We are just one short week away from Valentine’s Day!
And today is the day we’ll be driving through the Rocky Mountains once again on our way to visit my parents in Kelowna, BC.
Konrad loves these long road trips! For him it is a time to think, reflect and come up with new ideas. I used to not mind long drives. But as with so many things, throw a baby into the mix and everything changes.
This will be already our fourth Rocky Mountain crossing with Olivia. I can’t help but feel bad for my little, super independent baby. Usually I have a hard time keeping her happy and occupied sitting in her high chair or on my lap for 10-15 minutes.
Sitting in the car seat for about 8 hours must be so hard for someone who is discovering the world with as much enthusiasm as her. I can only hope that the car’s movement with encourage many naps.
And of course, I pity myself a little too. Diaper changes and feedings in the back of the car are no fun. Especially if its freezing outside.
Luckily, Olivia and I won’t be driving back. Konrad will drive back alone after the weekend while we stay for an entire week. At the end of which we get to fly back home right on Valentine’s Day. And that takes only 1 hour. Yay. *happydance*
Something else that causes me to break out in happy dances, are delicious sweet treats that are super easy to make. Especially when they don’t involve refined sugar and happen to be gluten-free.
Yes, I am talking about these Coconut Macaroon Clouds! Can you believe that (sans decoration) these cookies are made of only 4 ingredients?
There are egg whites that we beat with honey and vanilla extract until stiff. This takes about 5 minutes with a handheld mixer. In baker’s jargon this is soft peak stage.
The mixture is stiff enough to stay in the bowl, even when turned upside down. But the peak of white fluff on the spatula is softly curving down (opposed to standing straight up in stiff peak stage).
Now you only have to fold the coconut into the egg white mixture and our batter is done. It seems that in all the stores I shop in, unsweetened coconut is only available as desiccated. If you can get your hands on unsweetened shredded coconut, that should work too.
Using a small cookie scoop (1 tablespoon) place the coconut clouds on a lined baking sheet. They are baked at low heat so that they can set without darkening too much.
If you would like to decorate your cookies as well, dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate and sprinkle with (Valentine’s) sprinkles.
For a healthier, natural alternative I just came across this great idea from Texanerin on BHG. Using crumbled, freeze-dried raspberries gives you a great, all natural pop of color and adds a little tart flavor contrast.
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut (I used desiccated, but feel free to use shredded)
- Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a handheld mixer for about 30 seconds until just foamy. Add honey and vanilla extract and beat on high until stiff (soft peak stage, ~5 minutes).
- Fold in coconut until just combined and scoop out 1 tablespoon sized cookies. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until set and lightly browned.
- If desired, dip half of the cookies in melted chocolate and add sprinkles (or crushed freeze-dried berries).
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