I pulled off something pretty sweet this holiday season. For the first time ever, I managed to cross everyone off of my gift list without ever stepping foot inside a mall. Food books of every sort arrived without fuss on my doorstep from Amazon.com, gorgeous artisanal chocolates and macarons were ordered from my friends at XT Patisserie, and home baked goods were churned out of my hard-working oven. I loved giving presents that were meaningful in some way and, most importantly, friggin’ tasty.
My mother received a batch of homemade coconut macaroons, her favorite cookie of all time. Compared to her two sugar-craving children, my mother’s sweet tooth is quite minimal. These macaroons are ultra-coconut-y and pleasingly chewy, with just the right amount of sweetness. I dipped a few of the macaroons in chocolate for a little extra pizazz. Best of all, I delivered the cookies in a Tupperware container that she had given me months ago. I don’t know about your mama, but mine loves receiving her precious Tupperwares back. Two gifts in one—that’s the way I roll.
- 5 cups (20 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
- 6 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pulse the coconut in a food processor until fine, 1 to 4 pulses. [Some brands of coconut are finely shredded, pulse it just once or twice.] Process the egg whites, sugar, salt, and almond extract together in the food processor until light and foamy, about 15 seconds. Stir the egg mixture into the chopped coconut until combined. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture is thick, about 30 minutes.
Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and grease the paper. Using wet hands, roll 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time into balls and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 1 inch apart.
Bake the macaroons until light golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. Let the macaroons cool completely on the baking sheets, before serving, about 1 hour.
For Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons
After the macaroons have cooled completely, melt 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes. Dip each macaroon into the melted chocolate to coat, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then lay it on a clean sheet of parchment paper. Let cool at room temperature until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
Makes about 24 cookies.
Recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book