Saturday, July 7, 2012

Macaroons (egg whites replacement)

Last month, I offered up cake mix macaroon cookies, and I mentioned gluey coconut clumps in context of macaroons. I still think macaroons are gluey and clumpy, but my results taste better than macaroons I remember from way back. This recipe includes information for substituting egg whites with Wilton meringue powder. It also includes my best guess for coconut calories, espite the coconut package squishiness for numbers of servings and calories.

In researching macaroon recipes, I noticed many used egg whites. I myself prefer to avoid recipes that call for only egg whites or only egg yolks—arggghhhh, leftover egg yolks or leftover egg whites! I recalled I have a container of Wilton meringue powder, which I used for making meringue cookies once. (They came out light and airy, but were not a big hit in the household.)

Macaroons should be a good way to try using up some of the powder, I thought. The container showed substitution information of 2 teaspoons of powder and 2 tablespoons of water for one egg white. Interestingly, I could not find macaroon recipes that showed substitution. I encountered macaroon recipes that specified beating egg whites lightly to beating them to stiff peaks. I decided to beat the egg white substitute to a froth.

I looked up macaroon recipes mostly for fewest ingredients, which is my main standard for simplicity. The Scribbler macaroon recipe is intriguing for both simplicity and complication. The blog owner was gracious and prompt in responding to some questions I posted.

The simplicity was in the basic ingredients. The complications lay in the decorative areas, nicely detailed for those who like to add flair to their macaroons. The Scribbler recipe shows several appealing pictures and lists steps to achieve the visual effects.
My pixstrip shows five image areas:
  1. Implements
  2. Ingredients, dry and wet
  3. Mixed ingredients in one bowl
  4. Dough spoonfuls on a parchment-lined pan
  5. Baked macaroons
Implements
  • cooky pan(s)
  • pastry blender
  • mixer
  • medium-large mixing bowl
  • small mixing bowl
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • rubber spatulas
  • parchment paper
  • cooling rack for done cookies
Ingredients
  • 3 C flaked coconut (~10.5 oz, 3/4 of 14-oz. package)
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/3 C flour
  • 2 T and 2 t Wilton meringue powder and 1/2 C water
    (You can use 4 egg whites.)
  • 1 t vanilla extract, optional (I forgot to add it!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line the baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Pour the coconut into a medium-large mixing bowl, breaking up the lumps.
  4. Add the flour and sugar into the coconut, using the pastry blender to blend well.
  5. In the smaller bowl, mix the water and meringue powder together. (I mixed on low speed for one minute, then medium speed for one minute.)
    Note: For using only egg whites, lightly beat them.
  6. Add the extract, if you want extract, (Or fuggedaboutit it like I did.)
  7. Pour the beaten egg whites or egg-white substitute ingredients into the larger bowl.
  8. Use the pastry blender to stir the ingredients together.
  9. Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough.
  10. Drop the spoon's dough onto the parchment-lined cooky sheet.
  11. Bake for about 15-17 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.
  12. Transfer the done cookies onto cooling rack.
Calories and coconut servings
The recipe yielded 34 macaroons, calculated to about 66 calories each, 40 that come from coconut—almost 2/3 of each macaroon's calories. YMMV. The coconut was the most problematic ingredient for calculating calories. The package of coconut contains 14 ounces (396 grams).

The nutritional table shows 70 calories for every 2 tablespoons (15 grams) and claims 27 servings for the package. If dividing 396 grams by 15 grams, however, the total servings is 26.4. The front of the package prominently claims to contain 5 1/3 cups. If calculating VOLUME servings at 8 servings per cup (16 tablespoons per cup), the number of servings should be 8 x 5.33, or (gasp!) slightly fewer than *43* servings.
November 14, 2013: I made a double batch to take to a workplace potluck. Instead of using a pastry blender, I wore latex gloves to blend the dry ingredients, then later used a couple of large cooking spoons to stir the egg-white replacement fluid into the dry ingredients. My yield was 84 cookies, about 52 calories each.

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