Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hay Hay It's Donna Day #2: Macaroons

The motto of Donna Hay's magazine is to "turn simple into special" and you have to say her recipes are simple, sometimes they do seem too simple. I tend to think of her recipes as basic blocks in which you can modify to your own skill level or your own taste. They are certainly ripe for interpretation as Pearl of the Orient's "Hay Hay It's Donna Day" Challenge testifies.

I decided to do two versions of Macaroons using a couple of unusual ingredients.

ingredients© by haalo

Dividing the basic recipe into two, one batch will be flavoured with a newish product on the market "Vanilla Bean Paste". If you'd had to scrap vanilla pods before you'll understand how good this is. You get those oh-so-desired tiny little seeds without the effort.

The second will be flavoured using Green & Black's Organic Hot Chocolate with Orange and spice - a change for using plain cocoa.

Basic Macaroon Recipe
2 cups desiccated coconut
½ cup sugar
2 egg whites

Vanilla Bean Paste Macaroons

I had thought of piping these but the mixture is way too firm so I made tiny bite sized rounds, about one inch/2.5cm in diameter.

Vanilla Bean Paste Macaroons© by haalo

Vanilla Bean Paste Macaroons© by haalo

In the close up you can see the tell-tale speckles of vanilla bean.

Dark Chocolate and Orange Macaroons

My inspiration for this, well, it's nearing Valentines Day, so with chocolate you must have hearts...

Dark Chocolate and Orange Macaroons© by Haalo

To cut the shapes I ended up tipping the mix onto baking paper and pressing it down with a fork so it would bind, then I used a normal cookie cutter to cut out the shapes - be careful lifting them, use a flat bladed spatula and they will hold together

Dark Chocolate and Orange Macaroons© by Haalo

Cook as per the recipe and Voila!

macaroons© by haalo

And the taste: Chewy centers and a nice crispness on the edges. The flavourings come through in both Macaroons.

macaroons© by haalo


  1. Hi Haalo,
    Lovely macaroons you've made. The chocolate heart shaped macaroons looks really romantic and cute. Thanks for participating. Stay tuned for the round up!

  2. I'm looking forward to the roundup - should be lots of interesting twists on the theme.

  3. Thanks for participating Haalo. I love the flavours you have usedd. I have not seen the vanilla paste here in NZ - it sounds fantastic.

  4. Hi Barbara
    Thank you for the comments.

    Queens just introduced the Vanilla Bean Paste onto the Australian market last year - and it's amazing. It's fantastic for panna cotta. Just one teaspoon equals one vanilla bean.

    You can find more information about it from their website:
    You might be able to find out if they stock it in NZ.



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