Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two Flourless Cookies

Just a few more recipes from the Season and then on to healthier horizons, I promise. These are two of the cookies I made for our cookie plates this year. One was my choice, Coconut Macaroons, and they were very good, and very easy. The other was Doug's choice, Vanilla Fingers, a recipe passed down in his family, and you probably couldn't get a more difficult-to-make cookie recipe, but they are very good (even if they do look like a pile, if you know what I mean -- apparently that's the way they are supposed to look, according to Doug's mother). The Vanilla Finger recipe has some fairly vague instructions because it was passed down in the family and likely never published, so you might have to use your imagination.

Both, coincidentally, are flourless cookies, and if you are a wheat-free family, they would be lovely to make for your little ones. You'll need some parchment for both of these recipes -- they're a real pain if you don't have it (don't ask me how I know!).

Coconut Macaroons

2 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 bags shredded sweetened coconut (14-ounces each)

Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites and salt until frothy, about 2 minutes. Stir in condensed milk and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold in coconut until well combined.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Using a teaspoon and your fingers, form macaroons into 1 1/4-inch mounds about 1 inch apart.

Bake until macaroons are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to a cooling rack; let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Source: Martha

Vanilla Fingers

4 egg whites
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for rolling
1 pound almonds, ground (I used my food processor) into a powder-like substance (leaving just a little texture)
1 t. vanilla

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add pound of powdered sugar (slowly) and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla.

Divide mixture in half and place one half in another bowl. Fold almonds into one half.

Cover a clean work space with powdered sugar (the way you would cover a surface with flour for rolling cookies). Working with about a quarter or a third of the dough (the half with almonds), roll out about 1/4 inch thick. Spread with meringue from other bowl (using one quarter or one third, the same as the dough). Trim edges so you have straight sides (save those trimmings and bake for the kids to eat). Cut dough into 2" x 2 1/2" rectangles (or something close).

Place cookies on parchment and bake for 5-8 minutes at 325 degrees until golden brown. Cool on racks. Store in tins or plastic containers at room temp. or freeze.

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