Ambrosia Macaroons

If you thought Ambrosia was just a fruity side dish to be served in a Grandma's vintage cut-glass bowl, think again. These delicious cookies have all the flavors of the holiday favorite – pineapple, coconut, and red maraschino cherries. These macaroons will make a pretty addition to your lineup of favorite Christmas cookies, and are sure to be a hit at a cookie swap. The cookie dough needs to chill at least an hour, so be sure and factor in that time when planning to bake this recipe. Before starting the recipe, make sure your butter is adequately softened; you want a creamy, smooth start to the cookie dough. The crushed pineapple should be drained and patted dry with paper towels; excess pineapple juice will cause the cookie dough to be soft and runny.  These macaroons are deliciously chewy with just a slight crunch from the toasty coconut. The pineapple adds wonderful sweetness and a nice texture.

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Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
20 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
4 dozen


  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 (3-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest plus 1 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 orange)

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained and patted very dry with paper towels

  • 5 cups sweetened flaked coconut (from 1 [14-oz.] pkg.), divided

  • 24 stemless red maraschino cherries, halved


  1. Beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until blended, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk, orange zest, and juice; beat on low speed until blended, about 1 minute.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl until combined; gradually add to butter mixture, beating on low speed until blended, about 1 minute. Stir in pineapple and 3 cups of the coconut. Cover; chill 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place remaining 2 cups coconut in a bowl; roll balls in coconut, and arrange on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

  4. Working in 2 batches, bake macaroons in preheated oven until lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately press 1 cherry half into center of each warm macaroon. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Transfer macaroons to wire racks; cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

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