February 17, 2012

Lemon Macaroon Dessert with Vanilla Ice Cream


I admit it.  Even I get tired of chocolate desserts all of the time, especially after Valentine's Day.  (Hard to believe, I know.)

I came up with this recipe one day when I was in the mood for something slightly sour.  I love macaroons in general, but I wanted something not so sweet.  I considered using lemon zest, but that thought only lasted about 5 seconds, since I am not a big fan of zest in a dessert that is supposed to be delicate and smooth.

Following is the conclusion of my experiment.  It is a wonderful dessert made with lemon macaroon cookies.  The cookies are fabulous alone, or they can be combined with lemon cream sauce.
 The recipes for the cookies and lemon cream sauce are listed below.

Lemon Macaroon Dessert with Vanilla Ice Cream

The cookies and sauce can be made ahead of time (recipes follow).  When it is time to serve, it is very fast to assemble.

Place a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream in a bowl.  Crumble two lemon macaroon cookies on top.

Drizzle with Lemon Cream Sauce.  For extra richness, add a dollop of whipping cream on top.  If desired, add fresh fruit such as mango or strawberry.


Lemon Macaroon Cookies

These delicate cookies absolutely melt in your mouth.  If you are planning to use them for the Lemon Macaroon Dessert listed above, I recommend doubling the recipe.  These cookies are wonderful alone and after one bite, you may find it difficult to save any for the dessert.

2 egg whites, beat until soft peaks (save yolks for lemon cream sauce recipe below)
small pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch (or substitute 2 teaspoons flour)
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (may increase to 2 teaspoons)

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Continue mixing while gradually adding sugar, small bits at a time.  Beat until stiff. Carefully fold in cornstarch, vinegar and lemon juice.

Drop spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.  Bake 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, turn oven off and allow the cookies to cool in the oven for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.  With a spatula, carefully remove cookies from cookie sheet to a cooling rack. (If you try to move them without a spatula, they may crumble.  They are extremely delicate cookies.)

Lemon Cream Sauce

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
small pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups water
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon butter
1/3 cup lemon juice

In a medium saucepan mix sugar, salt, cornstarch and flour.  Whisk in water.  Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thick and bubbly.  Reduce heat.  Stir for 2 minutes more.

Remove from heat.  Add about 3/4 cup of hot mixture to beaten egg yolks.  Pour back into pan.  Stir and boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add butter and lemon juice.  Use warm or store in refrigerator for a cold lemon sauce.  (Note:  This sauce should not be extremely thick.  If it is thick, it cooked too long at the wrong temperature.  While cooking, just think it should be the consistency to spoon over ice cream)