Yield: 2 dozen macaroons
“Back to Baking”, pp. 290
For the third week of my baking challenge, I decided to try making these carrot almond macaroons. I had carrots and a large amount of ground almonds so I thought it would be the perfect time to do these, especially since I am fresh out of oatmeal and raisins cookies. Macaroons are not to be confused with macarons, the French elegant and finicky little confection that looks like two disks encompassing some sweet filling. Macaroons are typically made from ground almonds and coconut, but the latter can be replaced by nuts or, in this case, carrots. They have more the appearance and texture of a small cookie.
This recipe did not go exactly as planned. The first time I did it, I prepared only 2/3 of the recipe as I did not want that many macaroons. However, by doing so I realized too late that I was changing the ratio of egg whites that were beat in with the carrot mixture and those that were whipped into a meringue. They didn’t turn out very well and did not taste like much. As such, I decided to redo the recipe exactly as is this time, making sure to whip together two egg whites to fold into the rest of the mixture.
- 1 ½ cups ground almonds
- 1 cup loosely packed, coarsely grated carrots
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
The second time around did come out looking better, but still not as I expected. I realize now that I don’t think I’ve ever had a macaroon before and certainly have not made any prior, so I was not sure what they are supposed to look or taste like. Upon doing some research I understood that I should make a little mound of the mixture for each cookie, as opposed to flattening it like one would a macaron. However, even though I piled high 2 or so tablespoons of the mixture to ensure getting a properly-shaped macaroon, they flattened considerably during baking. Not as much as the first time, but I’m not sure that they distinctively look like macaroons. I also made fewer but larger macaroons compared to what the recipe suggests as I was hoping to have them stay big, but alas.
The texture of the macaroons, was also unexpected to me. Even though I baked them for 22 minutes, they were still not very dry, and the texture inside was quite similar to that of a French macaron in that they were chewy, but strangely enough they were still a little bit wet. I’m not sure if this is normal since I never had a macaroon, but I would think not. Other than that, the taste of these carrot almond macaroons was delicate but pleasant, not unlike a macaron. This recipe did not come out exactly as I had imagined it, but for a light not-too-sweet snack this would be ideal.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the almonds, carrots, ¼ cup of the sugar and 1 egg white.
- In a separate bowl using a hand or stand mixer, whip together the remaining 2 egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy, then slowly pour in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Continue whipping on high speed until the whites hold a stiff peak.
- Gently fold the whites into the carrot-almond mixture in two additions.
- Spoon generous tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking trays, leaving 1 ½ inches between each cookie and making sure to form a little mound. These should not be flat. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until they have lightly browned and are dry to the touch. Cool the cookies completely on the baking trays before removing. These can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.