Friday, September 12, 2014

macaroons two ways

So, eggs.  We have eggs every morning, scrambled in butter that I've been making from our raw cream.  I buy a couple dozen from our Old Order Mennonite farmer in Kentucky every week.  Eggs are sort of amazing because they're the only protein source that costs 20 cents apiece (in my case, each dozen costs $2.50).  I used to scramble two every morning and that was enough for us, since Vicki eats like a tiny little bird, and Todd was still sort of aiming things at his mouth.

But now we are entering the dreaded phase I knew would come . . . the one where my kids eat a bunch of food all the time.  I heard it gets worse.

So now I scramble three every morning.  Do the math . . . 3 x 7.  I use 21 eggs per week on breakfast.  That leaves three or so eggs a week for whatever else:  baking, meatloaf, ice cream, or (kids' favorite) - chocolate pudding.  Nevermind that it ends up smeared around the kitchen like finger paint.  Pudding is great for using egg yolks, but then you're left with those pesky whites.  Not much to do with them except meringue.

Or macaroons!

These are so simple.  Four ingredients.  It's really kind of a formula that I use, based on how many egg whites I need to use up.  For each egg white, use 2 T sugar (feel free to use an unrefined version like sucanat), 1/4 t vanilla, and 3/4 C unsweetened shredded coconut.

Now, you can go one of two directions here.

1)  You can whip the egg whites with the whisk attachment in your stand mixer, adding vanilla and slowly adding sugar, beating until glossy with stiff white peaks.  Gently fold in the coconut.  Drop onto a parchment-lined sheet and bake at 325 until the little meringue-y puffs are set and golden brown (about 20 minutes).  Remove to a cooling rack.  This method will make about 7-10 macaroons per egg white.

Or, 2)  You can mix the egg whites with the sugar and vanilla using a spoon.  Stir in the coconut and mix well.  Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes, until they are lightly browned.  This is the more traditional coconut macaroon texture - dense and rich.  You will get fewer macaroons per egg white doing this method - probably about 5 each.

Either way, these will be gobbled up by your children before you know what's happened.  And I guess that's a good thing, seeing as how these little ones need to eat!

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