As the first brisk mornings and cool breezes start to rustle still-green leaves down sidewalks, it's easy for the mind to drift to weekends spent up north leaf peeping, or in the Green Mountains exploring maple syrup taps.

Dreams of autumn scenes are easy fall into (too easy to resist), but I'm not quite ready to totally turn my back on warm summer days just yet. This past weekend, I was walking along the Salem harbor, munching on one of my favorite confections, a coconut macaroon, when I found myself blissfully imagining the same stroll while outfitted in a cozy sweater and scarf. It was halfway through my own imaginary adventure that I decided I was going to morph the idea with the snack for a taste of this early transition.

Maple Macaroons combine light and beachy coconut with the rich amber flavor of true maple syrup for a sweet and toasted treat perfect with a cup of hot morning brew.

Maple Macaroons

Yields 12-18

Ingredients

2 egg whites

7 oz. package shredded coconut flakes

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 Tbs. all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1. Beat the egg whites until gentle peaks form.

2. In a separate bowl, combine coconut, maple syrup, sweetened condensed milk, flour and salt together. Gently fold in the egg whites.

3. Spoon rounded tablespoons of the mixture onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until tops are toasted brown.


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Tip: Don't worry if any excess sugary mixture weeps out; simply trim it away when the macaroons are cooled.

Jessica Roy is a private chef, specialty caterer and author of foodie blog, Shiso Fresh. Follow her at http://blogs.lowellsun.com/yourpersonalchef.