05 November 2013

Cookies: Coconut-Almond Macaroons


Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK  --  Guests will be asking for more when you serve Coconut-Almond Macaroons.
Photo:  Arthur D. Lauck/The Advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

From Denny:  Raise your hand if you enjoy coconut macaroons.  Yeah, me too!  They make some stellar ones on their seasonal menu, dipped in the best dark chocolate, over at the French restaurant bistro chain, La Madeleine.  

But if you can't get ones as good as theirs locally, and the ones at the grocery store leave you yawning, well, make them yourself!  These lovely cookies are easy to make.

Yet another easy recipe from my local Louisiana newspaper, The Advocate.  They have an award-winning food section as Louisiana people love to cook and share our recipes for publication, especially when it comes to tail-gating season and the holidays...



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This would make a wonderfully tasty addition to your cookie tray for the holidays or a festive birthday celebration.  The almond flavor is delivered courtesy of the almond paste.  In case you didn't already know this:  almond paste is made from blanched and ground almonds, white sugar and glycerine, or another liquid.  Usually, almond paste comes in a tube roll or can be packaged in an oblong box.  You can find it in the baking section of the grocery store, ranging from 6 to 8 ounces.  The 8-ounce size is used for this recipe.

You can quickly mix up this recipe in a mixer or by hand.  It's the egg whites that give the finished macaroons their shine.  Please note that the coconut in this recipe was the sweetened flaked coconut.  If you want to reduce the sugar level a bit just use the unsweetened flaked coconut.

The key to making good macaroons is to bake them on bakers' parchment paper or good quality brown paper (think brown paper grocery bag) on a cookie sheet.  Since there isn't any oil in this cookie it is dependent what little is in the almond paste and the coconut.  The sugar tends to make the cookies stick and it's just easier to get them off the parchment paper than a metal cookie sheet.




Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK  --  Guests will be asking for more when you serve Coconut-Almond Macaroons.
Photo:  Arthur D. Lauck/The Advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Coconut-Almond Macaroons


From:  Corinne Cook, food editor of The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Makes:  about 40 macaroons

Ingredients:

1 (8-oz.) can or package almond paste
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (you could use the unsweetened type if you prefer)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, waxed paper or brown kraft paper.

2. Crumble the almond paste in mixer bowl. Add the sugar and with mixer, on low speed, mix it until partially combined and broken into small pieces.

3. Add the egg whites and on medium-high speed mix until blended. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and blend until almost smooth.

4. Remove from mixer and stir in coconut.

5. Drop batter by rounded demitasse spoonful onto the parchment paper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the top.

6. Remove from oven and carefully slide the paper and cookies from the baking sheet, so the cookies can cool on the counter without the pan underneath. When they have cooled 1 or 2 minutes, move cookies around slightly to prevent them from sticking.



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