Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fig-Pecan Macaroons...

Those peanut butter banana cookies that we made last weekend did not last very long around here, so I made sure to set some time aside this morning so we could make another new cookie! Filling the kitchen with the scent of toasted pecans was a wonderful way to begin these Fig-Pecan Macaroons.

Since you need to preheat the oven anyway, you could toast them that way, but if you don't want to wait for it to heat up, throw them into a skillet and let them go until they are lightly golden and fragrant. Because they will then be ground in a food processor, be sure to let the nuts cool completely before processing them as you don't want them to turn into a paste. Processed with a healthy scoop of cinnamon, the finely ground nuts are then given a shot of sunshine by adding shreds of bright lemon zest.

Egg whites needed to be whisked up until they had stiff peaks for the next portion of the recipe - to help stabilize them as they work, a pinch of salt and a little cream of tartar are added as they begin to whip. So you get the best volume, let the whites come to room temperature before you begin this process - and don't throw away those un-needed yolks! If you don't want to scramble them for your breakfast the next morning, you can freeze them or toss them into your pup's bowl for a special treat!

Once the egg whites were ready, powdery confectioners' sugar is gradually added in, followed by aromatic nut mixture and sweet bits of finely diced dried Black Mission figs. Because those figs are crazy sticky, toss them with just a little confectioners' sugar - this will help tone down that issue and keep them separated, which makes mixing them in much easier. You can portion these out by using a heaping teaspoon or scoop the mixture into a zip-loc or pastry bag and pipe away. Baked until lightly golden, give these cookies plenty of time to cool as they are somewhat fragile when pipping hot.

I wasn't sure how I should go about describing these bumpy macaroons. To me, these lean more towards a French macaron than an American macaroon. While they are not sandwiched together with a ganache or buttercream like you would find a macaron, these cookies have a meringue-like crisp shell that yields to a chewy inside. An American macaroon substitutes coconut for the nut meal, uses a coarser granulated sugar and are typically pretty dense. So, use whichever term you like for these cookies, but don't wait too long to make them as their intensely nutty flavor, spiked with that fragrant cinnamon note, is well worth the effort!



  1. You made macaroons! I don't know if I would even try to do that!! Kudos to you!

  2. I have never even tasted macaroons, let alone made them. you are a rockstar!