The first order of business is to give a big Happy Birthday shout-out to my son, who turns 8 today. It’s hard to believe that the long-legged, sweet young man who inhabits my home was once a little babe in arms, my firstborn. Naturally, there will be a gratuitous photo of said child at the end of this post, because he’s a handsome guy and a sweetheart to boot. He has requested a Harry Potter birthday, so this morning I will be attempting some Harry Potter themed cupcakes. If they are good, they will likely get a feature here. I make no promises.
The next order of business it to crow a little about my feature article in The Diabetes Experience digital magazine. I was so thrilled when they contacted me about some freelance work, and they really couldn’t have offered me a better assignment. So if you have a free moment, I’d love for you to check out my piece Gluten-Free Holiday Baking Tips.
Finally, to the recipe which uses both my homemade sugar-free dried cranberries AND my homemade low carb sweetened condensed milk. I told you both of those little recipes would come in handy! These are my much healthier version of a beloved macaroon from Au Bon Pain. When I first moved to Boston for work, I frequented Au Bon Pain quite regularly and I had a weak spot for their cookies. The regular cookies, like chocolate chip, were only okay but they had two cookies that always had me coming back for more. The first was a generous slab of shortbread dipped in dark chocolate…what’s not to love about that? The second was the Cranberry Almond Coconut Macaroons, sweet, soft clusters of coconut with dried cranberries and slivered almonds. And dipped in dark chocolate. Can you sense a theme here?
I’ve made low carb macaroons before, but they came out really hard and crunchy. They were good, they just weren’t the soft, tender macaroons I wanted to achieve. But once again, developing my own sweetened condensed milk really solved that problem, because it keeps the macaroons soft even when they include stiff egg whites. These were exactly what I wanted them to be, and they were really good on their own, even without the chocolate. But if you know anything about me, you know I can rarely resist chocolate ganache. So I dipped the majority of these lovely macaroons and it just made them all the more special.
Cranberry Almond Coconut Macaroons
For the macaroons:
- Preheat the oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
- In a large bowl, combine shredded coconut, condensed milk, almonds, cranberries, almond extract, stevia extract and salt and mix well.
- Fold in egg whites.
- Drop by rounded teaspoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 18 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Let cool on pan.
- Melt butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan over low heat. Add powdered erythritol and stir to dissolve.
- If chocolate thickens too much to dip macaroons, add more butter or oil until it smooths out again.
- Dip half of each macaroon in chocolate and return to pan. Let set 20 minutes.