Mississippi is moving to the top of my cookie list. The Mississippi Praline Macaroons were easy to make and delicious. I took them to a cookout with friends, and they (the cookies, not the people) disappeared before the hamburgers and hotdogs–I confess I ate at least seven or eight at the event, so I don’t exactly know how much everyone else liked them.
As for a gift-able Christmas cookie? The jury is out on that. I had trouble maintaining their fresh meringue crisp flavor. They wilted to softness quickly, but I didn’t put them in an airtight container right away as indicated in the recipe. I need some feedback about how to maintain the crunch. The flavor is 110% terrific.
If you haven’t been following our journey, Jeremy and I are baking our way through the 50 states in search of the best Christmas cookies to present to our friends. Previous to this, I tackled the ill-fated Michigan Rock cookies. Before Michigan, I tried a cookie recipe from South Carolina, Indiana, New Jersey, Alaska, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Alabama.
Start with pecans. I bought a 2 lb bag at Costco. That’s more like 4-pie-quantity, and I didn’t make a dent in the bag–but if these were gifts, one 2lb bag would be perfect.
- Total Time: 50 mins |
- Makes: 35 to 37 macaroons
This is a favorite dessert [from Ann Grundfest Gerache, Vicksburg, Mississippi] served at community Passover seders sponsored by Vicksburg’s Congregation Anshe Chesed.
Game plan: As soon as the macaroons have cooled, store them in an airtight container to keep them crisp.
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 35 to 37 pecan halves, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease 2 or 3 large baking sheets or line the sheets with foil and grease the foil.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt until frothy. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue beating, adding the brown sugar gradually (in small handfuls) and scraping the bowl once, until the whites form stiff, glossy peaks. (This will take a few minutes.) With a large rubber spatula, fold in the pecans.
- Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Press a pecan half into each, flattening the cookie slightly.
- Bake until the macaroons are set and feel hard and crisp, about 35 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely, then store in airtight containers.