Whether you keep bees yourself, support local beekeepers, or just love honey, The Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton (Storey Publishing, 2013) presents recipes for every time of year featuring different honey varietals and seasonal ingredients. This recipe for macaroons proves that these fancy cookies are simpler to make than their reputation might suggest.
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I always thought macaroons were a big deal. But these, my friends, are easy. Play around with the dried fruit, using your favorite. The honey and butter drizzle adds a nice crispy edge to the soft centers, and the tiny bit of salt balances the sweetness. If you want to be really fancy, melt some chocolate and dip each one halfway into it.
• 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
• 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
• 8 egg whites
• 1/4 cup dried cherries
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon honey, preferably orange blossom honey
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine the unsweetened and sweetened coconut on a baking sheet. Lightly toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep close watch so the mixture does not burn, though you do want a nice toasted golden brown color. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. (If using a convection oven, leave at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.)
4. Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a medium bowl until the whites stiffen into firm peaks.
5. Fold the toasted coconut into the egg white mixture.
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop tablespoon-size rounds (I prefer to use a small ice cream scoop) of the coconut mixture onto the baking sheet. Press one or two dried cherries into the top of each macaroon.
7. Melt the butter and honey together in a microwave on high for 20 seconds. Drizzle the mixture over the top of each macaroon. Sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt.
8. Bake the macaroons for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned (watch carefully to avoid burning!), or for 8 to 10 minutes if using a convection oven. The macaroons should be dry to the touch. You may need to bake them longer if it is a humid day. If you live in a dry area, these will keep well for a week — if the cookie patrol doesn’t find them first.
More from The Fresh Honey Cookbook:
• Broiled Peaches
• Chunky Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Lemon Crème Fraîche
• Creamy Chicken and Coconut Curry
• Southern-Style Iced Tea
• Fresh-From-The-Garden Beets with Oranges and Blue Cheese
Excerpted from The Fresh Honey Cookbook, © by Laurey Masterton, photography by © Johnny Autry, used with permission from Storey Publishing. Buy this book from our store: The Fresh Honey Cookbook