Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

Today's recipe is another one appropriate for Coconut Month--

"Coconut Month?" you ask. "What is Coconut Month, and how can it be coconut month if the last two posts have had nothing to do with coco--"

Shh, shh! Don't worry your pretty little head about that. And don't interrupt. It's rude.

AS I WAS SAYING, it's still Coconut Month! And what better way to celebrate than with one of my favorite cookies, coconut macaroons?

These cookies are so simple, so unpretentious, and so downright delicious, they're almost impossible to completely botch. Still, because they're one of my favorites, I'm also really picky about them. The texture has to be just right: crunchy and golden brown on the outside, but still really moist and soft on the inside. And I can't stand it when the outside is unevenly cooked, or is still white, or has burned bits of coconut sticking up.

This is by far my favorite macaroon recipe I've made. I've tried variations with condensed milk, or where you just add the egg whites and stir before baking, but to get the taste and texture I love, for me, it's necessary to cook the whole thing on the stove before shaping and baking them.

I like my macaroons shaped into cones and dunked into bittersweet chocolate on top, but they're also great plain. Some people like dunking the whole thing, or just dipping the bottom in chocolate.If you can handle serious sweetness, another surprisingly good combination is coconut and butterscotch chips--be sure to add an extra pinch of salt if you go this route.

Bonus: you can amuse yourself by making your macaroon volcanoes do acrobatics!

My favorite macaroon recipe is under the cut. Enjoy!

Coconut Macaroons
Yield: About 12 generous macaroons

3 cups (lightly packed) sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup egg whites (about 6 large)
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Mix first 3 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture appears somewhat pasty, stirring constantly, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Spread out coconut mixture on large baking sheet. Refrigerate until cold, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line another baking sheet with parchment. Press 1/4 cup coconut mixture into pyramid shape (about 1 1/2 inches high). Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining coconut mixture. Bake cookies until golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and cool.


  1. First of all, you crack me up.
    Second---YUM! Those look so good. I love macaroons and those look da bomb!

  2. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Hey, these are perfect for Passover (which starts tonight). Great timing! I just used a similar mixture for a Donna Hay recipe where you press this mixture into tart pans or muffin cups to make a crust and then fill the coconut macaroon crust with ganache or lemon curd. Delicious, but a bit of a pain to make. So, is the cooking in your recipe to dissolve the sugar? For the crusts (more or less the same formula), I just mixed it up and baked it.Ihave seen other macaroon recipes that call for this cooking and others that don't and I wonder what the difference is for the final product.

  3. Pragmaticattic: Thanks for the Passover reminder! I'd totally forgotten that connection, but they ARE a great Passover sweet. And the Donna Hay recipe sounds delish--I love coconut and citrus together.

    The cooking is actually to cook the egg whites a bit. During the cooking the mixture foams up, and toward the end it gets thicker. I think it helps coat the coconut with the egg/sugar mixture and give the cookies a better texture.

  4. Love the acrobatics! And, those look and sound delicious! I will have to give them a go. :)

  5. Anonymous4:03 PM

    Oh my gosh, these look so good. And so easy, which is dangerous!

  6. Ahh macaroons! Something that a coconut lover like me should have tried by now!! Bookmarked! How did you manage the acrobatics, how did they stay?