High Altitude Baking: Gluten-free coconut cappuccino macaroons (recipe) | SummitDaily.com

High Altitude Baking: Gluten-free coconut cappuccino macaroons (recipe)

Editor's note: High altitude makes cookies spread in the pan, cakes fall, and few baked goods turn out as they do at sea level. This twice-monthly column presents recipes and tips that make baking in the mountains successful.

A sophisticated coconut macaroon — less sweet and lighter textured than most, flavored with coffee and cinnamon, and dipped in dark chocolate — even those who aren't macaroon fans will like this cappuccino version. It contains no wheat flour, so it's a good choice for those on a gluten-free diet. Serve it with fresh fruit, ice cream, sorbet, coffee or on a cookie tray.

It's very easy to make, just be sure to beat the egg white until stiff and avoid deflating it when adding it to the other ingredients (it provides the airy texture that's a big part of the cookie's appeal). Bake only until the cookies show spots of gold/brown; they should remain soft or they'll lose their chewy consistency.

Gluten-Free Coconut Cappuccino Macaroons

Makes twenty-two 1½ inch cookies

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

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½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 instant espresso powder

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (2¼ cups)

1 large egg white, room temperature

Pinch kosher salt

Chocolate Glaze

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped fine

½ teaspoon canola oil

1. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees with a rack in the center position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, espresso powder and cinnamon and stir to blend well. Add the coconut and use a silicone spatula to mix until well combined.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg white and salt until stiff peaks form. Gently (without deflating the white) fold it into the coconut mixture with the silicone spatula. Once fully incorporated, pat the dough into a mound and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

4. Wet your hands (to keep the dough from sticking to them) and roll the dough into 1¼ -inch balls. Place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Re-wet your hands as needed to complete this step.

5. Place the pan, with the cookies on it, in the freezer until the cookies are quite firm, about 10 minutes. Place in oven and bake until the edges of the cookies are golden and spots of color appear on the tops, about 25 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven, cool on the pan until you can gently peel them off the parchment (they'll stick to it while hot but, once they firm up and cool, they're easily moved). Let cool completely on the rack.

7. Make the glaze: Put the chopped chocolate in a small, narrow, microwave-safe bowl, and melt in a microwave oven at a low temperature, checking every minute or so. Remove when some lumps of chocolate are still visible, add the canola oil, and stir until smooth and shiny. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and set them on a silicone mat or parchment paper (use the same one you baked them on) until the chocolate is set (refrigerate to speed up this process). Store, airtight, for a week in the refrigerator, or freeze. Serve at room temperature.

This is a variation of a recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine.

Vera Dawson, author of the high-altitude cookbooks Baking Above It All and Cookies in the Clouds, (available at The Bookworm in Edwards and Next Page Bookstore in Frisco), is a chef instructor with CMC's Culinary Institute. Her recipes have been tested in her Summit County kitchen and, whenever necessary, altered until they work at our altitude. Contact her at veradawson1@gmail.com.

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