Saturday, March 30, 2013

Coconut Macaroons

With Easter just around the corner and our Lenten sacrifice of dessert about to end I thought coconut macaroons would be the perfect treat.  After perusing numerous recipes and conducting research on ingredients I finally came up with a plan.  Any question I had of whether or not they turned out okay was quickly put to rest by my husband and his two friends who inhaled nearly half the batch I left to cool while I was in the shower.  Needless to say I'll be returning to the store this afternoon for more coconut and making a second batch, but I'm really glad they turned out as well as they did.  One note about the recipe itself, if you don't have cream of tartar that's okay.  It's not something most people have on hand, and if you don't plan on using it routinely for baking it's probably not worth the investment. That said, it's purpose is to maintain the fluffiness of the macaroon while baking so if you leave it out your macaroons may be a little more dense, but they'll probably taste the same.

Coconut Macaroons (Yields approximately 35 macaroons)

3 c. sweetened, flaked coconut
4 large egg whites
dash of salt (<1/4 tsp.)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. sugar

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2.  Chop the flaked coconut and set aside.  Although the coconut is already flaked chopping it will reduce the number of long strands.
3.  In a mixing bowl add the egg whites and dash of salt.  Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they get frothy.
4. Add the cream of tartar, almond and vanilla extracts to the egg white mixture.
5.  Increase the mixer speed to high and add the sugar slowly.
6.  When the egg mixture is white and fluffy turn the mixer off.  It should look like this:

7.  Using a spatula, gently fold the coconut in to the egg white mixture.  
8.  On the parchment lined cookie sheets drop a tablespoon (aout 1 1/4 inch wide) of the mixture leaving 1 inch between each cookie.

9.  Place the cookie sheets in the oven and bake until macaroons are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
10.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets.  Using a spatula remove the cookies from the parchment paper and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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