Last night, Friday, was the start of our 12th Anniversary Celebration at Sarello’s, and the launch of our Sarello’s Twelve Days of Christmas. For the next twelve business days, we will have special events and promotions to say thank you to all who have supported Sarello’s for the past twelve years. We’ll have door prizes, special drinks, mystery $12 deals, and more. And every day we’ll feature a holiday treat at the bar, to be enjoyed by all. You’re welcome to join our celebration.
Tonight’s holiday treat is going to be Baby Macaroons. Without a doubt, my favorite culinary icon (other than The Lost Italian) is Ina Garten. I love her TV show, The Barefoot Contessa, and I’ve tried many recipes from her vast empire of cookbooks. Her recipes aren’t complicated – they are detailed but have few ingredients, and rarely involve fancy cooking techniques. And they always turn out as expected. Since I am not the trained chef in our family, I appreciate the simple approach Ina takes toward food and I will forever be a fan of the Barefoot Contessa.
Baking is a passion of mine, and for the past seven years I have included Ina’s recipe for Coconut Macaroons in my Christmas repertoire. These foolproof cookies win rave reviews whenever I serve them. They are a perennial favorite in our home and, between Tony and Giovanni, I can hardly bake them fast enough.
The macaroons turn out perfectly every time, and can be made in a variety of sizes. When I tell people how easy they are to make (there are only 5 ingredients in this recipe), they roll their eyes as if to say, “I could never make them turn out like this.”
But, if you follow this simple recipe, you can, and will, have success – I promise. Ina’s recipe suggests using a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, but in recent years I’ve turned to using a 1-inch scoop which results in cookies that are just a little bigger than bite-size. For tonight I’ve borrowed some scoops from Sarello’s to make even smaller cookies, perfectly sized to pop right into your mouth.
Sometimes I sprinkle them with a light dusting of colored sugar for the holidays, or drizzle them with melted chocolate. But that’s about as far as I dare to deviate from her perfect recipe. For tonight, I’ll remain a purist and let the Macaroons speak for themselves.
I love to package the macaroons in clear treat bags tied with Christmas ribbons, or in pretty gift boxes with holiday cellophane to give to friends and teachers throughout the season. People are delighted to receive something homemade, and even more pleased when they taste the macaroons. So take the plunge and jazz up your holiday baking with Ina Garten’s Coconut Macaroons. And when they turn out (which they will), be sure to add one of Ina’s beautiful cookbooks to your collection. Click on the link below to view just the recipe.
Makes: 24 to 36 cookies
14 ounces sweetened coconut flakes
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 extra-large egg whites
¼ teaspoon salt
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the coconut, condensed milk, vanilla in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer with the whisk attachment to whip the egg whites and salt on high speed, until they form medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop the batter onto the sheet using a 1 ¾-inch ice cream scoop; for smaller cookies use a 1-inch scoop or a teaspoon to drop batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve