One of my sisters lives in another state. On the all-too-rare occasions when we get together, we do goofy things. Do we go out for dinner? Go out for drinks? Go out to a movie? No, we bake together, go to thrift stores, and maybe a restaurant supply store. On my last visit she took me to her top secret chocolate supplier, where she buys bricks of chocolate. I didn't have a pressing need for chocolate, so I toured the aisles, chuckling at the cake toppers, wondering what those curlycue gadgets were for, and ending up with a bag of lollipop sticks and a 5 lb bag of macaroon coconut.
Macaroon coconut is much finer than regular shredded coconut, the kind you buy at the grocery store. With my dream macaroon cookie in mind, this seemed like a sensible purchase. 5 lbs to experiment with.
I received many helpful suggestions after my previous macaroon post (thank you so much, all who wrote!), but I found a recipe that looked just right in my new Cookies by Fine Cooking magazine. Beautiful little domes, slightly crunchy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside, and using the finer coconut gave them a better texture. I know the "chewing woodpulp" sensation is one of the big reasons that a lot of people avoid coconut. With the finer coconut, that's not an issue.
The macaroons were also less cloyingly sweet than most coconut macaroons. Even my non-coconut loving husband said they were pretty good. And, trust me, that is quite an endorsement from him for something with coconut in it.
This post is going to have to be a two-parter. Today you get the macaroons with a variation, and next time you get....well, you'll just have to wait and see. Yes, I'm a tease, but it'll be worth the wait, I promise. To take the cookies up a notch, you can drizzle them with chocolate ganache. I had some leftover chocolate filling from these cookies , so I warmed it up and poured it over the top. Plain or chocolate? Tough call. I think....both.
- adapted from Cookies by Fine Cooking magazine
3/4 cup egg whites (about 5 large eggs)
1-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
12 oz. unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1- Position racks in the center and upper portions of the oven and heat the oven to 350 deg F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2- In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk the egg whites and sugar. Work the coconut into the egg mixture with a wooden spoon until it is completely incorporated.
3- Using a small cookie scoop (about a level Tbsp of dough), scoop the coconut mixture onto the baking sheets. The cookies don't spread much so they can be spaced fairly close together. To retain the round shape, bake them right away.
5- Bake until the cookies are an even golden color and look dry (not at all sticky or wet looking), about 20 to 25 minutes. Halfway through baking, switch the pans from top to bottom and rotate them from back to front for even baking.
6- Let the cookies sit on the baking pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. They will keep well stored airtight at room temperature.
Makes about 4 dozen macaroons.