Coconut Macaroon ala “Happy Almond” Foodie Friday Recipe
This recipe for coconut macaroons gives a nod to a certain candy bar that has nuts while it's friend doesn't and celebrates almonds with a certain degree of joy.
I researched a bunch of coconut macaroon recipes before landing on a mash-up that I think has the right amount of egg to sugar ratio plus uses an extra step of dissolving the sugar into the egg white over a double-boiler in order to get a more satiny texture. While a lot of people dip their finished cookies in melted semi-sweet chocolate, I decided to take it a little further by making it a combination of semi-sweet and milk chocolate melted then plopped down onto ground almonds. (JOY!)
Thanks to everyone, including Valerie, who shared macaroon recipes with me!
Coconut Macaroons (ala "Happy Almond) (Prep time about 1 hour, including bake time and dipping cookies in melted chocolate. Makes 28 cookies) *dairy free*
4 egg whites
1/2 C, granulated sugar
1/3 C. flour
14 oz bag sweetened shredded coconut (go for the best you can get. It makes a difference.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (again, the better the product, the getter the cookie)
1/2 C. each semi sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips
1 C. slivered almonds ground into small pieces in a food processor or knife-chopped
Empty bag of coconut into a large mixing bowl and add flour and salt. Use your hands to toss the flour and coconut to separate the clumps and evenly coat the coconut with flour and salt. Separate eggs with the whites in another mixing bowl that fits over a sauce pan containing about one inch of water without touching the bottom (double boiler) Heat the water to a simmer and add sugar and vanilla to the egg whites. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and smooth (about 1-2 minutes). You can put a dab of white on your fingers to feel if all the sugar crystals are dissolved. Do not cook the egg whites. When smooth, remove the bowl from the double boiler and fold the coconut mixture into the whites using a silicone spatula until thoroughly incorporated. Put mixture in the refrigerator to chill just a little while the oven is preheating to 325. Line baking trays with parchment paper. Use a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon (or a cookie dough scooper) to scoop and drop coconut mounds onto baking sheets. I found dripping a little water onto the spoon in between a few scoops helped keep the coconut mixture from sticking to the spoon. Bake 15 minutes then turn and bake another 15 minutes. Rotate pans between bottom and top racks to make for even browning. Once lightly browned on the edges, remove from oven and allow to cool on the pans sitting on cooling racks. Gently lift from parchment paper.
You can end right there or go for the chocolate dip and almond coat for the "Joy" aspect.
On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spoon about a teaspoon of nuts into individual circles for each cookie. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate 30-second at a time, stirring after each cycle, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate then place onto the nuts and gently press. Put tray into refrigerator to help set the chocolate more quickly.
Serve room temperature.