Some thoughts on macaroons:


Ok, I get it.  During Passover, the dessert options are limited.  I have about 15 different recipes for flourless chocolate cakes or pies, all different, all good.  Matzah turtles, yum.  Passover lace cookies–well, they are alright, but not great.  Macaroons from cans; this we can improve.

Macaroons, not the French cookie of fame.  Macaroons, famed for artificial flavors and overdone sweetness.  Surely, we can do better.  The answer is yes, we can, and no we can’t.  It’s all in the recipe you choose.

So, during one of my periodic cruises of the net looking for something new and different, I found two macaroon recipes.  One is from Epicurious with a great name:  Lime-in-the-coconut macaroon.  The other is from FoodTV, a recipe from Gale Gand for coconut tartlets.

IMG_0297(the results:  lime in the coconut to the left, coconut tartlet to the top and right)

Lime-in-the-Coconuts

 Bon Appétit | March 2013

by Austin Zimmerman
Stopsky’s Delicatessen, Mercer Island, WA

Lime-in-the-Coconut Macaroons

(photo by: Ditte Isager)

Lime zest is a fresh addition to macaroons, and a Microplane is our zesting tool of choice. If you can’t find unsweetened coconut chips, use two 7-ounce bags of sweetened shredded coconut and reduce the sugar to 1 tablespoon.

Yield: Makes 24

ingredients

2 large egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
7 ounces unsweetened coconut shavings (about 4 cups)
Ingredient info: Coconut shavings (also called coconut chips) are available at many natural foods stores and some supermarkets.

preparation

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 325°F. Whisk egg whites and sugar in a large bowl just until frothy. Whisk in lime zest and salt. Add coconut and fold to coat.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of coconut mixture onto 2 parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake, rotating pans halfway through from top to bottom and back to front, until golden brown, 18-22 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets. DO AHEAD: Macaroons can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/printerfriendly/Lime-in-the-Coconut-Macaroons-51147500#ixzz2PbWuzl1h

Result—way way too dry.  I liked the lime paring with the coconut, but I made the cookie with dry unsweetened coconut, not fresh shavings, and the cookie suffered as a result.  Making the cookie with the sweetened coconut or from fresh coconut might work much better.  I’ll have to give it a try.

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Pies

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand,  from Gale Gand’s Short and Sweet” by Gale Gand and Julia Moskin, Clarkson N. Potter Publishers, 2004

Prep Time:
30 min
Inactive Prep Time:
1 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
15 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
24 tartlettes

These little cups of toasted coconut, full of creamy dark chocolate, are like chocolate-dipped macaroons in reverse (lots of chocolate and a little coconut). I love the flavors together. The “dough” for coconut macaroons is so easy to make – just sugar, egg whites, and coconut – I was tempted to see what else it could do. It’s easier to work with than a pastry dough because there’s no rolling and it stays wherever you press it and holds its shape well after baking.

The coconut shells can be baked up to 2 days in advance and kept at room temperature in an airtight container. The chocolate ganache can be refrigerated for up to 5 days; rewarm it in the microwave or in a bowl set over simmering water to make it pourable.

Ingredients

  • Heaping 3/4 cup sugar
  • Scant 1/2 cup egg whites (from about 3 eggs)
  • 3/4 pound (scant 2 1/2 cups) sweetened flaked or desiccated coconut (not shredded)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • A few toasted almonds, chopped
  • Equipment: non-stick tartlet pans

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the sugar, egg whites, and coconut together. Put a spoonful in each of 24 mini-muffin cups or individual tart molds. Press the “dough” into the molds to make little cups, with sides and a well for holding the chocolate filling. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pans, then gently remove.

To make the filling, place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan just until boiling, then pour it over the chocolate and let it sit 1 minute then whisk gently to till glossy to melt the chocolate completely.

Fill the tarts by pouring in the warm chocolate filling. Sprinkle a few pieces of chopped almond in the center of each tart while they’re still warm. Let set at room temperature at least 1 hour before serving, and serve them the same day they are made.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/recipe_print/0,1946,FOOD_9936_27788_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html

The tartlets are easy to make, and easy to serve.  A clear winner!

So, no more passover recipes until next year.  I’ll have to try the lime macaroon to see if I can make it work better, because I can’t say the name of the cookie without smiling and thinking of the Muppet Show:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy2U6AK9P6Q

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