Chile Lime Coconut Macaroons
Easy, Makes about 21 cookies
I first met Brandy, aka Mrs. Alaska 2011, at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Chicago. She was the emcee for a baking seminar I was teaching and, as a nurse practitioner with celiac disease, she was excited and knowledgeable about gluten-free lifestyles. When I found out that she missed her hometown of Atlanta, I started thinking about desserts I could make to give her a taste of home. They like things hot in Atlanta, so I tweaked my coconut macaroon recipe by adding a little cayenne and the citrusy tang of lime zest for some of the sweet heat that she was missing in Anchorage. Be sure to bake these until they are dark golden brown on top: they’ll still be moist and chewy inside, but the longer baking time ensures a crunchy counterpoint. If you don’t want the spicy kick, leave out the cayenne.
43/4 cups / 537 g desiccated macaroon coconut (not sweetened flaked coconut)
2 cups / 454 g sugar
1 tablespoon plus 11/2 teaspoons / 10.5 g coconut flour
1 tablespoon / 10.5 g freshly grated lime zest
3/4 teaspoon / 1.3 g cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon / 2.4 g salt
1 cup / 272 g egg whites (from about 8 large eggs)
3 tablespoons / 58 g honey
1 teaspoon / 5 g vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, coconut flour, lime zest, cayenne, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg whites, honey, and vanilla. Make a well in the coconut mixture and pour the egg white mix into the center of the well. Stir together until thoroughly mixed.
Drop golf ball–sized scoops of the coconut mixture close together onto the baking sheets. Bake until dark golden brown and set to the touch, 22 to 28 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, then peel off of the parchment and store in an airtight container. You can make the “dough” ahead of time and freeze unbaked on the baking sheet for up to 2 weeks or freeze in an airtight container once they’ve been baked for a month (if they last that long).
(* Reprinted with permission from Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle by Kyra Bussanich -Ten Speed Press, © 2013- Photo Credit: Leela Cyd)