Saturday, October 17, 2009
My little brother called a few weeks ago with a request, “Make those macaroons like we used to have in Michigan. If you can replicate those, I will be impressed!”
My family used to have a cottage in Beulah, Michigan on the cleanest and coldest lake you can imagine, appropriately called, Crystal Lake. We used to spend our summers at this little cabin on a hill without TV or many people around and I read more Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume than you can imagine. We did have a radio and the only station that my parents would allow was NPR. To this day, the intro to All Things Considered makes me nostalgic. Since there was not a whole lot to do without a TV around, we spent a lot of time mini-golfing, going to movies, swimming in the lake, on the boat, fishing and going out to eat. There was a place called the Brookside Inn that had two things, an amazing house salad that they would refill freely and without charge and the most amazing macaroons I have ever tasted in my life. I have since had visions of going back to Beulah just to pick up one…or many of those macaroons but I just have not had the chance. Since then I have tried several macaroon recipes which were all a waste of time. I found the recipe to beat all recipes in the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook which, at the end of the day, should be the first stop, not the last.
I dunked a bunch of the macaroons into my chocolate sauce which really brought these over the top. The chocolate sauce recipe follows below the macaroon recipe. Enjoy! xo-AJ
The Macaroon recipe is adapted from “The New Best Recipe”, by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.
1 cup cream of coconut
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
3 cups sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.
Whisk together the cream of coconut, corn syrup, egg whites, vanilla and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Combine the unsweetened and sweetened coconut and toss together breaking up clumps with your fingertips. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine with a rubber spatula.
Drop heaping tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Form the cookies into loose haystacks with your fingertips, Moistening your fingers with water prevents sticking. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating the sheets in the oven halfway through the baking time.
Let the cookies cool about 2 minutes and remove them to a wire rack for cooling with a spatula.
Chocolate Sauce Recipe (from my kitchen):
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon crème de cacao
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour the chips into a heat proof bowl and heat the chips in 30 second increments twice, stirring between each increment. Stir the chocolate thoroughly and add in the butter and stir until it is melted. Once the butter is melted, add in the cream and stir until combined. Add in the crème de cacao and vanilla and combine.
This can be stored and reheated as needed.