Almond extract gives these classic coconut macaroons a festive twist. Drizzled in chocolate, they are perfect for your holiday cookie exchange!
Well, this past month has gone by in a flash! Between having a baby who is growing way too fast, the holidays, a vacation to the East coast, and having the hubby home for once– time is just flying. As they say, the days are long but the months and years are short. At times, every day with a baby feels like Groundhog Day, and then at other times I wake up and wonder how the heck I have a babbling, avocado-eating, almost-crawling, smiley baby, whose newborn days are long, long gone.
At just about 7 months, Molly is just starting to sit up without any help. She’s figured out how to get up on her hands and knees, and rock back and forth a few times before plopping back onto her face. And even if she’s not quite crawling yet, she’s definitely moving. We have a train around our Christmas tree, and she wants it so badly. Wherever I put her down in the living room, within 5 minutes she’ll have rolled and scooted her way over to the tracks. She’s reaching up for low-hanging ornaments, and I’m already envisioning my tree next year: instead of a train, it’ll be surrounded by a baby gate.
We started baby-led weaning, which basically means we are skipping baby food altogether and going straight for the real stuff. It’s really fun for all of us and so convenient when we are out at restaurants or friends houses (which is quite often this time of year). Molly’s had chunks of avocados, cucumbers, carrots, egg, broccoli, green beans, greens, tortillas and bread. And bean sprouts– or as Nick’s always called them, “elephant hairs”– to keep her busy one night while we ate Thai food. She loves exploring the food and figuring out what to do with it. It’s amazing how much she can actually chew off without having any teeth! Hopefully I have a little foodie in the making.
Christmas is just around the corner, and that means it’s cookie time!! My sister and I have a Christmas cookie-baking tradition, and even when we aren’t together (we won’t be this year– boo) we still bake old favorites and try new treats together from across the country.
When it comes to Christmas cookies, sometimes the classics are the best. Gingerbread men, decorated sugar cookies, all things peppermint. I’ve made coconut macaroons a few times now, and they are always a hit. They’re super easy, too.
This year, I decided to change things up a bit the best way I know how: almond extract. One of my favorite holiday flavors! (I’m a sucker for the marzipan Christmas pigs.) It also wouldn’t be Christmas without chocolate, so these babies get a little drizzle and then get dressed up with some cute festive sprinkles! The result: delicious and pretty cookies perfect for your holiday party, cookie swap, or Santa!!
- 2⅔ cups sweetened flaked coconut
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Sprinkles, optional
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine coconut, sugar, flour and salt.
- Add the egg whites and almond extract and stir to mix well.
- Drop tablespoons of coconut mix onto prepared baking sheets. (The cookies won't spread much so you can put them pretty close together.)
- Bake 15-20 minutes, until just starting to turn golden brown on the tops and bottoms.
- Cool on the pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- When the cookies are completely cool, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl, and microwave 30 seconds. Stir, then cook another 30 seconds and stir. Repeat in 10 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Drizzle chocolate over cookies and top with sprinkles, if desired. Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.