Red Velvet Coconut Macaroons. We're not messing around anymore.

It’s true! And just in time for Valentine’s Day!

After months of testing, Red Velvet Coconut Macaroons are now available for sale! People have been going nuts for these during testing and I’m so excited about sharing them with everyone.

This is the first in what should be a long line of reinvented coconut macaroons. Who says the French are the only ones that get to play with fun macaroon flavor and color combinations? No one, that’s who. So now, I’m proud to present this labor of love: the Red Velvet Coconut Macaroon! Can’t find it anywhere else but from Danny Macaroons, I promise you that.

What’s in ’em? Oh, a little hint of chocolate, some cream cheese frosting, and topped off with some toasted pecans (chopped or whole? I keep going back and forth about which one I like better). All the flavors you know and love, now in the form of: a macaroon!

I would say that the Egyptians are all pissed off at their government because they won’t lift their Danny Macaroons embargo and let the people have this crazy delicious macaroon that they’ve never had before, but that would be totally ignoring the other reason why they’re angry (freedom or something), and that’s not cool.

But at least here (or wherever you are with internet access) you are free to order to your heart’s contentūüôā

And for those of you wondering which coffee shops and cafes are carrying them, they’ll be at Kava on Friday and making guest appearances throughout the city later this month.

Sabra Hummus

September 26, 2010

I love Sun-ni hummus, but they’re based outside of Philadelphia and no one up in NYC (that I know of) sells it.¬† So my default is Sabra.¬† Totally good enough.

So when I was walking home from my soccer game, I was surprised when I stumbled upon the Sabra packing and shipping facility (maybe they do production there, too….I’m not sure).

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Had no idea they were based in NY.¬† And was then disappointed to find out they were moving this big plant down to VA in the next few months.¬† All those jobs leaving the city.¬† It’s too bad.¬† But who knows, at the rate things are going, maybe I’ll need some expert packers and shippers for the macaroons….!

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Many thanks to Big Hum for the hummus hookup on the loading dock.

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Posted by magic….

Who said turnovers?

September 17, 2010

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Maybe these will be the last stone fruit turnovers of the season.¬† Maybe not.¬† I’m excited about getting apple ones going, but there’s something about peaches, plums, and nectarines that makes these particularly awesome.¬†

Find em at Luna Espresso (83rd St/1st Ave) after they’ve cooled off a bit….(ie later today)

Posted by magic….

Someone’s Getting Married

September 1, 2010

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A good friend asked me if I’d make some macaroons for his wedding.¬† I’m flattered that someone thinks highly enough of these macaroons to want to include them in such a special day.

I’ll be doing bags of two, one salted caramel macaroon and one chocolate dipped macaroon in each bag, and nice custom labels (with the help of my friends at Lazar’s Chocolate) and ribbon ties.¬† Should look (and taste) great.

(update) 125 chocolated macaroons…

nice little macaroons

(update: 9/2/10, 10am)

all ready to ship…

Posted by magic….

How to Open Pistachio Nuts that Just Won’t Open

You can often find me making pistachio biscotti when I’m not making chocolate dipped or salted caramel macaroons.¬† I like to put a ton of pistachios in my biscotti, which means that I’m inevitably faced with a whole lot of nuts that just won’t open.¬† As anyone who’s ever eaten pistachios knows, it’s a real pain in the ass to deal with the ones that won’t open.¬† Broken finger nails, gouged cuticles – broken teeth, even – it’s just not fun.¬† I’ve tried lots of ways to open these unopenable ones, and this, by far, is the easiest way to open pistachio nuts.

Step 1: Find some pistachios that won’t open

the unopenable pistachio

pistachio nuts like this are a pain in the ass to open

Step 2: Grab half of an already opened pistachio shell and press it up against the crack in your unopenable pistachio

how to open the unopenable pistachio

all you need is one pistachio that you've already opened and you're good to go

Step 3: Push the half shell into your previously unopenable pistachio, working it around – not through – the nut meat.

You want to slide it up and over (or down and under) the meat inside, almost as if you were opening an oyster.

the unopenable nut, opened

wedge your half shell into the unopenable nut, running it along the outside of the meat

Step 4: Eat your previously impossible-to-eat pistachio nut!

voila: the unopenable pistachio, opened.

a little bonus nut

With a little bit of ingenuity, you’ll get a few more nuts out of every batch of pistachios.¬† However, I’ve got no easy answer for the ones that don’t have at least a little crack in them….

Salted caramel macaroons, while delicious, are no match for city and state mandated licenses.¬† But there’s hope.

Yesterday was the Greenpoint Food Market’s¬†Think Tank Potluck – a panel discussion, brainstorming session, and vendor mingling event all in the effort to figure out what to do with the GFM (and how to be a start-up food vendor in NYC).

I decided to break out Danny Macaroons as the event was billed as a panel discussion about start-up food businesses and the future of this market that lots of people love(d?) – with some really great panelists (Bob Lewis, I’m looking at you).¬† What better way to get some good info on the challenges facing people like me and to meet some of those people?

Most of the discussion seemed to center around very small producers/vendors grappling with the problem of “how do we take our small production legit?” It’s easy to dip your toe into this business.¬† Food is easy; the barriers to entry are VERY low (buy some stuff at the store, whip it up into whatever tasty thing you make, and…you’re in).

That is, until you start trying to turn what you do from a hobby into a business.¬† That’s where things start to get tricky.¬† Incorporating and picking up insurance to protect your personal and (developing) business assets, getting the proper licenses and permits, trademarking your name, working out packaging, and figuring out how to market effectively are all things that take time, and, worse, money.¬† For a business that¬†seemed¬†so easy to get into – I just make stuff and then sell it – it’s actually a lot more complicated than that.¬† And it seems like that’s what lots of people are struggling with.

While there weren’t a ton of answers delivered yesterday (and, really, what¬†is¬†the answer?¬† Spend on a legal team?¬† For most of the vendors in attendance, that’s not really an option…) – but while there weren’t a ton of answers, there were lots of great tips.¬† For example, Bob Lewis had a¬†sheet that listed the exemptions available for a home producer certification.¬† (Sadly notable: making chocolate – including tempering chocolate for dipping – is apparently¬†notallowed.)¬† Getting your home kitchen certified for your production takes out the potentially huge cost of renting space at a commercial kitchen, which is a major hurdle for lots of the vendors.¬† There are also a couple of incubator kitchens in the works, which will hopefully be a little bit more creative with the space-leasing arrangements than other commercial kitchen spaces.

Most importantly, it was clear that there’s a really strong community out there that is focused on seeing small vendors succeed and grow into their businesses.¬† And, while I think the salted caramel coconut macaroons and the chocolate covered macaroons both held up well, there was a ton of great food out there.¬† From kick-ass ice pops and cannoli to GREAT tofu wraps….these vendors mean business.¬† Hopefully the Greenpoint Food Market, in whatever incarnation it reappears, will provide a venue for those businesses to grow.