Friday, December 18, 2009

It's Time for the 12 Days of Cookies! White Chocolate Tropical Macaroons

12 Days of Cookies - Day 1
Christmas at our house means it's time for marathon cookie baking. My husband's employees start asking sometime in October if I'm going to be baking. It's my favorite way to bless our friends and neighbors during the holiday season. I make about 15 different kinds. Some chocolate, some minty, some spicy, some crunchy, some nutty, and some fruity and some chocolate. My cookie doughs are all in the refrigerator awaiting the start of the oven.
These cookies all freeze well so if you're giving cookie trays as gifts, like I do, then keep them in the freezer in air tight containers until you're ready to make the trays. That way, you trap that just baked flavor.
Before I show you the Day 1 cookie, I thought I'd show you my favorite cookie tools. These 3 scoops are my secret to cookies that are similar in size and shape. I use the tiny one when I'm making cookies at Christmas or when I prepare any kind of cookie tray with a variety of choices. That way, people can sample a few instead of having to choose just one. Who wants just one cookie at Christmas time anyway?
I use the middle one for basic cookie baking and the large one for cupcakes or really big cookies.
Now onto the main event..one of my very favorite cookies! When I made this cookie for the first time, my reaction was "Oh, my...awesome!" I was so smitten, I wrote that quote in my cookbook.

This recipe came from a magazine type cookbook from Southern Living called "Our Best Recipes". It's easy and truly delicious. If you love tropical flavors and ease of preparation, this recipe is for you...Be prepared for compliments, um, that is if you don't eat them all yourself!

White Chocolate Tropical Macaroons

Makes 4 dozen
Prep: 30 min.

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped (I simplify and use Ghiradelli white chocolate chips)
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon gr. ginger
1/4 teaspoon gr. cinnamon
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
2 c. flaked coconut
1 c. finely chopped dried pineapple
1/2 c. finely chopped macadamia nuts (you may substitute pecans although I haven't tried them)

Microwave chocolate in a small glass bowl at High 45 second to 1-1/2 minutes or until melted, stirring one. Set aside.

Stir together sugar, ginger, and cinnamon.
Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add sugar mixture, 1 Tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2-4 minutes).

Fold in white chocolate, coconut, dried pineapple and macadamia nuts. Drop mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. (I use Silpat liners but if you don't have them be sure to use the parchment)

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Let sit on the tray for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. It's ok if the tops crack a little. They are light and airy and this is natural.

Store in an airtight container or freeze if you're making lots of different cookies for gift giving.


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