Start to Finish: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 or 24 cookies
Macaroons can be made from almonds or from coconut, but they’re characterized by a dough-free, chewy yet crunchy texture. Sweet and rich, macaroons can be easily customized by adding in dried fruit, nuts or even chocolate chips. Macaroons should not be confused with macarons, the delicate cookie sandwich that is French in origin. This recipe, adapted from a coconut macaroon recipe by the kitchn and an amaretti recipe by Canadian Living, is a recipe for a basic coconut macaroon, but with a meringue-like texture.
1 1/4 cup white sugar
3 3/4 cups unsweetened dried coconut, shredded
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons rose water
1 teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet, and bake on a center rack in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until the coconut is just starting to turn brown.
Remove the coconut from the oven and let cool until it reaches room temperature.
For extra-crunchy and toasty-tasting macaroons, toast the coconut until it is a pale to medium golden brown.
Whisk the egg whites with an electric beater in a large bowl. Beat until soft peaks form, around 10 minutes on HIGH speed.
Whip the sugar into the egg whites, beating for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the egg whites have stiff peaks. Quickly whip in the vanilla, rose water and salt.
Fold the toasted coconut into the egg white mixture using a spatula, until all of the individual shreds are bound together with egg white. Spray two baking sheets lightly with cooking spray.
Using two soup spoons, scoop out a spoonful of the macaroon mix, and drop it onto the baking sheet, scraping the mix off with the second spoon.
Space the macaroons around 1-inch apart. When one tray is full, bake it on a center rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Store the remaining batter in the fridge.
Remove the macaroons from the oven when they are the desired shade of brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
Fill a second baking tray with macaroons while the first is cooling, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat until all of the batter is used up.
When the macaroons are at room temperature, store between layers of wax paper in an airtight container. The cookies can keep for up to 7 days at room temperature, or 10 days in the fridge.
Add chopped dried fruit or chopped nuts to the macaroons to give them extra sweetness and a change in texture. Add:
Chopped dried apricots; or
Small pieces of dried apple.
You can also include:
Unsalted sunflower seeds;
Chopped, toasted pecans; or
Chopped, unsalted pistachios.
Mixing in chocolate or butterscotch chips also boosts the richness of this cookie, with minimal difficulty.
To not overwhelm the coconut in the cookie, do not add more than 1 cup dried fruit or nuts per 3 cups coconut.
Toasting the coconut gives the cookies a deeper, rounder flavor and more crunch. For pale white macaroons that have a less pronounced coconut flavor, do not toast the coconut shreds before adding them into the egg white mix.
For crisper, lighter macaroons, add 50 percent more shredded coconut.
To make almond-based macaroons, replace the shredded coconut with crushed slivers of crushed, toasted almond. You can also replace the coconut with 6 tablespoons almond paste per egg white.