Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 2-Alton's Paradise Macaroons

While I wouldn't say my previous Christmas treat was difficult, it was definitely time-consuming. In fact, I don't think I've ever made a cheesecake that didn't require a lot of steps. I was ready to take a slight break after completing my first project, so I decided to give Alton Brown's Paradise Macaroons a try. I LOVE macaroons, but the last time I tried to make them (shortly after Will and I moved to Kansas in 2005) all I ended up with was a gooey, sticky mess in my kitchen. I'm still not sure what I did wrong, but I was determined to redeem myself with this recipe. Luckily, this was MUCH easier than the one I tried five years ago, and these macaroons are sinfully delicious. I ended up bringing a lot of these to the receptionists, nurses, doctors and midwives at my OB's practice last week, just to thank them for always being so nice and caring. They were very easy to package, and VERY well-received!

Source: Food Network

Ingredients:
  • 2 (7 to 8-ounce) packages sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 5 ounces granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ounce vegetable shortening
  • 2 ounces finely chopped dry-roasted macadamia nuts
Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Combine the coconut with the sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. (Side note-I received my Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer as a birthday gift from my parents last year, and I'm absolutely in love with it!).
4. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip the whites until medium peaks form, 6 to 7 minutes.
 (The egg whites should look like this)
5. Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

6. Scoop tablespoon-sized mounds onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan.
7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately transfer the parchment with the macaroons to a cooling rack. Cool completely before topping.
8. Fill a 4-quart pot with enough water to come 2 inches up the side, set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small metal or glass mixing bowl and set over the simmering pot. Stir occasionally until melted, then remove from the heat.
9. Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate mixture.
10. Sprinkle with the chopped macadamia nuts and place on parchment paper to set, about 30 minutes.

Cook's Note:

Alton prefers to use weight measurements for baking, to ensure the best accuracy. Please be careful if you try converting this recipe to standard measurements, especially for liquid ingredients. Two ounces of sweetened condensed milk is about 3/16th of a cup, which is less than 1/4 cup but more than 1/8 cup.

1 comment:

  1. These look so good! I used to hate coconut, but this last year I have been loving it in home baked goods.

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