Macaroons are probably one of the easiest cookies that you can make. Mine are made with just egg whites, sugar and shredded coconut, with a little bit of vanilla extract (or some other flavoring) thrown in for good measure. I’ll make them just about any time that I have an unused bag of coconut lying around, and I’ll also make them when I need an easy to make dessert for get-togethers. The cookies are sweet enough to be satisfying and have a great coconut flavor to them.
One trick I use to get a good consistency to my macaroons is to run a chefs knife through the shredded coconut before I use it. This breaks up some of the long strands of coconut and ensures that you get a macaroon that doesn’t fall apart when you bite into it. You can really finely chop the coconut, too, but I prefer to keep some of the texture of the shredded coconut and go for more of a rough chop. The cookies can be shaped into round balls before baking, or patted into different shapes (I am a fan of little pyramids) before baking.
Macaroons are good plain, but you can easily dress them up by dipping the cooled cookies into some melted chocolate – dark, milk and white chocolate are all good choices – and placing them on a sheet of wax paper to firm up before serving. These are very good when they are fresh, but keep extremely well in an airtight container and become even more moist and chewy after a day or two.
Chewy Coconut Macaroons
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread your shredded coconut on a cutting board and coarsely chop it with a knife to break up the larger shreds of coconut.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Add in shredded coconut and stir with a spatula until well moistened.
Place level 1/4 cup scoops of the coconut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Pack the macaroons together with your fingers (forming the mix into pyramid shapes is very attractive, but mounds of macaroon are just as tasty!)
Bake for about 20 minutes, until macaroons are golden brown around the edges (time will vary slightly by size of the cookies). Cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 12 large macaroons.