Little French Girl

{July 17, 2010}   Chewy Carrot Coconut Cookies

This was my second experience with a dehydrator, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients for 10 cookies:
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup coconut shavings
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons raw honey
1 cup raw unsalted walnuts, ground (a coffee grinder is great for it)
2 teaspoons mesquite powder
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 pinch clove
1 pinch nutmeg

Mix all ingredients well, making sure the honey is spread evenly throughout the batter. You can use your clean sprightly fingers, or a wooden spoon. Once you have an even, dense and sticky paste, make ten little disks (of the cookie shape you like) and flatten them on a dehydrator.
Turn the dehydrator to 105F (41C) and dehydrate for about 4-6 hours. My advice is to check at 4 hours and see how chewy you want them to be (the denser you like them, the longer you want to keep them in).
You can serve them as soon as they’re out of the dehydrator, or keep them in the fridge for a few days.


Tonight’s Twelfth Night!

It traditionally marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas, and at the same time it kicks off the Carnival season which lasts until Mardi Gras. The evening consists of revels, drinks, and pastries, among which the King’s Cake, eaten in England and France, may be the most popular today. Originally baked with a bean inside, this cake is made of a puff pastry and filled with an egg-butter-almond batter (though other variations exist). During the night, whoever gets the bean becomes the king of the revels until the strike of midnight.

Nowadays in France the Kings’ Cake (Galette des Rois) is often eaten on the day of Epiphany (it is named after Melchior, Gaspard and Balthazar). At home the youngest child of the house hides under the table and an adult cuts the cake. From under the table, the child will name who gets which slice to ensure the king is selected at random. Once someone finds the bean, they become King, and wears a paper crown which the baker has given with the galette.

Most bakeries in France are filled with galettes des rois during Epiphany week, and the original bean has now been replaced by a figurine, more often than not made of china. Fancier shops team up occasionally with reknown designers to create special editions for the occasion (e.g. Lenotre/Sonia Rykiel with a series of faces named and designed after the seven deadly sins in 1994). Being less fancy this year, I bought mine from the local grocery store so I wonder what I’ll be getting…

Finally, if you’re in Brooklyn and want to try a galette des rois, Provence en Boite (Smith Street in Carrol Gardens) makes a nice one!

et cetera