Recently, I was asked to make some macaroons; I think they really wanted me to make macarons, but I looked for a macaroon recipe and made these little cookies. They are really quite siimple. A couple years ago I made Coconut Macaroons and wrote an article then. That recipe used sweetened condensed milk as the binding agent, whereas this recipe uses meringue. Otherwise, the recipes are very similar
The recipe comes from Alton Brown and the Food Network.
Toasty Coconut Macaroons
- one 14-ounce package sweetened shredded coconut
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the coconut out in a single layer on a half sheet pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until the coconut is golden. Set on a cooling rack to cool.
- Whip the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer on high for 8 to 10 minutes until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla and salt. The egg whites and sugar can also be whipped in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the toasted coconut
- Drop by the tablespoon onto a parchment paper-lined half sheet pan, leaving 1 to 2 inches around each cookie. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown
That is the recipe, and now I need to explain how I actually made the cookies.
In my old oven, the coconut did not evenly cook, and so even with stirring, there were pieces that were much darker than others. I used my stand mixer to whip the egg white. I used my #60 scoop to measure and drop the cookies onto my cookie sheets covered with silicone pads.
I got 3 1/2 dozen cookies. I found the best cooking time was just over 15 minutes, but short of 17 minutes. The old oven is funny that it seems to cook a second pan faster than the first pan, so I have to generally reduce the time by about a minute after the first batch is cooked.
This recipe has so few ingredients, and seems so simple I had to try it. I discovered that the hard parts are getting the ingredients well mixed, and then finding the right baking time.
- * Butter for cookie sheets
- 1 bag (14 oz.) shredded coconut
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Liberally butter two cookie sheets and set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut, milk, vanilla and salt. Mix well.
- using a tablespoon size scoop (#64) tightly scoop the batter into half-balls and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown and tops have a tinge.
- Cool on the pan for 5 minutes
- Using a sharp-edged spatula or turner, remove the macaroons to cookie racks to finish cooling completely
Because the cooking is to brown the bottoms of the cookies, I used my cookie pans rather than the cookie sheets which have a layer of air between the heat and the cookies. I also used the butter to grease the pans rather than the silicon mats; I wanted to make certain that the bottoms of the cookies felt the heat.
I started trying to mix the ingredients in too small of a bowl; I had to transfer everything to a larger bowl. In fact, I would recommend mixing the ingredients in the stand mixer; I had difficulty getting all of the coconut moistened with the milk and vanilla doing the mixing by hand.
I don’t have a #64 scoop, so I used my #60. That should be slightly larger than a tablespoon. Even so, I was able to get 36 cookies out of the batter.
Baking the cookies was tricky; the first batch was not cooked long enough, and was slightly sticky until they dried completely. The second batch I increased the time by 2 minutes, and the bottoms were darker than “golden brown”. The third dozen I had to quickly prepare a new pan, and it was a dark pan; that group came out very dark. I would suggest making time adjustments in only 1 minute amounts at a time.
Even though the pans are well buttered, the cookies really stick to the pans. The wording about using a “sharp-edged spatula or turner” is correct. Even then, be careful to not squash the cookies. I found that when I used the metal turner upside down to press under the cookies I got the best result. And I didn’t try to go all the way under the cookie from one side, but worked my way around the cookie.