Wonderful traditions made this cookie standout

Everyone’s Holidays are filled with wonderful family traditions.

You know what I am talking about—your Aunt Mary made fabulous oyster stuffing, your Uncle John made a just perfectly tart cranberry sauce and of course your grandmother made a pumpkin pie or red velvet cake that just—well, it ended your Christmas meal like nothing else could. Wow—even after days and days of eating just thinking about those things makes my mouth water.

I love to think of the Holiday meals of years past and dream up ways to pay homage to those long-lasting traditions that have found a permanent place in my memories. As I was flipping through cookbooks and magazines trying to find something a bit out of the ordinary I came across the perfect little cookie recipe. I had been very busy with work and creating something completely original was the last thing on my mind—but, I wanted to make something other than the same old gingerbread or sugar cookie. Don’t get me wrong—I love them both—but, something more connected to my eating experiences growing up was what I was hunting for.

Well—guess what? I found it. It’s times like this I am thankful for my three different food mag subscriptions every month—although Kristy gets a bit tired of the piles and piles of books and mags—she appreciates it when it’s time to eat though, trust me.

Back to the recipe. When I was growing up, one of the vibrant memories of Christmas dinner was the Ambrosia dessert. It was a mainstay on the table. My Great Aunts made sure it was always there—and now other family members continue to carry on the tradition. So—with ideas of orange, coconut and pecans on my mind I set forth to make a unique, sweet holiday treat. Here is a recipe inspired by one that I came across in Bon Appetit—enjoy.

Ambrosia Macaroons

yield: Makes about 4

5 cookies
1 stick unsalted butter @ room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup toasted and lightly salted chopped pecans (optional)
2 tablespoons rum (optional)
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
grated orange peel of 1 navel orange
3 large eggs
24 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (melted)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment. Use an electric mixer and beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt and beat until blended. Beat in orange zest, orange juice, pecans and rum if desired. Now add eggs and blend well. Mix in coconut. Drop batter onto sheets by tablespoonfuls, spacing apart by an inch or so.

Bake macaroons until golden on the bottom and browned in spots—set aside to cool. Once they cool for about 20-30 minutes use a fork to drizzle the chocolate over the macaroons. Let cool until the chocolate is firm.

Now—enjoy. Be sure to share—these are fabulous.