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Friday, March 2, 2012

Kindles and Cookies

As I wrote the title above, it occurred to me that I could be talking about either the "cookies" that are stored on your computer OR cookies that you eat...

Still life with Kindle.

OK, today, we're talking about edible cookies:  Almond Macaroons from the cookbook 500 Under 500, From 100 Calorie Snacks to 500 Calorie Entrees by Lynette Rohrer Shirk -  which I got from the South Brunswick Library's e-book collection FOR FREE on the Kindle Fire.

Free e-books are available from our Library, and more's the better - some of them are cookbooks.  (Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?)

(Go to our website, click on "download audiobooks.e-books" and follow the directions from eLibraryNJ.  If you need help with this, call us at the Reference Desk - 732-329-4000 x7286.  I found the most cookbooks - 53 of them - by searching on Quick Search, then e-books, search term either "cooking" or "food".)

So this morning before work - I know, I have a lot of energy! - I whipped up this easy recipe using a Kindle.

What I found using a Kindle vs. a print cookbook:  
E-Reader Advantages:

- no need to hold down the page to keep it open.
- small, portable and light - I could take LOTS of cookbooks with me on vacation! (What, I can't be the only one who loves to cook on vacation...)

E-Reader Disadvantages:

- harder to "leaf" through to get an overview of the book.
- fragility:  would dropping on egg on a Kindle be the end of it?

I really did love cooking from the Kindle, you can change the font size in a jif, you can easily bookmark your pages, plus the brightness of the screen makes it easy to read. Cooking from the Kindle: like being in the Futurama exhibit at the 1964 World's Fair.

Now, as for the cookbook, I didn't love it.  Lynette Shirk's recipes are not very precise, and I think a novice cook would have difficulty interpreting the terse directions.  Also, there's not a lot of personality exhibited in this collection; I like a cookbook with a personal point of view.  Shirk has written nine cookbooks, worked as a pastry chef at Chez Panisse, worked for Williams Sonoma, and attended culinary school, but you would be hard pressed to divine that from this tome.

The macaroons themselves are easy to throw together if you have all the ingredients. (I know, who has candied orange peel and ground almond meal on hand?  Me!)

Actual cookies on left, e-cookies on right.

Almond Macaroons adapted from 500 under 500

2 egg whites
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
3/4 cup ground almonds (can buy this at Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup candied orange peel
1/4 cup applesauce
2 Tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
 In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until foamy.
On a large cutting board, mix the ground almonds and the orange peel together and chop finely.
Add this mixture and all the remaining ingredients to the the egg whites in the bowl and mix well.
Portion out 16 balls from the batter, and place on cookie sheet (this is easiest with a 1 inch size ice cream scoop if you have one - definitely a time saver!)
Bake 20 minutes.  Let cool.  Peel cookies away from the paper.
Yields:  16 macaroons, 117 calories each.

The cookies tasted half like a coconut macaroon and half like an almond cookie, but the best part was the candied orange peel - a very nice addition that gave the cookies an unexpected flavor boost.  Great with a cup of tea.

As for the computer cookies, I may try and work up a computer class regarding internet security to offer at the Library - check out our Event Calendar in the upcoming months for this and other computer classes I'll be teaching - including using the Internet, Gmail, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

And take out some electronic books from our Library on your mobile device (including your smartphone) or computer, and bring your cooking into the age of the e-book.  By the way, you can take out 5 e-books, and additionally put 5 e-books on hold at any one time, and the books expire automatically so they will never be overdue!

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Cookie and Computer Aficionado


Anonymous said...

Diane - You have really hit a homerun on this post! Thanks for taking us into the world of e-recipes and cookbooks! This was very insightful and fun to read. Valuable info. !

Jeff said...

Diane, as I said in my email, a very witty and fun blog. And I'm not saying that just because I'm your brother!