ones!

    Hey, you should bring the girls here! We have at least two squirrels in our back yard every day! Today we had four at the same time!

    Thank you for being such an awesome blogger, you know how much I love your blog!


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