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Lemon Macaroon Tartlets


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I was hard pressed on the spot to find a dessert "without chocolate" for a recent Christmas party I threw with a good friend of mine. Lauren came to the house the night before with her dessert contributions... chocolate dipped pretzel sticks (beautiful, adorned with festive sprinkles) and her famous chocolate topped rice-krispie treats. "So you might want to make something without chocolate..." she informed me.

What do you do when most of the desserts you know and love involve chocolate? You sit down with a few cookbooks and start browsing (and if you know me, you know that, to me, this is nothing short of the perfect way to spend my time.) These just happened to pop out at me from one of my beloved Cooking Light books and I knew I found my dessert. Like little mini lemon meringue pies with macaroon crusts... mmmm...

*here is my adapted recipe, the original calls for a dollop of whipped topping on each but I opted to omit it... feel free to add to your liking*

Lemon Macaroon Tartlets

Macaroon Tart Shells (recipe follows)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Prepare macaroon tart shells and set aside.

Place egg in a small bowl and set aside. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and lemon rind in a small saucepan. Gradually add water and lemon juice, and stir with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir one-fourth of hot lemon mixture into egg while whisking. Add to remaining lemon mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Spoon warm mixture into tart shells (this recipe when used for tartlets may yield slightly more than needed to fill shells.)

Macaroon Tart Shells

2 cups flaked, sweetened coconut
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Divide mixture evenly among 16 muffin cups, pressing into bottom and up sides of each cup. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are browned. Remove pan from oven and use a small spoon or melon baller to press into center of each cup, reinforcing the "shell." Cool in pan for 2 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.


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