Well we recently celebrated National Cookie Day. I hope everyone spent some quality time with a loved one and baked cookies. I know I did. I spent that morning baking with my daughter for the community centre in Bolton. The Exchange is an exciting new community centre where people come together to share ideas, participate in workshops, and just simply get to know neighbours. This centre will not only help those in need through their share food program, but shall also provide clients with nutritional resources that will improve their health, well-being and hopefully transition them to more advantaged circumstances. I hope to be a positive contributor by helping to bake at least twice a week at the centre. Still in its infancy stage, the centre has been busy like elves working to get its Santa Fund up and running for this Christmas. Two weeks ago Board members were at the site showcasing the new facility to visitors and making appeals for financial support. I was there making my own convincing case for involvement with the smell of freshly baked cookies in the air.
Macaroon Thumbprint Cookies
2 packages of coconut (14oz) or 4 1/2 cups (see below NOTE)
1 1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons amaretto liquor ( I used Disaronno )
6 oz dark chocolate
1/2 cup fruit preserves
My mother was kind enough to bring me Mounds coconut from the US, since I cannot get it here in Canada. I have used a lot of different brands of coconut in the past, but I just don’t know what Mounds does to their coconut. It ALWAYS taste better than any other brand.
Preheat oven to 350
Line cookie sheet with parchment – this is a must as cookies will REALLY stick if you do not
– in medium bowl combine coconut, sugar, flour and salt
– separate egg yolks from egg whites
– add egg whites with almond extract and liquor to coconut mixture
– drop coconut mixture by rounded teaspoons about 1″ apart onto prepared cookie sheet
– lightly flour your thumb and press a small indent into each cookie
– bake about 20min or until edges are golden
OK, this is where I tell you I goofed! See the above cookie? Well that is NOT how they should look. Because of all my photo taking and being a bit distracted, I did not add all the coconut. What a fool! So I quickly scraped off the 2nd batch of cookies that I had just put into oven and re-mixed them with the remaining coconut. Well I never said I was perfect.
Here is what they should look like
– cool cookies on wire rack
– while cookies are cooling melt your chocolate in micro-wave or on stove in double boiler
– when cookies are completely cooled, dip bottom of cookie in chocolate, make sure excess chocolate drips off
– place cookies chocolate side up
– let cookies stand for 1hr or until chocolate is fully set
– fill cookies with your jam of choice – ONLY right before you are ready to serve
Here is where I brag about my homemade jam and I can say, ” I told you dear I would find a good use for all that jam I made this past summer”. If you do not have homemade jam, any preserve of your choice will work just fine. I used two different kinds: Chocolate Mint Blueberry and Apricot Raspberry Hazelnut Honey. YUM!
– layer UNFILLED cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container and seal and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 weeks
– if freezing: when ready to use thaw overnight in refrigerator and fill with your favourite preserve right before serving
Are you wondering what I did with those cookies that did not work? They still were quite tasty even though they did not look great and had spread so much there was no way I could fill with jam. So how does any baker solve a mistake? With chocolate of course! I dipped a small portion of each cookie in chocolate and then used sanding sugar around the cookie edge. Voila – problem solved.
That’s my daughter’s handy work above!