OK, coconut fans, contrary to the popular Christmas carol, now is the season to be jolly. Why is that? Because coconut is a perennial menu favorite for Passover and Easter.
With this easy recipe, you can make the most mouthwatering macaroons ever. I feel comfortable using the superlative because the recipe is based on one from Ina Garten, cookbook author, star of Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa and maker of all things delicious. Especially desserts.
The recipe requires absolutely no measuring cup!
Here are a few tips:
1. For variety you could substitute a teaspoon of almond extract in place of the vanilla.
2. This hint comes from online comments: Gently mix about 7/8 of the can of sweetened condensed milk together with the coconut. If the mixture is thick –not runny and wet, add the rest of the condensed milk and mix well. If the mixture appears to be getting wet, save the rest for another time. The point is you don’t want to have pools of watery liquid.
3. Make sure the egg whites are medium-firm. Then carefully fold–not stir–them into the coconut mixture.
4. Don’t leave out the salt! It helps stabilize the mixture.
5. If you want to cut down on the sugar, you could try using unsweetened coconut or half sweetened and half unsweetened coconut. But I’ve never tried making the macaroons either way and can’t vouch for success.
6. After baking, cooled macaroons freeze well.
A little more on egg whites: In the past, I’ve had trouble getting nice, firms egg whites so this time, I researched the subject a-plenty. Some,hopefully, helpful hints:
- Use a metal or glass–not plastic– bowl to whip up the egg whites.
- Crack eggs and separate the egg whites while still cold from the frig. Then let them sit in a bowl on the counter for 30 minutes. You want them at room temperature.
- There can not even be a teeny bit of yolk in them or your egg whites won’t whip up the way you want them.
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 14-ounce package of sweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Optional: Top macaroons with your favorite chocolate drizzle. If you’re going for an Easter theme, scatter pastel-colored sprinkles over the chocolate before it sets.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. With large metal spoon, combine first three ingredients in a large bowl. (Be sure to read the tips above).
3. Add salt to the bowl and whip the egg whites at high speed until medium- stiff peaks form.
4. Carefully fold egg whites into coconut mixture.
5. With two teaspoons, drop the batter onto cookie sheets which have been lined with parchment paper.
6. Bake for 22 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool on wire rack.
7. If desired, top with chocolate drizzle and/or sprinkles.
Makes about 35 macaroons.
Filed under: desserts