Curd is the Word

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Spiced Clementine Macaroons

Yeah, so these aren’t green. Who cares?

Sunday was a marathon baking day.  The holiday cookie trays were a big hit at the office. They cleaned me out, which is probably better for my thighs considering the amount of holiday cocktails and cheese I plan on enjoying.  Some people get into the decorating.  I bake cookies and share them with others. Truth be told, I haven’t decorated for the holidays in a very long time and this year’s holiday agenda will likely include the phrases, “Feliz Navidad,” and “Mas tequila, por favor.” Stay tuned for that.

As I indicated in my previous post, I discovered a new cookie recipe that I felt compelled to try.  Since Gourmet doesn’t print the magazine anymore I’m deprived of my annual holiday cookie edition.  However, thanks to Gourmet Live being available on “The Internets,” I have been supplied with a delightful new cookie recipe.  These lime macaroons seemed apropos for this year’s destination and holiday color scheme.  I went with shades of green in honor of Pantone naming my fave color of the year for 2013.  Last year’s cookie theme consisted of violet and ice blue.  Don’t get me started on my color fixations.  These macaroons are made into sandwiches filled with a delicious lime curd.   Have you ever had lime or lemon curd?  I’ve always enjoyed it but never knew how to make it.  It’s basically like a spreadable citrus custard.  I couldn’t help experimenting a little and made my filling into a vanilla-lime curd by substituting with vanilla sugar.  I also decided to make a completely different curd filling with seasonal citrus which totally threw the color scheme off but it was a worthwhile experiment.  I now have plenty of leftover curd to whip up more macaroons or to slather on toast.  While we are on the subject of my previous post, have you entered the Cheez-it earrings giveaway? Because you totally should –  they are a great conversation piece and my Cheez-it loving friend always gets compliments! Check the giveaway out here!

So, if you would like to make the lime macaroons, simply follow the recipe link above and if you have vanilla sugar, feel free to add that for a new twist. However, if you have some clementines around, you may want to try this version below:

Lady Sensory’s Spiced Clementine Macaroons

I make the curd first because it should chill for at least an hour. Start by separating 4 eggs: yolks for the curd and whites for the macaroon portion.

Spiced Clementine Curd:

1 tbsp clementine zest

3/4 cup fresh clementine juice (you’ll need about 5 clementines)

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 tsp Saigon cinnamon (add more or less depending on your preference)

1/4 tsp cloves (again, more or less, depending on your preference)

1 stick of butter

4 large egg yolks

3-4 drops red food coloring and 1-2 drops yellow food coloring

Orange sanding sugar or a mix of red and yellow (the latter is what I did)

In a heavy saucepan or pot, whisk together the zest, juice, sugar, cornstarch, spices and salt until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Follow by whisking in the butter.  While whisking, simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat when it starts to bubble and continue to whisk away. It should be starting to thicken. Remove from heat. Beat the 4 yolks in a bowl and then add a little of the clementine mixture at a time (I do about 1 tbsp at a time and add 3-4 tablespoons) to the yolks first. This keeps the yolks from coagulating. Now add the yolk/clementine combo to the rest of the clementine mixture. Put heat back on low (if you are using a cast-iron fancy pot, you may have enough residual heat to do this part without adding turning the heat back on), and whisk until thick enough to hold the whisk marks. This should only take about 1-2 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Macaroons:

1 14-oz bag of sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

4 egg whites

1/4 tsp pure almond extract

Place racks in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment.  Combine coconut, sugar, flour,  in a large bowl and lightly beat egg white, salt and almond extract in a smaller, separate bowl. Combine the two in the larger bowl and mix well.  Scoop teaspoon sized mounds onto the cookie sheets, at least 1 inch apart.  Sprinkle with the sanding sugar and bake 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets once during baking. Edges should be lightly golden. Allow to sit on the sheets for a minute or two before removing and then place on wax paper or racks to cook completely.  When cooled, spread a little curd on the bottom of one cookie and press against the bottom of another. Repeat until all cookie couples have consummated their relationship. You get to eat all the remaining single cookies. Bonus!

Keep cookies refrigerated until ready to distribute to the hungry.  Citrus curd will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.

Here are some shots of the other cookie adventures:

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2 thoughts on “Curd is the Word

  1. bethie

    ooh yum! we would make the perfect pair as i’ve been decorating but haven’t made cookies in years! these sound delicious! i love macaroons. I’ll give them a try.

  2. Cookies are my ‘thang,’ but I like them because I can give them to people. Give these a whirl. They are surprisingly easy & pretty fast. The most complicated part is the curd because you have to keep stirring it & it needs to chill a little but the prep takes way less time than risotto and lord knows we have that nailed. Try both flavors (clementine & lime) and see what you like best. I’m contemplating doing a blood orange or a meyer lemon at some point if I can find them at the store.

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