Off The Beaten Track in Aotearoa

Reunion Macaroons

Reunions of one sort or another have been on my mind. Our globe-trotting Bangkokians are back in the country, some writing friends are meeting again soon for the first time in years, my occasional series on  life as an AFS exchange student has got me thinking about old friends. And  my craft group met  recently after a lengthy hiatus. Actually they came to my place. I served Reunion Macaroons. To me these are a classic kiwi biscuit (cookie if you’re American), up there with Marmite, cheese rolls and mutton bird.

Reunion Macaroons

Reunion Macaroons

Have you ever heard of these biscuits? No? Then, read on! And learn all about these oaty, caramelly, crisp treats.

The recipe was developed by my mother’s  BFF, Tui Flower. (The version I use appeared in  “Quick n Easy Muffins, Cakes , Slices, Loaves, Scones” ).

Actually, Mum never met Tui. And I’m sure Tui never, ever heard of my mother. But in Mum’s kitchen, when it came to cooking, what Tui said … well … it went.

Tui Flower was the cooking editor for the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly for many years and Mum was a life-long subscriber.

Every Tuesday afternoon, after collecting the latest issue,  Mum settled in to her favourite chair , cup of tea to hand (Choysa – milk, no sugar) and with a sigh of contentment (I can hear her now) flicked to the knitting section and then on to Tui Flower’s Test Kitchen. In addition to baking recipes there were all sorts of new-fangled cooking ideas, for the times. It was from those pages that Mum learned about cooking with oil instead of lard! But it’s Tui’s baking recipes I remember the most.

Closeup of macarons, August 2009

Macaroons, French style

I thought Reunion Macaroons were the definitive macaroon, the one and only real macaroon, until I visited France. I couldn’t believe my eyes or my taste-buds when I discovered delights like these. They’re completely different – made with ground almonds.

To be honest, if it came to choosing between Reunion Macaroons or the French version, I  prefer the oaty kind. They’re scrummy.  They’re not toooo fattening and, most importantly of all, they’re easy to make. They seem to have inspired all sorts of challenges in the craft group. The productivity of some of our members has sky-rocketed!

Reunion Macaroons  – The Recipe 

  • 100g butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Melt the butter in a pot. Remove from heat. Add brown sugar and egg and beat well. Stir in remaining ingredients.  Place small spoonfuls  on baking paper lined tray. The mixture goes a long way – you’ll get about thirty average sized biscuits. Bake at 160º C for 12-15 minutes. *

The inside know-how on how to produce perfect Reunion Macaroons:

  • Keep your eye on those biscuits while they’re in the oven – there’s a fine line between deliciously crisp and yukkily singed.
  • This mixture spreads! Set them well apart, no more than twelve – sixteen per tray, otherwise you run the risk of producing a sheet of caramelly, oaty goodness instead of biscuits.
  • Always use baking paper or  you’ll end up with a sticky mess that’s impossible to lift off . I know this from sad and messy experience.

What about you? Do you have a favourite baking recipe? One that brings back memories?

This post was written and edited as part of the WP writing challenge

4 replies »

  1. Funny… I’ve been making these for years. The kids call them “The Oatmeal Cookies.” In our house, there’s only one kind!! And thanks for the note on French Macaroons (although when I looked up the recipe, one commenter said “macarons is NOT the same as macaroons). Odd the things I learn from wandering through the Internet!

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    • Funny! Here I am claiming them as Kiwi Classics – just goes to show we’re all more alike and more connected than we sometimes realise. I did see somewhere that those brightly coloured almond delights I know as Macaroons are also known as macarons. The sites I visited said they were referred to as either … hmm I wonder which is correct. And there’s a type of macaroon made with coconut!

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