Happy Monday! I hope you are all having a great week. I have not been in the kitchen much recently, but for a very good reason! I am newly engaged as of Sunday February 17th :), and could not be happier. I honestly did not know love, even life, could feel this way until I met Taylor. We started dating 3 years ago in February of 2016 after meeting via a mutual friend. I can without hesitation say they have been the best 3 years of my life. He is an incredible man not only to me, but everyone in his life. He has the most pure heart and fills me up with love, positivity and encouragement everyday. Since I met him I have become a better person, and am so lucky I get to do life with him!
Soo as one can assume I have suddenly entered wedding planning mode…hard core :). My free time has already been filled with searching the internet/Pinterest for wedding ideas, skimming bridal magazines, researching venues, photographers, etc. I actually made myself feel car sick the following day (Monday), from constant scrolling on the computer! It did not take long for me to suddenly feel a little (more like a lot :)) overwhelmed….I had no idea (and still don’t really) all that is involved in wedding planning. I have a newfound respect for my married friends….and some of your phones will likely be ringing soon :).
Now that I’ve had a week to digest this new and incredibly exciting time in my life, I feel I have come back down to planet earth :). Taylor has already been amazing at taking the time to sit and talk with me about wedding ideas. He will without a doubt be my voice of reason throughout this process. He tells me I help center his mind and bring him back when he gets “out to sea”, but he absolutely does the same for me. I know he and I being together with our family and friends is really what matters, not all the little details. No one else knows them…so nobody will know if they do not work out anyways, right :)?! We are going to enjoy (not stress) planning our wedding, and do our best to make it special in our own way.
One funny side note, and then i’ll get to the cookies! I had a great idea (so I thought) of how to get Taylor’s opinion on a wedding dress. I of course want the dress to be a surprise, but also want to know if he has any “hard no’s” on wedding dress style. I took it upon myself to rip out multiple weddings dresses from magazines, ones I liked/loved and others I disliked/really did not like. Last night while relaxing on the couch I said…”hey let’s play a quick wedding game”. He laughed and said “ok…:)”. I told him I would hold up pictures of wedding dresses, some I loved and others not so much…He was then to give me thumbs up or thumbs down. Initially I thought this game seemed harmless….but then suddenly began sinking deeper and deeper into my seat as every dress I liked/loved was given a thumbs down! I had about 20 dresses ripped out, and kid you not we were opposite on every single one! My idea totally backfired…sooo I am just going to forget last night happened and put dresses on the back-burner for a while.
Anyways… moving on :). After he proposed, he took me to my mom’s house for a pre-planned dinner to celebrate with she and my brother. We had a great time! My mom is absolutely over the moon, to say the least :). We were suppose to have dinner with his parents yesterday to continue the celebration, but we lost power :(. It was incredibly windy in Indiana yesterday, and many people were in the same boat as us. We missed the first hour and a half of the Oscars too :(…but thankfully had power again in time for Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance! It’s amazing how much we rely on power… and appreciate it after it is taken away!
Thankfully I started prepping for Sunday dinner on Saturday when we had power. I always start with dessert first :), and wanted to make something Taylor’s dad would enjoy. He loves coconut macaroons as well as carrot cake, so I thought why not combine the two?! Carrot cake already has coconut in it, making these two easy to merge together. The pineapple, walnuts, raisins and spices take this macaroon up another level. The pineapple adds extra moisture along with a brightness, while the cinnamon and nutmeg warm you from the inside out. I prefer to keep the macaroons in the fridge due to the pineapple in them. I feel they taste better cold anyway! Feel free to play around with the recipe also. You can use any type of nut or dried fruit you’d like. Dark chocolate would work well too!
Unfortunately his family didn’t get to try any due to having to cancel our plans, but I sent them with Taylor to deliver at work today. I am anxious to hear how they went over!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25-30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Makes ~12 cookies
• 5 ounces shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened (~ 2 cups)
• 4 oz peeled carrots, shredded (~1 cup)
• One 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained WELL
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, roasted and unsalted ( I used honey roasted for Taylor’s dad)
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed coconut milk (or regular)
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (preferred)
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 XL egg white beaten to stiff peaks
• 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped (such as Bakers Bar or Ghiradelli)
• 1 teaspoon solid coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Make sure the baking rack is in the center level of the oven.
2. Pour an 8 oz can of crushed pineapple into a colander or fine mesh strainer. Push crushed pineapple against the sides with the back of a spoon or spatula to rid some of the excess liquid. The pineapple will still be moist, but should not be excessively wet or damp. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the shredded coconut, shredded carrots, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg to bowl with pineapple. Stir to combine.
4. Measure 1/2 cup condensed milk in a liquid measuring cup, then add another 2 tablespoons. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Add milk mixture to large bowl of dry ingredients. Combine via stirring and folding in with spatula.
5. Whip the egg white and salt in a separate, medium bowl via a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
6. Transfer the beaten egg white to coconut mixture. Fold in with spatula until combined. The mixture will seem damp/wet at this point but should not be soup”y” or crumbly/dry.
7. Use an over-sized cookie scoop to transfer the macaroon mixture to a prepared baking sheet. Lightly compact the macaroon mixture in the oversize scoop to help create a compact ball shape.
8. Bake for 12-13 minutes, then rotate the tray 180 degrees. Bake for another 12-13 minutes until the coconut is just lightly browned and starts to develop a slight crust. I baked mine for exactly 25 minutes, but may need a few more or less minutes depending on your oven.
9. Allow macaroons to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
10. Melt white chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler, or in heat safe dish in the microwave. If using a microwave, melt the chocolate in 20-30 second intervals on power 8, stirring in between. Line a cool (no longer warm) baking sheet with a clean sheet of parchment or a Silpat.
11. Once cookies are cool, dip the bottom of the cookie into the melted chocolate mixture. Allow excess to drip off and place onto your clean/prepared lined baking sheet. Allow 20-30 minutes for chocolate to firm up. Enjoy one right away 🙂 or store extra in airtight container in the fridge. I prefer to store these in the fridge because of the pineapple in them…and I think they taste better cold :).