Thursday, December 20, 2012
Chocolate Coconut Balls and Cookie Cards
Since I was all geared up to get Christmas happening in this place last Sunday, once I was done with the ginger crinkles I moved on to chocolate coconut balls. This was another recipe I received from Food Network's 12 Days of Cookies. It is an Alton Brown recipe, which caught my eye as I don't think I've ever made an Alton Brown recipe and not loved it. These were no different!
The recipe calls for macadamia nuts, but I went to the grocery store and to be honest, the macadamia nuts were going to cost a fortune. Instead I opted for almonds, figuring the recipe calls for almond extract, so the taste couldn't be too off. I started by chopping up the almonds and then mixing them with the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and (only 1 teaspoon of) almond extract. I've yet to find sweetened coconut in this country (so sad), so I just used regular shredded coconut. I imagine that with the sweetened coconut, these would be even more amazing. I looked at the comments and someone had suggested refrigerating the mixture at this point as it made rolling much easier.
After about an hour in the fridge, I started rolling the little balls. The mixture stuck to my hands a bit, but it wasn't a bit deal at all.
Once the balls are all made, they go back to the refrigerator for a while.
Then it is time to coat them in chocolate. The 12-ounces of chocolate the recipe calls for seemed a bit extreme so I started with 6, but had to add 3 more. Wasting chocolate is a sin in my book. I did add the shortening to the chocolate, instead of my usual oil and it worked just as well. I couldn't tell a difference to be honest.
Whenever I dip balls into chocolate, I always search for a plastic fork first, break off the middle two prongs and use that to do the dipping. I have found it works super well. I also used a spoon to help move the ball around or pour on a bit more chocolate, just to make sure it is coated well.
Once all of the balls were coated, I put them into the refrigerator again to harden up.
Then Y and I sampled one...after dinner, we each had a few more!
These are so super simple to make and delicious - they taste like an Almond Joy. Mmmmm...Almond Joys.
On a cookie related note, I just got the sweetest cards in the mail this afternoon. I know...cookies and cards rarely go together, but stay with me here!
A few weeks ago, one of my best friends from college, a graphic designer) told me that she, her sister and their aunt started a card company. Apparently they started it a while ago, but she didn't want to tell any of us in case we would feel pressured to buy (she is so cute!). I totally wish she would have told me sooner!! The reason she had told me about them is because one of their lines of cards uses their own decorated cookies as images - what an adorable idea.
I took a look at Rosebud's website and fell in love with so many of the cookie cards that I wanted to buy them all, but alas I only bought a few cards and gift enclosures.
I was their first overseas customer (they are based in the US), but ordering was simple. I just sent an email to Rosebud's address, told them what cards I wanted and my address, then I was sent a PayPal invoice. The response was super fast and I was able to pick how I wanted the inside to read (blank was fine as well). At my friend's suggestion, I chose for them to read "Wishing you the sweetest of seasons". Eeek, are they so cute!
The cards arrived quickly and are really beautiful. The card itself is on very thick, Crane's cotton paper (who doesn't love Crane's stationery??) and the printing is just perfect. While I adore the cookie cards, the Christmas card she sent to our family is gorgeous as well.
Y immediately commented on how Japanese it looked. It definitely does. It even has the hiragana for the first letter of her name. How cool!! All of these Christmas cards can be found in the "Holiday" link. And while it is a bit late this year, they also have beautiful Hanukkah cards in case Christmas trees or cookies aren't your thing.
But seriously?? How could you not love this one? My friend referred to it as their "greatest hits of Christmas cookies". Sugar and spice DO make the holidays nice!
In addition to the Holiday cards, they have adorable greeting and birthday cards, as well as invitations, place setting cards, and even baby announcements. These are just a few of the greeting and birthday card options.
OMG do I adore those giraffes!!!
Rosebud was a wonderful company to work with. Not only are the cards so sweet, of wonderful quality, and extremely creative, the owners were super quick to respond to my emails and always very pleasant. I know that one of the owners is a good friend of mine, but there is no doubt in my mind that every person who orders from them would have just as an enjoyable experience as I did.
As a quick note, this post is certainly not sponsored (I am not definitely not big enough for that type of thing), I just really fell in love with these cookie cards and figured that if you read my blog, you might like cookies and cookie cards too!