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Make room on your cookie tray for these heavenly Cranberry Almond Coconut Macaroons!These Cranberry Almond Coconut Macaroons have been one of my long-time favorite cookies. 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 dipped in melted chocolate which is the perfect complement to the sweetness of the cookie and the toasted almonds. These cookies are inspired by similar macaroons sold at Au Bon Pain bakery cafés which originated in the Boston area at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Years ago, when I worked in downtown Boston, I would treat myself to their version of this cookie as often as my waistline would allow! we’ve adapted their recipe today (which was adapted from several sources).
How do you make Coconut Macaroons?These Cranberry Almond Coconut Macaroons are actually quite easy to make! A mixture of sweetened coconut, granulated sugar, and egg whites, plus (in the case of today’s recipe) chopped toasted almonds, and chopped dried cranberries are mixed in a saucepan. The mixture is cooked over medium-low heat until it is slightly sticky but not dry. (You’ll just need to remember to stir the mixture constantly as it cooks to avoid over cooking.)
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- 1/3 cup whole, raw almonds
- 3 cups lightly-packed sweetened, shredded coconut
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup egg whites (from about 4–6 large eggs)
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 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 #40 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 most of your macaroons onto one baking sheet.
- Bake until lightly golden – about 20 minutes (more or less depending on your oven and the size of your scoop). 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 place a heat-safe bowl over a pan of water and bring to a boil). Stir to melt the chocolate.
- Dip each macaroon top into the chocolate, or 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.
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