Thursday, December 16, 2010

the best macaroon he ever ate?

Since classes are over for the semester, I set yesterday aside for my holiday baking. Just like my mom always did when I was growing up, I went a little overboard with the cookies. By the afternoon my counters were covered in sugar cookies (my favorite recipe), chocolate dipped pretzels, peppermint bark, and a few new recipes I tried for the year. Since I had a bag of shredded coconut in the house I decided to give macaroons a billing on the cast of cookies for the year. I read a few dozen recipes online and noticed that they all either called for sweetened condensed milk or egg whites whipped into meringue. I typically don't trust anything from, but I had just about run out of steam for looking at recipes when I found this simple macaroon recipe that only called for two eggs (all I had left in the house).

2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flaked coconut
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Grease baking sheets and preheat oven to 300°. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt at high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly mix in sugar, beating well after each addition until sugar is completely dissolved. Beat until whites are in in stiff glossy peaks. Beat in vanilla. With a rubber spatula, fold in coconut and flour.
Drop coconut by teaspoonfuls about an inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 300° for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. With spatula, carefully remove cookies to rack to cool.
When I brought a tub of cookies into the lab this morning to spread the Christmas cheer I was surprised when one of my fellow research assistants told me that these macaroons were some of the best he'd ever eaten. I held back the urge to say, "Really, from an recipe?"

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