Spring is just around the corner. As a reminder of those warmer days to come, a coconut-themed indoor family tea party is a grand idea.
Our Chewy Coconut Macaroons - not to be confused with the French macaron, a very different treat entirely - are essentially balls of sweetened baked coconut held together with flour and egg whites. The baking process gives the exterior a lightly crunchy texture while adding toasted coconut flavor.
Coconut Orange Bars add citrus freshness to your tea party. As they’re rich with butter and sugar, small portions are all you need.
Both treats can be frozen, so feel free to eat a few when you make them, then save the rest for a rainy day - possibly the April showers that bring May flowers.
Chewy Coconut Macaroons
4 egg whites
¼ tsp. (1 mL) salt
2/3 cup (150 mL) sugar
¼ cup (50 mL) flour
1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla
3 cups (750 mL) sweetened flaked coconut
Using medium speed of an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Beat in sugar, flour and vanilla just until combined. Fold in coconut. Drop 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) measures of batter 2 inches (5 cm) apart onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake at 325ºF (160ºC) for 20 to 25 minutes or until a light golden color. Let macaroons stand for 5 minutes on cookie sheets. Remove from cookie sheets and cool macaroons on racks. Store, layered with wax paper, in an airtight container. May be frozen. Makes 2 1/2 dozen macaroons.
Coconut Orange Bars
½ cup (125 mL) flour
¼ cup (50 mL) sugar
¼ cup (50 mL) butter, softened
½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped pecans
¾ cup (175 mL) sugar
2 Tbsp. (25 mL) fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. (25 mL) flour
1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla
2 tsp. (10 mL) grated orange peel
¼ tsp. (1 mL) baking powder
1 cup (250 mL) sweetened flaked coconut
To prepare crust, combine ½ cup (125 mL) flour and ¼ cup (50 mL) sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans. Press mixture into a greased 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20 minutes or until firm and light golden around edges. Meanwhile, use medium speed of an electric mixer and beat together next seven ingredients (eggs through baking powder) until blended. Stir in coconut. Remove pan from oven. Pour coconut mixture over hot crust. Continue baking for 20 minutes or until set and light golden around edges. Cool in pan on a rack. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week. May be frozen. Makes 32 bars.
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