Cardamom remains one of our absolute favorite spices. It has so many versatile uses, from savory dishes, to cocktails, to use in desserts, like these macarons. It has a light, very fragrant taste that is both sweet and floral, lending a depth and presence to any dish it is used in.
While we typically use it for cooking our Indian dishes, we found it worked incredibly in this recipe. We were inspired to bake these while contemplating Christmas gifts for our neighbors. One of the first people we met when we moved here was our neighbor Monique. She has been a great and valued friend ever since, bringing some much needed levity, wisdom and friendship to our life out here on the farm.
Unfortunately for her, she also can't eat grain or anything with gluten. That nixed most of our cookie recipes, as almost all of them demand flour. The exception are these exceptional macarons, completely gluten free without sacrificing an ounce of flavor.
Aside from the cardamom flavor, which makes these incredible to taste, the soft coconut flakes melt like butter in your mouth, The chocolate adds richness without making the cookie seem heavy, and the egg whites keep them light and guilt-free.
Ultimately, the cardamom is optional, as you will still have a perfect and incredible macaroon regardless of whether you use it, but it blends and layers so perfectly with the coconut and chocolate that I cannot encourage you enough to experience this symphony of flavors. While it's too late to add these to your own Christmas rotation, those lucky people you get to share this recipe with will appreciate it regardless of the season. Enjoy!
Recipe: Chocolate Covered Cardamom Macarons
- 2 (14 oz) bags coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
- 2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 T instant coffee, dissolved in 1/8 c water
- 2 T vegetable shortening
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Mix together sweetened condensed milk, sugar, almond extract, cardamom, salt and coconut flakes in a large bowl. Toss together to evenly distribute.
- Beat egg whites until medium-stiff in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. The coconut flakes will make the mixture somewhat sticky. It may be easiest to simply jump in with your hands at this point, because you need to be sure to mix the ingredients as much as possible without deflating the egg whites.
- Drop golf-bal sized balls of the mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure each cookie is intact (if the egg whites were adequately incorporated this shouldn't be a problem).
- Bake for 25 minutes, until deep golden brown
- Once the cookies are out of the oven melt the chocolate, vegetable shortening and coffee mixture together in a small bowl.
- Readjust the macarons on the parchment paper as they cool so that they don't stick. Allow them to cool for at least ten minutes before dipping them in the chocolate. Dip half the cookie in the chocolate, and return it to parchment the parchment paper to cool completely
Number of servings (yield): 24