Coconut Macaroons


My daughter Anna discovered this recipe for coconut macaroons in Chez Panisse Desserts, by Lindsey Remolif Shere –– they recently did the honors when a friend asked me to bring a wheatless dessert to a birthday party.


Macadamia nuts give these bite size morsels  distinction, richness, and crunch.


Bamboo skewers, chopstick style, were a great help in keeping the coconut from burning during oven-toasting. I gave them a swishing every 2 minutes.


The macadamias are also toasted. The recipe calls for chopping them finely, but to me the cookies have a more interesting texture with bigger chunks.


Before baking and fresh from the oven. I didn't shape the dough into balls like the recipe instructs, maybe next time.

Mary Jo’s Coconut Macaroons

2 cups flaked unsweetened coconut
¾ cup macadamia nuts
2 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
A pinch of salt
¾ cup sugar

Toast the coconut in a 325° oven until it is pale golden brown. Stir it often to keep it toasting evenly. This should take 5 to 10 minutes. Toast the macadamias also until they just begin to color, then cool and chop them fine by hand. Warm the egg whites slightly over hot water or swirl above a gas flame until barely warm. Beat them with the cream of tartar and salt until they hold stiff peaks. Beat in the sugar until they hold stiff peaks again. Fold in the nuts and coconut.

Butter and flour a baking sheet or cover it with parchment. Take teaspoonfuls of dough, press into 1-inch balls, and set them an inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for about 10 minutes or until they are lightly browned.


I was never a silver tray kinda gal, until I had a chic business partner who was raised on the East coast. Robineve bought me this pretty piece, and I love to use it.


Each time Anna made a treat from this cookbook, we couldn't believe our good fortune – Lemon Ice Cream, Raspberry Mousse, Walnut Drops – delicious!

Apricot, White Chocolate Scones


When I’m expecting guests to visit my garden in the morning, I want to give them more than roses. The garden is at it’s most beautiful in the a.m., and a table laden with scrumptious Apricot, White Chocolate Scones, coffee and tea is a cozy greeting for garden lovers.

Since I’m always asked for the recipe, I thought it would be fun to share it here. My daughter, Anna, adapted the recipe from Simply Scones by Leslie Weiner and Barbara Albright.


Over the top ingredients: a cup each of white chocolate chips, dried apricots, and pecans.


The recipe makes a dozen generous scones. I use an insulated cookie sheet for even browning.


Fresh out of the oven.


Obviously these scones aren’t diet food, so I originally worried that calorie conscious folks would shy away from them. I’m continually proved wrong on that front. For the scones photographed here, I used 1% milk, because I wanted to get the pictures taken, rather than go shopping for whipped cream. They turned out great, not quite as rich, but definitely fabulous. Sometimes I serve them with a bowl heaped with thick whipped cream.

Apricot, White Chocolate Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, chilled
½ cup heavy whipping cream (I used 1% milk)
1 large egg
1½  teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips, large or small
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots.

Preheat oven to 375° F.
   Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter into ½- inch cubes and mix (I use my hands) with the flour mixture until the mixture resembles course crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the cream, egg, and vanilla. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and knead until combined. Knead in the white chocolate, pecans, and apricots.
  With lightly floured hands, pat the dough out onto a floured board until it’s a generous ½ inch thick. Cut into 2 ¾ inch rounds with a biscuit cutter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.



'Pat Austin' is named after David Austin's wife, who is known for her stone sculptures that enhance the Austin display garden in Albrighton, England. The bright copper color on the inside of these deeply cupped roses is tempered by a paler copper-yellow on the outside.