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Christmas macaroons

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Everything I wrote in my post on Macaroon Pyramids from Jan 7, 2010, has gone missing ("Keeping in shape [and we're not talking exercise]" ­­– and I liked that headline too). Only the link to the printable recipe in pdf is available. Odd.

At least the picture is still in Blogger/Picasa (right).

That was the last time I made macaroons actually, and since I had a tin of condensed milk my sister sent me from the US, this was a good time as any to make some. I saw this recipe for Outrageous Macaroons on cooking,com, in which cranberries and pistachios provide the traditional red and green colour of Christmas. These would be perfect on the snack table at the family Christmas gathering ­­– although with six children under the age of 12 present, I might be the bad aunty that day for getting them more hyper than usual.

But after scrutinising the recipe, I decided not to follow it, and instead used the one I had for Macaroon Pyramids with a few changes. For the red, I kept the cranberries but opted for green pumpkin seeds because the price of pistachios over here has gone up tremendously. Pumpkin seeds don't have the same nuttiness or buttery creaminess of pistachios, but they do have an appeal all their own.

The Outrageous recipe garnishes the cookies with melted chocolate and more nuts and fruit. I had some chocolate ganache leftover from the Banana Split I made last week and sandwiched a couple of cookies together instead. That's entirely optional, of course. These cookies don't need extra adornment.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

⅓ cup plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 cups dessicated or shredded coconut (or a combination of both)
1 cup ground almonds
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup green pumpkin seeds
1 cup sweetened condensed milk (if using sweetened creamer instead, cut down a little)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Sift flour and salt together in a bowl and stir in coconut and ground almonds. Mix in the other ingredients to form a soft dough. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, preheat oven to 175°C. If using baking sheets, line with ungreased baking/parchment paper. Pinch off pieces of dough, about 1 rounded tablespoon each, and shape into balls. Place on the tray, spacing them about 3cm apart, and press down with a bottom of a glass until 4cm wide and 1cm thick. Bake 15-20 minutes until coconut is toasted.
  • Remove from oven and leave for 2 minutes before placing each macaroon on a wire rack to cool.

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