Monday, June 11, 2012

German Carmelite Sister Cookies

These particular cookies get their name from 2 Carmelite sisters or nuns that were in hiding during the French revolution.  They actually made these cookies for money to support themselves.  In time, these women were called the "Macaroon sisters" and then later on the recipe was passed onto the Jewish community.

These particular cookies are a macaroon base, however, they have a twist that is reminiscent of the frosting on a German chocolate cake.  They have a chewy pecan filling and are dipped in German chocolate.  They are quite moist and remind me more of a candy than the typical dry macaroons that you often find at the store.  With the humid weather in Texas, I found them to be particularly tasty after refrigeration or even freezing.

If you are like me and love the icing on German chocolate cake, then you will enjoy these.  This recipe makes about 1 1/2 dz macaroons about 2 inches in width.

German Carmelite Sister Cookies
by flourtrader

2 tbs butter
1 tbs bourbon
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 egg
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup chopped German chocolate
4 tsp butter

To make the filling, melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat.  Then stir in corn syrup and
sugar.  Cook the mixture, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.  There will no longer be a grittiness at the bottom of the pan when scraped with a spoon.  Remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes or to lukewarm temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a bowl with egg and beat it with a fork.  Stir in the vanilla extract and bourbon.  Then mix in the pecans and corn syrup mixture.

Line the bottom of a pie pan or 9 inch cake pan with parchment.  Pour pecan batter into pan and place in the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes.  Mixture is done when it has turned foamy on top, much like the top of a pecan pie.  The mixture should be able to be scooped up with a spoon and fairly solid. Set aside and let cool.

To make macaroon batter, turn the oven down to 325 degrees.  Line two baking pans with silpat liners.  Beat together egg whites until foamy.  Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and beat again until soft peaks form.  Continue to beat and add one tablespoon of sugar.  Continue with this process until all sugar has been incorporated into batter.  Beat until mixture is shiny and very stiff.

Then carefully fold the vanilla and coconut into the batter, making sure that the egg whites keep their consistency.

Pipe or spoon the coconut mixture into mounds on the silpat.  Then place about 1/2 tsp of pecan mixture on the center of each mound.  Pipe or spoon more of the coconut batter on top of the mound, smoothing to make sure that the pecan center is completely covered.

Bake macaroons for 18-22 minutes, keeping a careful eye out during the time beyond 18 minutes.  You want them to be golden brown but not over baked.  Remove pan and let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to finish cooling.

For the topping, melt chocolate and butter together in a double boiler.  Lay out 2 sheets of wax paper.  Dip cooled cookies halfway into chocolate and then place on wax paper and let set.

Tips and Notes
1. I used parchment as well as a silpat and found that the silpat worked better.  If you have the patience for peeling these carefully off the parchment, it will work.
2. Make sure that your coconut mound is at least 1/2 inch high before adding the filling because the pecan mixture does sink.
3.  You will have some excess of the filling, but you can always top ice cream with it or double the macaroon cookie recipe.
                          **LAST YEAR: Alpine Easter Bread**