Thursday, April 10, 2014
Shaved Coconut Macaroons
There's a certain comfort that comes from the cyclical rhythms of life. Of doing the same things that you've done in years past, the same thing your parents and grandparents have done. Which, in April, means scrubbing out the dust in a fit of spring cleaning. And baking macaroons.
I've long been a fan of this version, but was seeking a little variety. And I was smitten with these shaved coconut beauties as soon as I saw them. Pretty little piles, all golden and toasty and perfect. These shaved coconut macaroons follow a similar format to the others, soaking up a cooked-in goo of egg whites and sugar, then baking up into golden crisp edges and sweet chewy insides. Admittedly, these are a bit more toothsome than the shredded version. But sometimes it's nice to have a cookie with a bit of chew. And it seems a fair price for all that pretty.
And if you want to move on to Passover appetizers (now that we've taken care of dessert), you can find my rundown of options over at NPR's Kitchen Window — if I may recommend, the deviled eggs with horseradish-orange gremolata are a particularly delicious option. Happy Passover! Happy Spring!
Shaved Coconut Macaroons
adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich
yeilds ~26 cookies, depending on how you size them
The first day, these cookies have crisp edges and tender insides, but gradually become more tender throughout. If you're making them any time in advance, I recommend freezing them to preserve the texture.
4 large egg whites
3 1/2 cups unsweetened dried flaked (not shredded) coconut
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
hefty pinch salt
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large metal mixing bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, and stir, scraping from the bottom, until the mixture is very hot to the touch and the egg whites have thickened slightly and turned from translucent to opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to let the coconut absorb more of the goop.
When the cookies have sat for half an hour, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
Scoop the batter up into a heaped tablespoon or scoop, making little mounds on your prepared cookie sheets. Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the coconut tips begin to color, then lower the oven temperature to 325° Fahrenheit.
Bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are a beautiful cream and gold with deeper brown edges. If the coconut tips are browning too fast, lower the heat to 300° Fahrenheit. Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool completely before removing the cookies. Eat, or freeze for future consumption. And a drizzle of ganache doesn't hurt.