Start to Finish: 1 1/2 hours
Servings: 25 macaroons
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Naturally gluten-free, coconut macaroons are a crunchy, sweet confection. The treats are often dipped in chocolate for a finishing touch, but may be served plain, as well. Though some recipes call for the addition of sweetened condensed milk to create an extra rich cookie, this recipe, modified from The Culinary Institute of America’s Baking & Pastry, is a classic preparation. Careful whisking of the egg whites and sugar helps build the airy but decadent texture of the coconut macaroon.


Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a simmer on the stovetop. Set a medium bowl on top of the pot, making sure the bottom does not touch the water. Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl and whip constantly until the mixture reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the bowl from the heat and fold in the coconut and vanilla and almond extracts until just incorporated.

Using a small scoop or a tablespoon, portion the batter into 1-inch-diameter cookies onto the prepared pans, spaced evenly apart. Allow the macaroons to sit, uncovered, to air-dry for approximately 1 hour, or until slightly dry.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake the macaroons for 12 minutes, or until light golden brown on the tops, rotating the trays halfway through baking. Cool completely before removing from the baking sheets.

Tips

  • Adjust the size of the cookie during portioning to taste. Increase the cooking time for larger cookies and reduce it for smaller ones.
  • Store coconut macaroons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. For longer storage, tightly wrap individual macaroons in plastic wrap. Place all the wrapped cookies in a zippered freezer bag and store for up to 1 month in your freezer.
  • Toast the coconut before mixing the batter for extra toasted-coconut flavor.
  • Shorten your baking time for softer, paler macaroons and lengthen it for crispier, golden cookies.

Variations

  • Fold 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit such as apricots, cranberries or pineapple into the egg mixture with the coconut for a tropical fruit macaroon.
  • Once the macaroons have cooled, dip the bottom of each cookie into milk, semisweet or white coating chocolate. Place the dipped macaroons onto a parchment-lined tray to set. Drizzle the tops with additional chocolate, if desired.
  • Flatten the macaroons slightly before baking. Once cooled, sandwich 2 macaroons around chocolate-hazelnut spread.