It’s National Macaroon Day! Macaroons are small unleavened cakes with a crispy outer layer and a moist, chewy center. Although they are the same size as cookies, macaroons do not contain any flour and therefore do not fall into that classification. The most popular macaroon varieties are coconut, almond, and chocolate. You can make macaroons from any kind of nut. For Americans, though, these cookies have long starred coconut.
Culinary historians believe that macaroons originated in Italy. In fact, the word “macaroon” comes from the Italian word for paste: “maccarone.” A primary ingredient in early macaroon recipes was almond paste.
In 1533, Italian monks and nuns introduced macaroons to France. Two Benedictine nuns, Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth, began baking and selling these small sweets to help pay for their housing. They became known as the “Macaroon Sisters,” and their baking became famous throughout Europe.
YIELD - 36 macaroons
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
4 cups coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix milk, coconut and vanilla together well.
Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Put heaping teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Mexican Chocolate Macaroons
3 dozen cookes
1(8 ounce) package semisweet baking chocolate, divided
1 3⁄4 cups whole almonds
1⁄2 cup whole almonds
3⁄4 cup sugar
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg whites
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease baking sheets; set aside.
Place 5 squares chocolate in food processor; process until coarsely chopped. Add 1 3/4 cups almonds and sugar; process using on/off pulsing action until mixture is finely ground. Add cinnamon, vanilla and egg whites; process just until mixture forms moist dough.
Form dough into 1-inch balls (dough will be sticky). Place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Press 1 almond on top of each cookie.