Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

I love coconut! And I love coconut macaroons!

They were always a special treat and they always seemed so elegant and a bit mysterious when I was younger. Probably because they aren’t all that common; they seem to only be found at a few bakeries and the Ghirardelli stores in very large malls. This led me to believe they must be difficult and complicated to make.

Coconut macaroons are also one of my Mom’s favorite cookies. So when I came across a recipe, I took note and thought it might be worth the effort to try for Mother’s Day or my Mom’s birthday one year. However, I either didn’t have the time around those events or forgot about them…

…That is until May of last year when I was looking for cookie recipes to take to my family reunion. Because the reunion was later in the weekend, I had the entire first half of the weekend to play around in the kitchen so I gave the coconut macaroons a try.

They were actually pretty SIMPLE and EASY!

And they were a HUGE HIT! Especially with my Great Aunt, she LOVED them.

So when my cousin’s family came to visit this summer and I found out they would be stopping by to see my Great Aunt, I packaged up some coconut macaroons for them to give her. Well…my Great Aunt shared her cookies with them (or they snuck some on the way there). Either way, my cousin LOVED the coconut macaroons as well and asked for the recipe.

Because I’m a slacker, or because I’m busy, or because it was all part of a greater plan all along, my cousin didn’t get the recipe until she got a box full of Christmas cookies in the mail that had the recipe attached to the tin with the coconut macaroons.

Not all of those macaroons fit into the box sent to my cousin and I took the leftovers to my parents’ house for Christmas, where my sister-in-law tried some that were dipped in chocolate…and she LOVED them too.

I made them for the Sweet Treat Party and one of my friends also became a fan.

The only reason I’m sharing all of this is to let you know that if you make these cookies, people will LOVE them and maybe start to ask for them and you’ll probably have to start doubling and tripling the recipe for there to be enough to go around ;)

Give them a try, it’s really not that hard. After you make a lot of batches, you’ll probably be able to work on the recipe from memory or play around with it and try new things. I have definitely tweaked and modified and still had good results; I even made the recipe with gluten-free flour and they turned out great!

Coconut Macaroons

1 small package (7 oz.) flaked coconut (more than 2 1/2 cups, but less than 2 3/4)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (can be substituted with a gluten-free baking flour)
¼ teaspoon salt
3 egg whites
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (can be substituted with ¼ teaspoon almond extract)

Chocolate bark/candy coating
2 oz. semisweet chocolate (chopped) and ½ teaspoon shortening

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (DO NOT FORGET THIS or you’ll have a heck of a time trying to get the cookies off the cookie sheet and they may or may not resemble a cookie at that point).

Place coconut, sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Add in egg whites and vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon (cheap plastic spatulas WILL break).

Scoop the dough into rounded ball-like shapes onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. It’s easiest if you have a cookie dough scoop, ideally about a teaspoon size scoop or if you use larger that’s fine you may just need to bake the macaroons a little longer. (If you don’t have a cookie dough scoop, just use spoons.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges and portions of the tops are golden brown (I sometimes check the bottom of a couple of cookies as well to make sure the bottoms are completely golden brown). I sometimes have to go even longer than the 25 minutes if I’ve used a larger cookie dough scoop.

Place on a cooling rack and let cool. Then enjoy!


Cover the macaroons in chocolate.

The easiest way is to melt the chocolate bark (sometimes called candy coating depending where you purchase it) according to the directions on the package. Usually there are directions for the microwave or the stovetop, the microwave is easy and fast.

Another way is to create your own chocolate coating by melting the chopped semisweet chocolate and shortening in a saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.

Then dip the macaroons or drizzle the chocolate over the macaroons and place on wax paper to allow the chocolate to set.

Chocolate or no chocolate, they’re pretty darn good. I promise…you can ask my cousin or my sister-in-law, or my Great Aunt ;)


  1. Guess what I'm making this weekend?!! Yay! My favorites :) Thank you!

  2. Okay, that's funny! I think I ate that whole box myself. One of my favorite parts of Christmas, really!
    After seeing how well you bake (those cupcakes looked amazing),I am almost glad that we don't live closer to you. How are you so tiny when you bake so much yummy stuff? You must have more will power than I do!
    I have given up sweets for Lent. Clearly, I can't see you for the next 40 days......
    Love ya :)

  3. Just printed out your macaroon recipe! Can't wait to try it Michelle, thanks for posting it!!!