Coconut Macaroons

The other day my aunt Cheryl asked me if I had any coconut Macaroon recipes.  I had two, and I did not know which one was better. I decided to do another bake-off like I did with the Madeleine cookies.  One recipe used unsweetened coconut (Martha Stewart) and the other used sweetened coconut (America’s Test Kitchen).  There was no clear winner in this contest.  There were good things about each.  I had three cookie testers, and all three thought the sweetened had a slight edge, and I remain undecided.  The sweetened did have a more pleasant texture.  Those cookies were a little softer and fluffier seeming.  The unsweetened I thought had a slight advantage in taste, but it was minimal.  Both are good cookie recipes, and I think you would be happy with either one.  Plus, if you save egg whites (I had 14 in the freezer–all the shortbread tart shells) this is a great way to use some of those up.  Another benefit of these cookies: they are very quick and easy to make.

Left: sweetened coconut; Right: unsweetened coconut

Unsweetened Coconut Macaroon Cookies

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (you can find this either in the bulk section of your grocery store or in more natural stores like co-ops or Whole Foods)

2 large egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of kosher salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment

Mix all the ingredients together–by hand works best.  Roll them into little haystacks or little balls, about 1 1/2 inches.  Place on the baking sheet.

Bake for about 15 minutes.

Transfer (while still on the parchment) to a wire wrack to cool.

Sweetened Coconut Macaroon Cookies

5 cups shredded sweetened coconut

6 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (could substitute vanilla if you don’t have almond)

Put the coconut in the food processor and pulse until the  texture is fine.

Coconut after processing

Take out the coconut and put in a large bowl.

Put all the other ingredients into the food processor and pulse until frothy.  Add the egg mixture to the coconut and mix until combined. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Roll the coconut mixture into little balls or haystack shapes.  I did bigger cookies and smaller cookies the next batch, and the smaller ones baked up better.  So I would stick to 1″ cookies.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the macaroons look slightly golden brown.

Let them cool before serving.

In the above picture the unsweetened macaroon is on the far left.  The larger sweetened macaroon is in the middle, and the small sweetened macaroon is on the right.

To fancy these up a little, you could melt some chocolate and dip the bottom of the cookies into the chocolate and let them cool completely on some wax paper.  Though, these cookies are plenty sweet without the additional of chocolate.

I was a little disappointed, I originally was going to have a recipe for a Caribbean Chicken recipe and fried plantains too.  But when I went to make it yesterday, my chicken was bad, so we went out for some Indian food instead.  I promise I will put some cooking up again.  One cannot survive on baked goods alone.\

Note: if anyone has any recipes they would like me to try and blog about, feel free to email them to me at jennie.hornyak@gmail.com.  I am always looking for new ideas.

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