Chewy and sweet the macaroons are done in 30 minutes flat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Chewy and sweet the macaroons are done in 30 minutes flat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Sophisticated, simplified

When macarons are too complicated, make these delicious, simple macaroons

I am on a mission to try as many local foods vendors as possible at the Wednesday market. We go every week, if possible, and last week we had a beautiful day for it.

We always start with a trip to the playground to run off the car seat wiggles, and then we take a stroll down every aisle to check out the local art, crafts, foods and causes, and hopefully bump into a friendly face or two.

After a reindeer sausage, we were looking for something sweet, and the market had plenty of options. The first week it was open, we thoroughly enjoyed a rice crispy treat dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles after our lunch. But this week we were hoping to find something a bit more sophisticated, and This is How We Roll delivered with a beautiful array of French macarons.

By the time we arrived she was already down to just a few of the more popular flavors, but she had more than a dozen to choose from, and they all looked incredible. I bought two: one chocolate peanut butter, one birthday cake flavored, and moved on through the stalls while we ate our dessert.

They were so expertly made, and so delectable, I had to turn around to talk to the owner and tell her how wonderful her cookies are. I used to make hundreds a week in a pastry shop in Denver, so I understand just how much skill is required to make consistent, perfectly crispy cookies with chewy centers … and hers are superb.

She’s not listed to return to the Wednesday market, unfortunately, but she runs her business through the Facebook page: This Is How We Roll, for anyone who is excited to taste these delicate bites of refinement.

While I can make excellent macarons if I have the time and energy to dedicate to the lengthy, labor-intensive process, I rarely do. These macaroons are chewy and sweet, and are done in 30 minutes flat — no piping bags or setting time required.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

3 tablespoons almond flour

1/3 cup sugar

Pinch salt

2 egg whites

Splash of vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl combine your shredded coconut, almond flour, sugar and salt.

In a separate bowl, whip your egg whites until soft peaks form.

Whisk the vanilla into the egg whites.

Fold the egg whites into the flour and coconut mixture until you can form sticky balls.

Using two spoons, scoop out heaping teaspoons and position them on your baking tray. No need to space them out too much because they will not expand. I got 24 small macaroons on a single baking tray out of the batch.

Bake for 18-21 minutes, until the coconut on top has browned and the cookies have formed a crust on the bottoms.

Leave them to finish cooking on the pan until they cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

If you want to make these a little fancier you could press them into a bar shape before baking, top with an almond as soon as they come out of the oven, then cover in melted chocolate to make an “almond joy” candy bar. (My favorite).

You could also drizzle melted chocolate on them as soon as they’re cool — dark chocolate works particularly well to balance the sweetness — and top with maldon salt for a more complex treat.

I’m sure there will be something just as exciting for us to taste for lunch this week after all the zoomies have been run off. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for another lovely day.

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