Treat Week: Coconut Macaroons

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I still remember my first coconut macaroon which I had at the adorable little Bon Bonerie pastry shop in Cincinnati, Ohio (the old location). It was a coconut lover’s dream. A delicate confection that is slightly crunchy on the outside and deliciously chewy inside. Unsweetend coconut can be found at health food stores or Asian markets. If you can’t find any, use all sweetened coconut, but reduce the amount of cream of coconut to 1/2 cup, omit the corn syrup, and toss 2 tablespoons of cake flour into the coconut before adding the liquid ingredients. If you love coconut macaroons, these raspberry ones are also very good.

from: The New Best Recipe
makes: about 48 macaroons

1 cup cream of coconut*
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
3 cups sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate bars)

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Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray.

Whisk together the cream of coconut, corn syrup, egg whites, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Combine both kinds of coconut in  a large bowl; toss together, breaking up clumps with your fingers. Pour the liquid mixture into the coconut and mix with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened.

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Drop heaping tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Gently form the cookies into loose haystacks with your fingertips, moistening your hands with water as necessary to prevent sticking. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating the sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time.

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Cool the macaroons on the baking sheets until slightly set, 2-5 minutes; remove to a wire rack with a wide metal spatula and let cool to room temperature.

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Re-line the 2 baking sheets with parchment. Chop 10 ounces of chocolate; melt 8 of the 10 ounces in a small heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Stir once or twice, until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate and stir until smooth (The 2 stage melting process helps ensure that the chocolate is the proper consistency for dipping the macaroons).

Holding a macaroon by it’s pointed top, dip the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides in the chocolate; scrape off the excess chocolate with your finger or the edge of a rubber spatula and place the macaroon on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining macaroons. Refrigerate the macaroons until the chocolate sets, about 15 minutes.

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*Cream of coconut, available canned, is sweetened coconut juice, commonly used in pina colada cocktails. Coco Lopez is a readily available brand. Be sure to mix the can’s contents thoroughly before using, as it separates upon standing.

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