Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lime Cinnamon Macaroons

These are a tropical explosion of flavor...a lovely twist on a classic cookie.

Crunchy edges dusted with cinnamon give way to a soft, chewy interior of lime and coconut. Big flake coconut makes these cookies substantial and less stringy than their shredded counterparts.


The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan's cookie cookbook, my cookie bible since loosing Baking Illustrated in the mail. It makes me very happy and I was smitten with all of her macaroon variations...especially this tropical theme on macaroons.


They'd make lovely non-traditional christmas cookies (since they're basically a chewy meringue, they keep very well, other than becoming a bit soggy on the edges). But they also just make a nice tupperware-full of cookies to dip into day and night.

I swear, the flavor combination (which is not something I usually wax on about with cookies, being more concerned with texture and richness and chocolate intensity :) ) is addictive!


Lime Cinnamon Macaroons
Yield: aprox. 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 1/2 cups (5.25 ounces) dried flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons lime zest (from 1-2 limes)
  • cinnamon (either powdered, or stick to grate with a microplane)
Method:
  1. Combine egg whites, coconut, sugar, and salt in a large metal bowl. Set the bowl over a large skillet of gently simmering water, stirring as the mixture heats. Keep stirring until the mixture is very hot to touch, is slightly thicker, and has turned from transparent to opaque, approximately 5-7 minutes. Set aside for half an hour to let the mixture thicken further.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put racks in upper and lower thirds.
  3. Mix in vanilla extract and lime zest. Spoon out pretty heaps of batter, about 2 tablespoons each, 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper (or silpat, or greased foil). 
  4. Bake 5 minutes, rotating top/bottom and front/back halfway through. Lower oven to 325 degrees F and continue to bake 10-15 minutes, rotating again. Bake until cookies are deeply golden on the tips and around the edges, lowering oven to 300 if it seems like they are cooking too fast. 
  5. Let cool on baking sheets or on racks with just parchment. Wait until the cookies are completely cool before peeling off the cookies. Grate cinnamon over the cookies or lightly dust with powdered cinnamon. Though the cookies are best the first day, since they are crispy on the edges, they keep well 5 or so days in an airtight container.