These cookies make me happy.
Not just because they are tasty and squishy and chewy and easy to make.
They make me happy because they are cheerful cookies. Let's see what the dictionary says about "cheerful".
cheer·ful - 1. Noticeably happy and optimistic. 2. Causing happiness by its nature or appearance.
Now, I can tell these fit the #1 category but I know there are some doubters out there who would think it silly to attribute people feelings to cookies.
Bah-humbug is what I say to that.
Anyway...for those of you who don't believe cookies can be happy and optimistic...then look at category #2. These definitely fit!
If you still don't agree...well...I'm not sure you truly understand cookies.
Make these... look at them.... admire them.... eat them... become a cookie whisperer.
You'll get it.
Cherry Limeade Macaroons
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups coconut, shredded
4 oz cream cheese, softened
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
zest of 1/2 a lime
juice from 1 lime
12 red Maraschino cherries, halved
Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, vanilla & almond extract, and salt until well combined. Stir in coconut - start with 2 cups of coconut and add more if it still seems too wet. (My egg whites were quite large so I ended up using the entire 2 1/2 cups of coconut.)
Using a small cookie scoop (or tablespoon), drop coconut batter about an inch apart onto prepared cookie sheet. Press the back of a tsp measuring spoon into each cookie (or use your thumb).
Bake at 350 for 8 to 12 minutes, until coconut just starts to turn brown and cookies appear dry.
Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool completely on wire racks before filling.
Prepare filling - Beat together cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and lime zest & juice until smooth. Spoon mixture into indent in cookie.
Top with 1/2 a Maraschino cherry. (**TIP** - cut the cherries in half and dry very well on a paper towel. This will prevent the cherry from "bleeding" into the filling.)
Refrigerate until serving time.
A little note - you don't want to let these completely cool on the parchment paper. They stick a little bit to the parchment paper (I know, weird right? Nothing sticks to parchment paper!) As long as you don't let them cool completely on the parchment paper they pop right off.
I'm going to go and look at my cheerful little macaroons and maybe....
eat one or two..
and be happy.