The oven is on, baking supplies are stock piled and I’m ready for my marathon baking for Christmas. I make little packages for all our friends and neighbours; each of two if you’re a couple, or four if you’re a team! I generally bake 10-15 things. This year I’m going to try to downsize, but it’s impossible to decide what to cut! Plus, what about all the goodies I’ve bookmarked from my blogging buddies recipes? …this can’t end well! I have a sweet feeling in my belly… 🙂
I’m starting the bake-off with the Mexican Chocolate Macaroons. These are coconut balls, flavoured with chocolate, Moroccan Cinnamon (I’m talking’ the real deal!) and a pinch of cayenne. They are baked until slightly crispy on the outside and chewy in the centre. Everything you dreamed a macaroon would be! And I can use up the egg whites I stock piled from the Crème Brûlée!
Mexican Spiced Macaroons
Makes at least 44, but it depends on how big you make them! I use a very small guage ice cream scooper, it’s about 1 1/4″ in diametre. They do get a smidgen larger as they are baked.
Don’t be afraid of the cayenne in these macaroons, it adds just a little heat and it pairs perfectly with the chocolate. These cookies are moist, rich and chewy, with just a hint of warmth.
- 14-ounce package sweetened coconut flakes
- ¾ cup sugar, divided
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour or almond flour if making gluten free
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the coconut, ½ cup of the sugar, the flour, salt, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon and the cayenne.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 15-second bursts, stirring between, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
- Add the vanilla and egg whites to the coconut mixture. Use your hands to mix together until all the coconut mixture is moistened. Add the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.
- Drop by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet. A small cookie or ice cream scoop works well if you want very round balls. Alternatively, you can shape them with your fingers. Sprinkle the cookies with the cinnamon-sugar blend.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the edges start to toast and the cookies feel somewhat firm. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.