Thursday, December 3

Monica Bhide's Saffron-Cardamom Macaroons Recipe

saffron and cardamom macaroons DSC_0377

I was going to finish the week off with leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches, but after Thanksgiving dinner, then turkey pot pie, then curried turkey salad wraps, I'm done with turkey. Since I'm the ONLY person in the blogosphere who bought a 23.5 pound turkey for four people, I think it's safe to assume that I am the ONLY person who still has leftover turkey. So the rest is going in the freezer, and I'm moving on to Christmas cookies.

If you're looking for a unique Christmas cookie this year, try Monica Bhide's Saffron and Cardamom Macaroons. They're easy to make and are remarkably fragrant and sweet. Though I have baked with cardamom before, I have never baked with saffron. Like most people, I've always relegated saffron to savory dishes, but Monica has convinced me that saffron has a sweet side. Because of its floral overtones, it works well in these sweet and spicy cookies.

Want to share in our big, festive Eat Christmas Cookies event? Find out how here.  (Several Santa prizes will be given out throughout the event.) And check out the stash of Christmas cookies we've gotten so far. 

saffron and cardamom macaroons DSC_0369

Saffron-Cardamom Macaroons
Yields 35-38 small macaroons (I made about 20 larger ones) 
This recipe is from Monica Bhide's cookbook, Modern Spice.
Print recipe only here

1 (14-ounce) package sweetened shredded coconut
10 ounces sweetened condensed milk such as Eagle brand, from a 14-ounce can
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 small egg whites, whipped to peaks

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and lightly spraying with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, cardamom, saffron, and salt in bowl. (It will form a mixture that is not like typical cookie dough, but once the egg whites are folded in, the mixture will hold together.)

3. To whip egg whites, start with room temperature eggs. I like to add a touch of lemon juice, salt, or cream of tartar to help the eggs get to the peaks. Once you begin to whisk them and they reach the soft peak stage, stop. If you continue to beat them, the proteins will break down and you will have a soft mess on your hands. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites to the mixture.

4. Using a spoon, mold the mixture into tablespoon-size balls and place 1 inch apart on prepared pan.

5. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until exterior is very slightly brown, the middle is still soft, and the bottoms are beginning to turn golden brown.

6. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes on a wire rack.

7. Serve at room temperature. These can be stored in an air-tight container for up to one week.

You might also enjoy these spiced baked goods from Food Blogga:
Pear and Cardamom Coffee Cake
Italian Pepper Biscuits 
Date, Fennel, and Pistachio Scones (Heart Healthy & Low Fat!)
Old-Fashioned Spiced Apple Streusel Muffins
Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cranberries, Raisins, and Pecans

Here are more delicious cookies made with cardamom and saffron:
Kesar-Pista Nankhatai recipe at One Hot Stove (Indian cookies with cardamom and saffron)
Spring Saffron Shortbread recipe at Mango Power Girl
Baked Oatmeal Cookies with Cardamom recipe at The Amateur Gourmet
Chocolate Dipped Pistachio and Cardamom Cookies recipe at Lex Culinaria

For more about Monica Bhide's latest cookbook, Modern Spice, check out my review. You can also listen to an interview entitled "Our Insatiable Appetite for Cookbooks"with Monica and Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Nice flavor combo! They must taste heavenly!



Rambling Tart said...

Such pretty little nibbles! :-)

Mardi Michels said...

These look wonderful - I love coconut with the cardamom and saffron.

Unknown said...

Thanks!! I am so excited you tried it and liked it! I love these little cookies.

Anonymous said...

Saffron and cardamom? That really is exotic to me. I'd love to try them.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Oh man, I am so making these. I love macaroons, and these sound like the most amazing ones ever. And BTW - you're not the only one with leftover turkey! I ordered a 20+ lb one from a nearby organic farm, but due to excessive rains, it didn't gain as much, and was under 18 lbs. I was serving 16, and wanted leftovers, so I panicked and prepared another 12 lb turkey we had in the freezer for Thanksgiving as well. So even after turkey enchiladas, turkey congee, turkey salad and straight-up turkey leftovers, there's still some left. Sigh...

The Food Hunter said...

these sound great!

The Teacher Cooks said...

I love coconut! Have to try this flavor combination. Sounds interesting!!! I am with you about the turkey! Cooked 3 different turkeys before I could post it on my blog. We had 40 pounds of turkey!

Karen said...

I love cardamom - I bet these are a really different flavor!

RecipeGirl said...

They're so darn pretty! I love baking with cardamom.

Annelise said...

I've been reading Monica's new cookbook (and heard her on Talk of the Nation yesterday!) and these cookies sound like a stand-out. They'll definitely be on my holiday cookie platter....

Christine said...

Oh my! These look so delicious. I love both cardamom and saffron and am already trying to figure out how to make these sugar free. Beautiful photos, Susan. I think you should give a class on how to take perfect food photos.

Azita Mehran said...

love the saffron, cardamom and coconut combination. delicious.

s said...

truly beautiful!!

Stephanie Stiavetti said...

I love saffron and cardamom in sweets. Always makes for a special treat.

codfish said...

Love saffron in sweet things. And so tantalizingly fluffy!

Winnie said...

I'm a big fan of Monica and these sound so good! I'm also kind of obsessed with cardamom at present so I can't wait to try these.
Happy to know about the Xmas cookie event you are hosting...will be sure to make something to be part of that!

Mimi said...

Great cookies. They look like snow.

Cynthia said...

Love that combo.

Lele said...

What a cool idea! One of my favorite restaurants has this INCREDIBLE dessert that is poached pears in a saffron broth. Saffron+ sweet+ awesome!

We Are Not Martha said...

I love cocobut and cardamom and I bet the saffron does add an interesting tough! They look so pretty too :)


Manggy said...

Coconut + condensed milk = heaven. And I don't even normally like coconut! :)
Yeesh, we had a 10-pound ham for 8 people and we didn't even finish that!! I hope the leftovers are all gone now (and wasn't thrown out)!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

rosa-They do!

ramblingtart-I know! :)

mardi-Then you'll love these!

monica-Thank you for the recipe! :)

anonymous-I really hope you do!

tastyeatsathome-OK, I'm sorry that happened to you, but that really is a funny story. You'll be re-telling that one for years to come. :)

foodhunter- Thanks!

teachercooks-40! Whoa! I mean, Whoa!

recipegirl-I do too!

karen-They are!

annelise-Yay! I'm sure Monica will be thrilled.

christine-That is so kind of you to say. Thank you.

azita-Wonderful flavors, indeed.

s-Thank you!

stephanie-These really are special.

codfish-Well said!

winnie-Yay! On both accounts!

mini-Perfect for the winter season!

cynthia-Me too!

lele-Oh, you must go there a lot!


mark-Nope. It's in the freezer.

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Took me a while to realise that macaron and macaroons were was a long while i was confused, i tell ya. Glad to be shot of that, these look good!

manju said...

I came back to catch up on the round up and get the bacon chocolate chip recipe, and found this other lovely nibble too! You must have the best cookie jar!
; D