New Classic Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Recipe By:  Alice Medrich
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Cookies made with shaved coconut chips from Food52 Genius Recipes. "What seems in part to define macaroons is what they usually lack: flour (which makes them perfect for Passover observers and gluten avoiders). Alice Medrich's macaroons do fall in line here, relying on little more than coconut for heft, and a brew of egg whites and sugar to hold it all together."

Ingredients

4 large egg whites
3-1/2 cups unsweetened coconut chips or 3 cups sweetened, dried shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (available kosher for Passover, or can be omitted)
Slightly rounded 1/4 tsp salt

Directions

Step 1: Combine all of the ingredients in a large heatproof mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel because the mixture will heat faster than in glass. Set the bowl directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water (if your bowl bobs in the water, simply pour some water out). Stir the mixture with a silicone spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, until the mixture is very hot to the touch, and the egg whites have thickened slightly and turned from translucent to opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to let the coconut absorb more of the goop.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Step 3: Using 2 tablespoons of batter, make attractive heaps 2″ apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the coconut tips begin to colour, rotating the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.

Step 4: Lower the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are
a beautiful cream and gold with deeper brown edges, again rotating the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time. If the coconut tips are browning too fast, lower the heat to 300°F. Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. Let cool completely before gently peeling the parchment away from each cookie.

Step 5: The cookies are best on the day they are baked — the exterior is crisp and chewy and the interior soft and moist. Although the crispy edges will soften, the cookies remain delicious stored in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.

Upgrades

Chocolate-Topped Coconut Macaroons: While the macaroons are still hot, top each with a little piece of your favourite milk or dark chocolate. Or drizzle a little melted chocolate over each cookie.

Coconut Macaroons with Lime Zest and Cinnamon: Stir 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest into the batter before scooping it. Using a fine grater or microplane, grate a little cinnamon stick over the cookies just before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Kristen Miglore’s Food52 Genius Recipes (2015 Ten Speed Press).