Thursday, July 1, 2010
I love coconut. I currently have a lot of coconut to use because I bought unsweetened coconut from Amazon, since I couldn't find any in the stores. So I've been trying to find good coconut recipes to use up all the coconut I have laying around.
These coconut cookies by Martha Stewart were on my to-do list for quite a while. They looked easy to make, but I never had time to make them. I finally had some time to make them this weekend. They actually took a little longer than I thought they would. It was hard to make the dough stick together. It was also really hard to roll the balls of dough in coconut because the coconut flakes didn't stick on the balls.
These cookies had a hard crunchy outside, with a little bit of a chewy inside. They have a strong coconut taste. They are a bit messy to eat though because they are rolled in coconut flakes which fall off quite easily.
My cookies baked slightly too long, so they are a bit darker than I wanted. I liked these cookies, but I think I'll continue to look for another coconut cookie recipe.
Coconut cookies (recipe found on Bake Fresh, from Martha Stewart)
- 1 package (14 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut (5 1/3 cups) (I used unsweetened and it still tasted fine)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 2 loosely packed cups of
coconut on a plate. Place remaining coconut in a food processor along
with sugar, salt, and baking powder; process until finely ground. Add
butter, and process just until no lumps remain. Add egg and vanilla;
process just until smooth. Add flour; pulse until a crumbly dough
begins to form,
scraping sides of bowl as needed (do not overmix).
Forming 5 or 6 at a time, scoop level tablespoons of dough, and
place in reserved coconut. Roll into balls, coating with coconut.
Arrange balls, about 2 inches apart, on baking sheets. Bake until
lightly golden, 23 to 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes;
transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
3614 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91504
Porto's Bakery has been on my radar for a while. It's a large, popular Cuban bakery that sells a huge selection of baked goods for very low prices. I read great review of Porto's from Gastronomy and Eileen Likes to Eat. Even my mom has tried Porto's. Apparently someone brought some to her work and she emailed me about it, saying I should try it next time I'm in LA.
Unfortunately, Porto's is quite far away and has not been near any of the places I visited on my recent LA trips. Finally, I had a chance to visit Porto's this past weekend. Porto's has two locations, the original one in Glendale and now a second location in Burbank, which is the one I visited.
The bakery is quite big and once inside, I was overwhelmed by the number of baked goods. It was incredible how many baked goods they offered and the massive amount of quantities left despite the fact that the place was incredibly busy with long lines. The popularity of this bakery reminded me of 85 C in Irvine.
I wanted to try everything. Though it really wasn't possible as there were maybe a hundred different things to try. The prices were so low that I left with three boxes of goods. Almost everything was priced at between $1-$2, a refreshing change from the usual prices I'm accustomed to at bakeries. Luckily I had people coming over the next day to share all the pastries with.
While the lines are long, they move fast and the staff is efficient. There is also plenty of tables to dine at inside and outside.
I won't describe everything I bought. Here is a shot of each box of stuff.
The savory box contained potato balls,chicken croquette and meat pies. I really liked the potato balls and the chicken croquette. The potato ball was crispy and breaded on the outside, with a layer of mashed potatoes and then a chili filling. It was slightly spicy and absolutely delicious!
Normally I'm not a big fan of danishes, but Cuban bakeries are known for their danish-like pastires, so I figured I would try a few. The cheese rolls, and the guava and cheese ones are very popular here, so I got a few of those. I also got a sweet croissant, an apple turnover, a slice of crumb cake and a coconut ball.
Despite not loving danishes, I enjoyed the guava and cheese roll and the cheese roll. They weren't too sweet and the pastry layer wasn't too oily.
My last box was filled with lots of pretty individual cakes. My favorite was the mango mousse, the fruit tart and the mango cheesecake. I thought the red velvet cupcake was a little dry. I also didn't love the eclair. The little chocolate cake was intensely chocolate and was more like a chocolate mousse. I preferred the three layered chocolate mousse which was lighter and not as sweet.
I wish this bakery was closer to me. I would definitely pay it a visit often. Especially for the potato balls, croquette, fruit tart and mango mousse.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Congratulations to Sandy and Jess of Lazygirlkitchen for winning the panda cookies giveaway!
I’ve never tasted clafoutis before, but I’ve seen a lot of recipes for them recently. I decided to try baking some cherry clafoutis this weekend to try them out. It just so happened that my cherry chomper arrived this weekend. Not only is it adorable, but it makes cherry pitting so much easier!
I didn’t have the ramekins I usually see used to make cherry clafoutis, so I used the small ones I had. Clafoutis are really easy to make. I didn’t even need a mixer. I used a recipe I found on Fork Spoon Knife. The recipe actually calls for the cherries not to be pitted. But I thought it’d be easier to eat the clafoutis with pitted cherries and I really wanted to use my cherry chomper.
Some of my cherries didn’t look so pretty after I baked them. The lighter red ones came out brown. The darker ones bled purple into the batter. I saw some variations on clafoutis that added an almond flavor. I think I may try that next time.
Cherry Clafoutis (adapted from Fork Spoon Knife)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1.5 T granulated white sugar
1/2 cup cream
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 T unsalted melted butter
pinch of teaspoon salt
handful of cherries for each ramekins
1. Sift the dry ingredients
together. Whisk together the cream, eggs, extract and butter. Add the
wet to the dry and whisk to make a smooth batter.
2. Place the
cherries in shallow ramekins and pour the batter over them not covering
them completely. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes or until the clafoutis is
puffed, set, and golden brown around the edges. Serve immediately with
a dusting of confectioners sugar.