The ‘German Christmas Markets’ have once again taken over cities around the UK. It seems that they have now been firmly planted into the local Christmas culture. They signify the start of the festive season as soon as those log cabins start taking over the pedestrian areas of the cities shopping areas. This is a fairly recent phenomenon but is very popular hence their explosion from a few cabins to a sheer take over for around 4 weeks at the end of the year!
I enjoy a brief visit to the markets especially because you get ideas of different food gifts to make for people over the festive period. However most of the wares and food on offer are very expensive and it is always extremely busy! I find places that are packed with people shoving past each other, and prams being rammed into my ankles as parents are trying desperately trying to keep their children within sight, extremely stressful! So I don’t last too long before I need to escape the crowds and find somewhere quiet for a cup of tea and slice of cake… Any excuse! 😉
One item on sale on the markets are ‘German Coconut Macaroons’ that are the size of your fist! I’m not exactly sure why they are called ‘German Macaroons’ as I’m sure that they are a very English recipe! They are very nice served warm and great for coconut macaroon fans. Crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. However I find the size of them a little too much in one go, so would prefer them about half the size…
Each year in my office we do ‘Secret Santa’. This is where we each choose a name out of a hat and buy a gift for that person. The idea being that you keep it a secret and the person can then guess who bought them this gift. The usual criteria is that we can spend no more than £5 each on the gift. This year to make things a little more interesting we decided that the gift should be home made or bought from a thrift/charity shop.
For my Secret Santa present I decided to make this Coconut and Lime Macaroon recipe for a little twist on the traditional coconut macaroons. This is mainly because I had some limes in the fruit bowl that needed to be used up and coconut and lime are a very classic pairing! I decided to finish off the macaroons with some drizzled melted chocolate as they didn’t look very interesting as round little balls. The chocolate also adds a little bitter contrast to the sweet coconut and tartness of the lime.
The Taste Test
The recipe called for 1 tablespoon of lime juice and the zest of 1 lime. I decided to add the juice of two limes after tasting the mixture and the lime juice not coming through very well. I should have just stuck to the recipe! The lime taste must have developed during the cooking so the tartness over powers the coconut a little. However the coconut taste is still there and the macaroons are nice and crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle, so all is not lost!
After the success of the Stem Ginger Shortbread recipe I decided to make another batch. However this time I pushed the dough into mini muffin moulds to get a nice even shape. However I left them in the oven a little longer than I wanted so they are browner than I’d like but still taste lovely! I think they may be slightly too deep too next time I will only half fill the tins. However I do quite like the look of them with the shiny stem ginger on top making them look like mini puddings!
One reason for choosing these recipes are that they are both high in sugar and have few quickly perishable ingredients. Since it’s Christmas and food is usually in abundance, it’s difficult to judge how long food gifts will be able to hang around in the fridge or cupboard and without a ‘use by’ date I don’t want to give my friends any kind of food poisoning! Both of these recipes should last a few days in an airtight container. I’ve wrapped them tightly in food bags to keep the air out and help them last a little longer.
All wrapped up and put in a gift box, I think they look pretty good! 🙂
- Coconut Macaroons. (sallysbakingaddiction.com)
- Cookie of the Day: Coconut Macaroons (williams-sonoma.com)
- Chocolate-Coconut Balls (“Macaroon”) (realmamafood.wordpress.com)
- Easy Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons Recipe (bbqcastironrecipes.wordpress.com)