CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!
Don't think less of me, but I actually like macaroons better than macarons. Don't get me wrong: macarons are adorable, distinguished, sophisticated, and an artful baked good which I appreciate very much.
But when it comes to a cookie that satisfies, for me, I will take the lumpy macaroon any time.
But this version has a sort of pinkies-out twist: "Sea salt meets sweet treat in an updated classic coconut macaroon." It was created for the Pillsbury Bake-Off by Sarah Meuser of New Milford, Connecticut.
Salted Caramel Macaroons
- 1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 jar (12.25 oz) Smucker's® Caramel Ice Cream Topping
- 1 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Unbleached Flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Sea Salt
- 2 bags (14 oz each) shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
- Heat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper; spray with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
- In large bowl, combine condensed milk, caramel topping, flour and 3/4 teaspoon of the sea salt; mix well. Stir in coconut, pecans and chocolate chips until well mixed.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart onto cookie sheets. Lightly sprinkle tops with remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
- Bake 15 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store in airtight container.
In general, coconut macaroons are not what would be considered a "cute" cookie.
But that's about to change: introducing the Christmas Tree Coconut Macaroon!
These sweet little somethings are rendered adorable simply by tinting the coconut with green food coloring and then decorating with sprinkles and writing icing post-baking. They're fun and easy to make, sweet to eat, and it's a very child-friendly baking project to boot!
Macaroons don't really get much attention these days--these slightly frumpy, lumpy coconut cookies receive far less attention than their glamorous cousin, the macaron.
But there's a variation which ought to make you take notice: the Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaroon. The result of some kitchen experimenting when I was testing out a recipe for Angel Food Cake Macaroons from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns , this was a decidedly happy outcome, resulting in a cookie which is chewy, moist, and incredibly rich. So rich that adding frosting is excessive, though? Not a chance. Sandwiched with some leftover frosting from my Hartford Election Day cupcakes, these macaroons even approach being cute--but more importantly, they're an absolute dream to eat.
Note: While I used a cake mix recipe for the macaroons, I have a feeling that adding the peanut butter and cocoa to just about any plain coconut macaroon recipe would probably work out fine.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaroons Recipe
Adapted from Angel Food Macaroons from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns
- Makes about 48 small cookies -
- 1 package (16 ounces) Angel Food Cake Mix
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth, or lightly grainy textures, work best--don't use chunky. Or low fat)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- You'll need: Parchment paper, for lining baking sheets
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Place the cake mix, water, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl; mix in your electric mixer on low speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for one more minute.
- Add your peanut butter and cocoa powder and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- Fold in the coconut.
- Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on your prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the macaroons until they are set and just browned lightly on the edges--about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper with macaroons on top onto a wire rack to cool for five minutes. Using a small metal spatula, remove the macaroons from the paper. You can re-use the parchment paper if you still have any dough left over as the macaroons will come off quite cleanly.
- If desired, once cooled, turn over frost the bottom (flat side) of half of the macaroons and sandwich together with a second one. I used the leftover frosting from this recipe, and man, was it good.