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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easy Entertaining

Onion Gruyère Tarts
1 Sheet of puff pastry, thawed
2 Spanish onions, sliced thin
1 TBS butter
1/2 TSP salt
1 Cup grated gruyère cheese
2 TBS thyme leaves
1 Egg, beaten

Coconut Macaroons
2/3 Cup flour
1 Bag sweetened coconut
1 14 OZ can condensed milk
1/4 TSP sea salt
1 TSP vanilla extract
Dark or milk chocolate chips

Happy Easter! For my family's holiday celebration I decided to bring an appetizer and dessert, but I needed something that would be portable and simple to put together. Both of these recipes are incredibly easy and versatile, and they are perfect for any type of celebration or get-together. Did I mention that they will trick everyone into thinking you slaved in the kitchen for hours?

For the tarts, make sure to thaw out the puff pastry 20 minutes prior to baking. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil and butter in a large sautè pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until caramelized (about 15 minutes). Roll out the pastry dough and cut into 2-inch circles or squares (you can also make one big tart), handling the dough as little as possible. Chill until ready to bake. Coat the pastry with egg wash, then top with gruyère, onion and a couple of thyme leaves. Bake for 15 minutes, or until pastry is puffed-up and lightly browned.

For a macaroons, turn down the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, coconut and salt in a large bowl. Stir in condensed milk and vanilla. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until tops begin to brown. For an added sugar rush, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. When macaroons are cooled, dip bottoms into the chocolate or drizzle chocolate on top and let set.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.