Saturday, November 22, 2008

Coconut Macaroons

This recipe is from Nick Malgieri's book Cookies Unlimited. He says it's from his friend Kyra Effren. It's such a light, airy cookie that you can't eat just one. The meringue melts in your mouth and then you're just left munching on the delicious coconut. What a treat! And they're so easy to make! They're a beautiful white but I guess you could color them with a bit of food coloring for a lovely pastel treat. Be certain not to overbake them or they will be dry. I suggest turning the oven off after 15 minutes if they're not quite the golden color you'd like.

Makes at 50 - 60 little cookies.

1/2 cup egg whites (from ca. 4 eggs)
Pinch salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz (about 2 cp) unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans covered with parchment or foil

Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325F.

Beat egg whites, salt, and lemon juice until beginning to hold their shape, about 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the speed to the maximum and slowly add sugar. Continue to beat until the egg whites are very stiff, but not dry.

Whip in the vanilla extract. (Remember to turn the mixer down at first so the vanilla doesn't fly out!)

Fold the coconut into the meringue with a large rubber spatula.

Using two teaspoons or a small cookie scoop, drop the cookies onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving a mere 1-inch space in-between--in other words, pretty darn close to one another. I fit about 30 on each sheet.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are a golden color but still moist within. Obviously, getting them just right is pretty tricky, so please see my suggestion above.

Don't remove the cookies from the parchment--just slide the parchment onto the cookie sheets and wait for the cookies to completely cool before removing them.

Store the cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a container with a tight-fitting lid.  (I just cut around them and placed them still on the baked parchment in the tin.)

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