| Recipes |

Cookie Showdown: Adulterated Mother-in-Law Macaroons

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Cookie exchanges are a staple at every holiday office party, including the offices of Chow Bella. But the contributors to this blog are a cutthroat bunch, and with an inordinate amount of trash talk thrown about, our cookie exchange quickly became a cookie showdown. Check back here each day through next week to get recipes you can use and find out who'll take home the Cookie Crown. 

Today's contender: Wynter Holden's coconut macaroon cookies.

It's great to have a mother-in-law who bakes, especially when your cooking skills are on par with your neighbor's five-year-old daughter. Every time my husband and I go over for dinner, she whips up some new treat that looks like it came out of the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living. Yes, in the cosmic mother--in-law draw I got one of those annoyingly crafty women who can sew a wedding dress, decorate a gourmet cake and make a three-course meal in the time it takes me to program my new iPhone. Luckily, she's willing to share.

Get a slightly adulterated (or should I say adult rated *wink, wink*) version of my mom-in-law's recipe for "Quick as a Wink Macaroons" after the jump...


1 box white cake mix
2 c. coconut flakes
2 whole eggs
1 tsp almond extract**
1/2 c. butter, softened (NOT melted)
15 maraschino cherries, halved


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Add eggs, almond extract, coconut and butter. (** Cook's Note: Oops! It seems they ran out of almond extract at the store and I'm forced to improvise. Hmm...what to use instead. Amaretto liqeuer! Thus the "adulterated" part.) 

Stir until thorougly mixed.

Drop tablespoon size rounded scoops of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Place a maraschino cherry half on top of each dough ball and press down slightly. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown and the centers are set. Cool for one minute on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire cooling rack. Cookies will be soft and chewy.  

Super easy, right? If you're my mother-in-law, yes. If you have some semblence of cooking talent, sure! If you're me... well, here are some helpful tips I learned along the way.

Lesson #1: Use a stand mixer. If you don't have one, buy one. Can't afford it? Borrow one for God's sake, otherwise your plastic spatula will break off in the dough. Or you'll burn out the motor in your poor hand mixer. Trust us. And whatever you do, DON'T add more Amaretto, almond extract or eggs to make stirring the dough easy -- unless you want your cookies to ooze off of the cookie sheet and disappear along with your pride. Thank me now for testing this theory out so you don't have to.

Lesson #2: Drain the effing cherries or buy the dry packaged ones they make for fruitcake. Otherwise, your cherries will sink right through the cookies and fall out the bottom, embarassing the crap out of you at your next holiday party.

Lesson #3: Do not eat the raw cookie dough. No matter how tempting it is. Even though it's very tasty *nomnomnom* it is supposedly *nomnom* bad for you, so if you get sick *nomnomnom* don't say we didn't warn you! 

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