In general, I don’t keep a lot of home-baked sweets in our house. I do so, not as a lofty statement against sugar consumption. I do it because I love them too much! But after Thanksgiving has gone by, there is some strange phenomenon that occurs: I feel the need to bake cookies.
I like to make something either from my heritage or childhood, or something that might not be the usual. Oh, I like sugar cut-outs (and I do have my Aunt Eleanor’s killer recipe for cut-out cookies using Jello as one of the sugars), and I enjoy decorating, but I love to find a cookie with an unusual taste or texture.
Sheryl Julian, the Boston Globe’s excellent food editor, recently published this article about Classic Holiday Cookies in the Sunday Globe magazine. So far, I’ve made 2 of these recipes and plans are materializing to bake the others. Today I made Laura Raposa’s Orange-Coconut Macaroons and promptly froze them for our holiday dessert plate. The fragrance of orange completely blew me away.
Laura Raposa’s Orange Coconut Macaroons (as adapted by Sheryl Julian)
Makes about 22
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Grated rind of 1 navel orange or scant 1/4 teaspoon or orange oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups flaked, unsweetened coconut
- 3 1/4 cups flaked, sweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (Either my oven is too hot or this temperature was a bit too much for the cookies to bake 18 minutes; monitor and turn down as needed)
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In an electric mixer, combine the condensed milk, egg whites, vanilla, orange rind or oil, salt, and unsweetened and sweetened coconut. Beat on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until thoroughly incorporated.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of the batter (a small ice cream scoop works well) onto a baking sheet, and continue making mounds, leaving 1 inch between them. Dip your fingers into a bowl of cold water and shape the dough into mounds, smoothing out any feathery edges.
- Bake the macaroons for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are light golden brown. Let them cool on the baking sheets.
- Meanwhile, fill a saucepan with several inches of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl that will fit neatly into the pan without touching the water. Melt the chocolate in the bowl, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and wipe the bottom of the bowl dry. Dip a fork into the melted chocolate and drizzle it over the macaroons in a crisscross pattern. (I skipped this, but for gifting or to be fancy, it sounds delicious).
- Let the chocolate cool on the cookies. Use a wide metal spatula to remove the cookies from the baking sheet.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.