Even before fall hits, we see pumpkin everywhere. Sometimes, it goes overboard into foods in which pumpkin doesn’t belong. In this recipe, though, it adds a subtle creaminess and does double duty to moisten the (sometimes) dry macaroons. Not to mention, pumpkin has some nutritional value. It is a good source of vitamins as well as a very good source of dietary fiber — we all need that in our desserts, trust me.
I shaped them more like cookies because they seem to bake more evenly. If you like them with more of a crunch and less of a chewy center; just flatten them out more. Once you let them cool out of the oven, they will crisp right up. I topped mine with crushed, sliced almonds, but you can definitely substitute with pecans, or even better — pumpkin seeds.
2 ½ cups shredded coconut
2 Tbsp corn starch
3 egg whites
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 cup maple syrup
¼ cup pumpkin puree (from a can, not pumpkin pie mix)
Almonds, pecans or pumpkin seeds for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper
Combine coconut, pumpkin pie spice and corn starch. Set aside.
In a double boiler (place a small amount of water in a saucepan, and put a bowl on top. Put the heat on low and the steam will gently cook), whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add sugar and keep whisking, until you get soft peaks (the egg whites can almost hold shape on the tip of your whisk and then melt again) and the sugar has melted.
Take coconut and corn starch mixture and add the maple syrup, pumpkin puree and combine gently. Fold in egg whites gently until everything is evenly combined.
With a tablespoon, form cookies and place an inch apart on a cookie sheet. Top with nuts of your choice.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges. Remove and allow to cool (they will crisp up even more).