2012 Advent Calendar, Day 8

For our Save the Date wedding cards, Gil and I originally wanted something along the lines of, “A Cajun Mennonite and a Jew walk into a bar…” Upon further reflection, we decided fielding questions or hearing the end of the joke from a couple hundred people while we were planning a wedding in another city wasn’t the brightest idea, so the card defaulted to more traditional wording. But you can see that, right from the very beginning, we knew how to blend.

While we both came into this thing with an appreciation for Mel Brooks and Faulkner House Books, Gil has taken on LSU football and the whole “Christmas with a large family + boudin” thing with gusto, and I’ve learned to appropriate a few of his holidays while putting a southern spin on them. Example the first: Pecan-Brown Sugar Macaroons.

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 8

. . . with bourbon vanilla extract and drizzled chocolate! Happy Hanukkah, y’all! (I know I should be frying something instead, but these are easier and leave my house smelling a whole lot better.)

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 8

I started with my go-to recipe from the past few years, but wasn’t sure what the added moisture from the brown sugar would do, so I used a little less. The pecans were a one-for-one swap for the almonds, and the bourbon-vanilla because you can’t have pecans and brown sugar without a little bourbon, amirite? (I’ll get to the finer points of making your own vanilla extract in an upcoming post, so stay tuned.) I probably don’t have to tell you how delicious these were, so I’ll just let Ru do the talking . . .

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 8

Honestly! I took Otis out for five minutes and came back to discover this. My initial surprise turned to wonder. Why did he leave three? Is he ok? Is he saving them for a midnight snack? To quote Ron Burgundy, “I’m not even mad; that’s amazing!” (And yeah, we got confirmation that Ru was the guilty party during our walk the next morning. That jerk.)

recipe after the jump

Pecan Macaroons adapted from Martha Stewart

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg white
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or homemade bourbon- or dark rum-vanilla extract)
Pinch of coarse salt
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment. Whisk together sugar and egg white in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Form dough into eight 2-tablespoon mounds, and drop each onto sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake macaroons until golden-brown on bottoms and edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool. Using a spoon, drizzle melted chocolate over cooled macaroons.

Macaroons will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.

Note: I’m planning to open an Etsy store in the new year to sell prints, cards, etc. Tell me: would you like to see these Advent Calendar posts collected into a set of cards with the recipes? Anything else your hearts desire?

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