Thursday, March 15, 2007

Makin' macaroons!

My Dad’s birthday is later this week and, while talking with Mom a couple of nights ago lamenting about my total and complete lack of ideas for his birthday gift, she suggested that I send a batch of almond macaroons. I had mailed some for Valentine’s Day, along with other goodies, and apparently Dad had “allowed” Mom one, and then proceeded to hoard the remainder for himself. Sounded like a good idea. The way to a man’s heart... well, you know.

I played around with the original recipe, mostly making the procedure easier, and came up with some darn yummy coconut-almond-chocolate cookies. And I only kept two for myself before packaging them and taking to the post office. Really, sometimes my self-control exceeds my expectations. Although not often.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Macaroons from Heaven

Servings : 30

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

---------- ------------ --------------------------------------------

3 1/2 ounces almond paste

3/4 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon orange zest -- freshly grated is preferred

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

14 ounces sweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

1 large egg white -- room temperature

2 ounces dark chocolate -- chips will melt more evenly

2 ounces milk chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a small food processor or blender, chop the almond paste. Add the milk and puree until well blended. Add the extracts, salt, and orange zest and blend until combined. Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in the flour, then stir in the coconut and mini chips. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg white at high speed of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Dollop the egg whites onto the surface of the coconut mixture and fold in gently until the egg is incorporated into the dough.

Line baking sheets with parchment. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets (I use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop, coating the interior of the surface with cooking spray after every three cookies or so, then packing the coconut mixture firmly into the scoop to form nicely rounded mounds of dough).

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the bottoms are a dark golden color. Remove carefully to a cooling rack and cool completely.

In a small bowl, melt the dark and milk chocolate and the shortening in the microwave until almost melted. Stir until all chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Pour into a small plastic sandwich bag and snip off a teeny, tiny part of the corner (or use a pastry bag with a #3 round tip). Drizzle the macaroons with chocolate. Allow to stand at a rather cool room temperature until chocolate firms up.

Store in a tightly covered container (also can be refrigerated).

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Per serving: 225 Calories (kcal); 14g Total Fat; (52% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; trace Cholesterol; 117mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

These are extraordinarily good. Intensely coconut-ey with just a hint of orange, and a very satisfying almond flavor. Nice and chewy. Bits of chocolate in every bite. Why on earth did I only keep two, for pete's sake???


Betty Jo said...

OMGosh I love macaroons! These look so yummy. I'll have to try your recipe and soon. I followed your link from Farmgirl Susan. Your blog is awesome. :)

Kitchen Queen Victoria said...

Thanks, betty jo! :) If you try the macaroons, please let me know what you think.