Sunday, January 18, 2009

Macaroons-revisited with success!!

I have been on the quest to find a macaroon recipe that yielded a pastry delight that was coconut-ty, almond-y, crispy on the outside but moist and delicious on the inside. I tried not-so-long ago but the macaroons came out too cookie-like. Prior to that, I had been using the macaroon recipe from the Candle Cafe Cookbook, which was excellent for those looking to avoid cane sugar or would like a gluten-free dessert. It is wholesome and delicious and perfect just the way it is but requires quite a bit of maple syrup which is far too expensive these days for me to be using that liberally. Also the recipe calls for spelt flour and safflower oil which are also relatively expensive and difficult for me to get. So I changed the recipe around to use unbleached white flour, simple syrup and vegetable oil.

1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoons arrowroot
1 cup shredded carrots (peel the carrots, chop them up into big pieces, toss them in the food processor with the s-blade)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (if you buy them whole, just chop them in the food processor using the slicing disk)
3/4 cup simple syrup*
1/3 cup vegetable oil or other flavorless oil
2 tablespoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Add chips if desired. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Drop batter onto the baking sheet 1 tablespoon at a time (I use a small teaspoon to help me get the dough out in a nice round ball). Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

*To make a simple syrup, dissolve 1 cup of sugar (turbinado or other unprocessed granulated sugar--it needs to have some depth of flavor of its own not just "sweet") into 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Note that this makes a little more than what is needed for this recipe.

To make these even more decadent and special, melt some chocolate chips and a bit of milk in a double boiler. Spread a sheet of newspaper under the cooling rack to catch any dripping chocolate. Dip each macaroon in the melted chocolate and place them on the cooling rack to set.

So I made these yesterday and they were fabulous. I was very pleased and I can officially say the quest is over for these are the perfect macaroon in every way.

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