Pink Macaroons for Valentine’s Day

February 8, 2015 Updated: February 8, 2015

My mom’s red heart-shaped butter cookies hold fond memories of Valentine’s Day for me. I liked her homemade cookies so much she even mailed them to me in a shoebox after I left home to go to college.

In keeping with the tradition of showing affection with cookies, these quinoa macaroons will be sure to win hearts this Valentine’s.

Quinoa Macaroons

Makes 20 cookies

  • 400 ml (1 2/3 cups) cooked quinoa
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) sweetened shredded coconut, packed
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut (should be fine and powdery)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) + 15 ml (1 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) pure raspberry extract (optional)
  • 5-10 drops red food colouring to make pink colour (optional)
  • Parchment paper

Step 1: Prepare the quinoa at least 30 minutes ahead of time. Rinse the dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. In a small saucepan, bring 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) water to a boil, add 125 ml (1/2 cup) quinoa, and simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Spoon into a medium-sized mixing bowl and cool.

Step 2: Combine the sweet and unsweetened coconut with the cooled quinoa.

Step 3: Preheat oven to 160° C (325° F).

Step 4: With a hand or stand mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar on medium-high until the whites are bubbly (foamy) and sugar is almost completely dissolved. (Don’t over-beat—under 2 minutes is enough) Mix in extracts and food colouring, if using. Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture with a large spoon.

Step 5: Line a cookie sheet with the parchment paper. Scoop out a level tablespoon (15 ml) of batter onto the paper, then add another tablespoon on top of that one. Lightly press down to hold together and re-shape with the measuring spoon. Move any stray quinoa or coconut back onto cookie. Batter will be moist, and will not expand during baking.

Step 6: Bake 25-27 minutes until slightly golden on top and firm when touched. Remove from oven, let set a few minutes, then place on a rack to cool. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

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