Wednesday, May 30, 2012

National Macaroon Day


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By Chef Diane

I love coconut.  I love it in cake, pies, cookies and candy.  Almond Joys are one of my favorites.  The creamy coconut center with the chocolate on top is really close to heaven!  Then I discovered the Macaroon.  It is a cookie that tastes like a little cake.  It is moist and crunchy and filled with coconut.  What could be better?

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Macaroons were believed to have been first made in an Italian monastery in 1792.  One interesting fact about macaroons is that they contain no flour! These cookies are popular among Jewish families especially during Passover when they cannot cook with flour.  Macaroon cookies were brought to France by Italian monks and nuns. Two Benedictine nuns, Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth, baked and sold the cookies in order to pay for their housing.

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Today is National Macaroon Day.  Below is a recipe from thefoodnetwork.com by Alton Brown for his Macaroons.  If you can't find any locally, try making some of your own.  If you are as big a fan of coconut as I am, you will love these wonderful cookies.

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Toasty Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixer fitted with a whip attachment. whip egg whites and salt until they become white and begin to stiffen. Add sugar in 3 parts. Continue to whip until the egg whites are very stiff. Using a rubber spatula fold in toasted coconut.
On parchment lined cookie sheets, drop a teaspoon of the mixture leaving 1 to 2 inches around each cookie. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The outside should be golden brown but the insides should still be moist.

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