The gluten intolerant often find the holidays difficult. With Christmas parties and cookie swaps at every turn, an inability to eat wheat, barley, and rye often leaves the celiac feeling left out. However, with a little thought and creativity, food traditions can evolve into new and better gluten-free Christmas treats. All it took to transform this old family recipe was a little bending of the ingredients for extra flavor and a couple of gluten-free substitutions. The result was delicious chocolate-drizzled coconut macaroons that easily passed for the real thing.
Egg-White Baking: Separating Egg White from Yolk Without an Egg White Separator
An egg white separator is a great kitchen gadget to use for egg-white baking. It makes separating the raw egg whites from the yolk quick and easy, especially if there are lots of eggs to crack. Gently crack the egg, dump it into the plastic or metal egg separator, and the egg white flows through the cracks and into the cup or bowl, leaving the yolk behind.
If an egg white separator is not available, it is best to use a cup or a small bowl and separate the eggs one at a time. Crack the egg, and then hold it over the cup so that the egg is sitting upright. Gently pull the top of the egg shell off, using the bottom of the egg shell as a cup to catch the yolk. The idea is to allow the egg whites to drip down and flow into the cup.
If the egg does not separate completely and there is still some egg white left, pass the yolk to the empty egg shell, then volley the yolk back and forth as many times as needed until all of the egg white has dropped into the cup. For a visual demonstration, this separating egg whites link will take you to a video by Howdini Guru that clearly shows how to separate the egg whites from the yolk.
After separating each egg, dump the egg white from the cup into the mixing bowl. That way, if one of the yolks breaks, all of the successfully-separated egg whites will not get ruined. If even a speck of egg yolk gets into the egg whites, they will not beat up stiff enough.
Chocolate-Drizzled Coconut Macaroon Recipe
These gluten-free Christmas cookies will stay soft for days if placed in a zip-lock bag or other air-tight container. If gluten-free baking mix is unavailable, substitute potato starch or additional cornstarch. Makes 2 dozen large cookies.
- 4 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon salt [.75 g]
- pinch of baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar [100 g]
- 1/4 teaspoon maple extract [1.25 ml] (Crescent Mapleine is gluten free)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon [1 g] (McCormick is gluten free)
- 1/4 cup gluten-free bake mix [38 g] (I used Now brand)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch [16.25 g]
- 14-oz bag of coconut (4-1/2 cups) [337.5 g]
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F [180 degrees C].
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray (do not use “baking” spray; it is not gluten free).
- Carefully separate the egg yolks from the whites, placing the egg whites in a small glass bowl, and saving the egg yolks for another use.
- Add salt and a pinch of baking powder.
- With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Sprinkle sugar over the top of the soft meringue and continue beating, until stiff.
- Add maple extract and cinnamon; fold in carefully with a rubber spatula, being careful not to break down the egg whites.
- Gently fold in coconut, just until moistened.
- Drop by heaping tablespoons onto prepared pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the top is golden in color.
- Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
Chocolate Drizzle Recipe
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips [112 g]
- 2 teaspoons oil [10 ml]
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and oil.
- Microwave for 30 seconds; stir.
- Microwave for another 30 seconds, and stir again.
- Continue melting chocolate, if necessary, until it easily flows from the tip of a spoon.
- Gently form lacy chocolate drizzles over the cookies.
- Place the finished macaroons in a cold spot in the house, or put in the refrigerator for a few minutes, just long enough to set the chocolate.
If a microwave oven is not available, slowly melt chocolate chips and oil in a heavy, small saucepan over very low heat until well melted and easily flows from the tip of a spoon.