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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Recipe Round Up: Magical Macadamia, Coconut and Chocolate Cookies, Light Bread, Not Quite from the Little House Cookbook



Magical Macadamia, Coconut and Chocolate Cookies


These cookies are really magical. If you are allergic to nuts, I am sorry, because these really depend on the macadamias. You can make another kind of cookie instead. These are my best estimate of how to make the cookies from the Magical Sandwich Shop in Tacoma. We no longer live near there, so we can't eat their sandwiches (which are also magical - there is no false advertising there) or their cookies unless we make a trip back home. If you get a chance to visit the Magical Sandwich Shop in Tacoma, go!

3 cups pastry flour
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsalted butter, softened (4 sticks)
2 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla brandy or vanilla extract (I make my own vanilla brandy)
3 large eggs
3 1/4 cups sweetened, flaked coconut (one bag)
3 cups bittersweet chocolate chunks (you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips in their place)
2 cups chopped macadamia nuts

I don't really need to tell you how to make these. Almost everyone in America can put together drop cookies, but just in case:

Line several cookie sheets/jelly roll pans with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, cream butter with brown sugar, until light and frothy. Add in vanilla extract, mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in coconut, chocolate chips and nuts.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes and no more than an hour.

Scoop by two tablespoonful scoops onto parchment lined pans, about two inches apart. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Let cool a couple minutes on the pan, then remove to cooling rack and cool completely. Store in airtight container. If you have any left. This makes about 5 dozen cookies, give or take a few.



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Light Bread

We have been reading the Little House books with our younger kids, who hadn't heard them all before. Of course, we are also trying to do some crafts and cooking from the books. Well, I thought I had followed the recipe for the Light Bread from By the Shores of Silver Lake in The Little House Cookbook, but I made a mistake. A happy accident, it turns out, occurred when I added extra yeast when mixing the dough after letting the sponge rise. So, here is my method. I was so taken aback at how light this bread really was. I expected it to be light the way modern sandwich bread is, but it was airy while still having substance and excellent flavor. It is what Wonderbread wishes it was. You can divide this recipe in half, but it is really so good, that I would make the whole batch and freeze the extras, wrapped tightly after cooling completely, if you cannot eat them all within a few days.

Sponge:

4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 cups warm water
4 cups bread flour

Mix all ingredients well, until combined completely. Cover and let rest on the counter for at least 4 to 5 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. I used the dough cycle on our bread machine and just let it rest with the lid on it for half the recipe and our stand mixer for the full recipe.

Dough:

3 tablespoons bacon grease, melted and cooled slightly, or softened butter
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup bread flour plus 3 cups
2 teaspoons yeast
all of the sponge

1 tablespoon bacon grease or softened butter to grease pans

Mix 3 tablespoons bacon grease, milk, salt, sugar, 1 cup bread flour, yeast, and all of the sponge. Slowly add 2 cups of the bread flour, and mix in well. Add remaining cup of bread flour and mix to combine.

Knead in the bowl for about 3 minutes, then let rest for 3 minutes. Repeat this process four more times for a total of about 15 minutes of kneading. If you are making half the dough and have a stand mixer, you can do the kneading and resting process entirely in the stand mixer, which is good, because it doesn't introduce more flour. If you do the entire recipe (and don't have a commercial Hobart mixer, which I would love), then be careful to knead the dough with as little additional flour as possible. In fact, I knead the last cup of flour in during that kneading process, and try to use as little more as I can. Cover bowl and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Grease four loaf pans or a large baking sheet with remaining tablespoon of bacon grease. Shape into four loaves and place in or on pan(s). Cover and let rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350° F for 30 minutes. Place pan(s) in oven and bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until browned and fully cooked. Turn loaves out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing.

These can be made into rolls, as well. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes for rolls spaced an inch or so apart on the pans.

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