Cherry Coconut Macaroon Cookies
Not much goes as well together as coconut and cherries. These light and airy concoctions are no exception. These delicate cookies should be made right before eating as storing them is harder than some other tougher cookies. However, the flavor is so delicious that they will disappear in no time. They are so easy to put together as well, and you will know it’s all worth it when you see the pleasure that comes across your family’s face as they take a bite.
1 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
**2 teaspoons Watkins Pure Almond Extract
1 teaspoon Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract
14 ounces flaked coconut, 1 ¼ cups reserved in a bowl
12 maraschino cherries, cut in half
Parchment paper liner
Note: for Almond allergies—try Watkins Imitation Almond Extract
for a different taste: try Watkins Cherry Extract, or Watkins Coconut Extract
Note: Most cookies may be baked on a lightly greased baking sheet; however, delicate cookies such as these macaroons, tend to break or crumble when you try to move them. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you use parchment paper or a baking mat (such as from Pampered Chef) to line the baking sheet. Keep in mind that a single sheet of parchment can be used multiple times during a baking session.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Have the rack in the middle.
Line each of two baking sheets with a piece of parchment paper. Set the baking sheets aside.
In a small bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine these dry ingredients and set the bowl aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, butter, and cream cheese. Use an electric mixer to cream the ingredients together until the mixture is light and fluffy. This should only take about 2 minutes.
In the same bowl, add the egg yolk and milk as well as the Watkins Pure Almond (or Watkins Imitation Almond Extract) and Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract. Mix well on medium speed.
Turn the mixer speed to low as you gradually add the flour mixture which was set aside earlier.
Mix until well blended.
Before you add the coconut to the dough, measure out 1 1/4 cups of the coconut, placing it into a small bowl and setting it aside for later use.
Add the bulk of the coconut to the dough, scraping the side of the bowl and blending well as you go.
Use a tablespoon to scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough. Shape the spoonful of dough into a ball. Roll the ball in the small bowl of coconut you set aside earlier. Place the cookie ball on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat the process spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart.
Baking and Decorating
When your baking sheet is filled, bake the cookies for about 13 minutes or until light brown.
When the cookies are done, remove them from the oven. While they are still hot, press a ½ red maraschino cherry into the center of each cookie. Grasp the edges of the parchment paper and slide it onto a wire rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
These macaroon cookies are decorated using a ½ red maraschino cherry; however, you can also add drizzled melted chocolate over the top of the cookies.
Another option would be to substitute a piece of your favorite sugared or candied fruit or even an almond in the center of the cookie. You may even want to try a pineapple tidbit.
1 tsp Vegetable Oil
Combine the chocolate chips and the vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Watch to not overheat. You may need to microwave as long as 1 ½ minutes. Just microwave until the chocolate chips are soft and shiny. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over the cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set.
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
Recipe by: Theresa Buker and can be found with 9 other delicious recipes in: 10 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes Volume 1