1 1 Sawtooth and the petticoats: Princess Cookies

Friday, December 17, 2010

Princess Cookies

I'm pretty picky about spelling, and I'm not afraid to correct misspelled words. I don't understand people who don't employ spell-check. In college part of my job was to read my boss's papers with a red pen in hand. Besides all the free marshmallows and gummy bears I could eat, that was my favorite part of the job -- the power of that red pen. (Can you guess where I worked?)

A caveat: I'm not, per se, the best speller. I'm pretty good, but there are certain words that trip me up. It's gotten to the point where I have psyched myself out over these words, and so I'm never quite sure what the real spelling is. Calender. Independence. Lavender. 

That semi-interesting tidbit brings us to the title recipe. They're actually Coconut Lavender Macaroons. I associate coconut macaroons with two things: Christmas, and teatime. Christmas because my mom always made them this time of year, and teatime because they just seem like such a girly cookie. I also had a Disney princess bandaid on today, and it was the color of lavender. These cookies have lavender. So, Princess Cookies. (My brain wants so hard to talk about Kate Middleton right now. She might like these cookies! She is going to marry a prince! Her hair -- how does she do it!!!)

This is a pretty basic coconut macaroon recipe, except for two things.
1. You buzz up the coconut, and then all the other ingredients, in a food processor. This helps the coconut to not be so stringy. It also makes for a super-fast recipe, especially if you already have the egg whites ready to go. (You can freeze egg whites too, if you ever use the yolks for something else but have no immediate use for the whites. Thaw 'em in the fridge.) It all fits in a little food processor too.
2. I felt bored by coconut macaroons as I was making them. Oops. I looked through my spice rack (conveniently alphabetized!) and settled on lavender. The quantity I used was a wee bit much, so I reduced it for this recipe. Let me know your thoughts.

Coconut Lavender Cookies

adapted from "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook", pp. 517-518
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried lavender buds

Pulse the coconut in a food processor until finely chopped, about 15 seconds, and put the coconut in a large bowl. Process the egg whites, sugar, salt, and lavender in the food processor until light and foamy, about 15 seconds. Stir the egg mixture into the coconut until combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. (Can also be refrigerated up to two days.)

Put two oven racks in the upper- and lower-middle slots in the oven and preheat to 375˚/190˚. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone pan liners. Scoop the dough out in small balls using wet hands or a cookie scoop and place about one inch apart on the cookie sheets. I made dough balls about the one tablespoon in size, and the recipe made more than 2 dozen cookies for me. Obviously yield depends on individual size. 

Bake until the macaroons are light golden brown and darker around the edges, 14 to 17 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. Cool the macaroons completely on the baking sheets, at least 30 minutes, before serving. 

Also potentially delicious drizzled with melted chocolate! Bejeweled crown optional.

Recommended Accompaniment:  Earl Grey tea and cucumber sandwiches. Don't forget to stick out your pinky!


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