As part of our post today, we are joining together with Frugal Foodie Mama and a group of other wonderful bloggers who are Baking for Kate, an online bake sale to help raise funds to benefit an amazing woman, Kate Crawford, and her family, as Kate battles Stage IV breast cancer. We’re using our collective blogging voices to raise funds so that Kate, a 29-year-old mother of three very young children, can complete her Mommy Bucket List.
The online bake sale will be held this coming weekend, May 18-19th (visit the Baking for Kate Facebook page here) and you’ll have the chance to bid on some great cookbooks, baked goods – including a batch of these fabulous Cranberry Almond Coconut Macaroons (baked fresh by me and shipped to the winning bidder!) – as well as some other terrific items. You can read more about Kate and the bake sale, as well as how to bid on items right here.
I had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday, and as I hear stories like Kate’s, I can’t help but feel even more appreciative of my own good health and that of my family. I hope you – our wonderful readers – will visit Baking for Kate and support this very worthy cause.
And to entice you a bit more – let me tell you about these amazing Cranberry Almond Coconut Macaroons that I’ll be making for the bake sale! These cranberry almond coconut macaroons have been one of my long-time favorites – a perfect, creamy coconut macaroon cookie that has both sweet, dried cranberries and crunchy, toasted almonds inside. Then – to make them even more decadent, the macaroons are topped with a generous drizzle of dark chocolate which is the perfect complement to the sweetness of the cookie and the toasted almonds.
These cookies are inspired by ones sold at the Au Bon Pain bakery cafés that originated in the Boston area. I was thrilled to discover a while back that another blogger shared my love of these cranberry almond coconut macaroon cookies, and I’ve adapted their recipe.
- ⅓ cup whole, raw almonds
- 3 cups lightly-packed sweetened, shredded coconut
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup egg whites (from about 4-6 large eggs)
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
- 4 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate
- In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, lightly toast the almonds for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Coarsely chop the almonds.
- In a medium-sized, heavy bottomed saucepan, combined the coconut, sugar, chopped cranberries, chopped toasted almonds and egg whites. Stir well. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 to 15 minutes. (Stop cooking when the mixture turns from a creamy consistency to one that is sticky and moist, but not too dry.)
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Pour the mixture into a flat baking dish, spreading it out so that it will cool. Place in the refrigerator for about ½ an hour or in the freezer for about 10 minutes if you want to speed up the process.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a small ice cream scoop (or your hands), scoop out the coconut mixture – firmly packing the macaroon mixture into the scoop – and place each mound on the baking sheet. The cookies will not spread as you cook them, so you should be able to fit 18 good sized macaroons onto one baking sheet.
- Bake until lightly golden – about 30 minutes (more or less depending on your oven). Place the baking sheet with the cookies still on it on a wire cooling rack and allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet so that they can set up.
- Once the cookies are cooled and firm, remove them from the baking sheet and place on the wire rack for glazing. (You can place the wire rack onto the baking sheet to collect any drips if you’d like.)
- Melt the chocolate – on the stove in a double boiler, or in the microwave (in a heat-proof bowl, heat on high for 1 minute and then stir. Continue to microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted).
- Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate evenly onto each macaroon. Allow the chocolate to cool and set up (you can put it in the refrigerator if you’d like to speed up the process) before eating.