I love coconut!! My husband… not so much. He and I have been together for 13 years now and it’s only in the past few years that I’ve been able to overcome his dislike of coconut. “It’s not the taste, it’s the consistency” is always his standard response. Which, to be fair, is the same thing I say about shrimp – bleh! BUT, anyone who lives with this girl comes in contact with A LOT of coconut. It’s probably one of my favorite ingredients, besides sugar 😜. Lately, I’ve been able to find desserts where I can sneak the taste of coconut in and he actually likes it! It’s like pulling an arm and a leg to get him to take a mouse sized bite, but when he actually does, he grudgingly agrees that it’s delicious. Last week I had a hankering for coconut macaroons and made a batch… I actually got him to try them! Annddddd….he didn’t spit them out!! Hahaha! Huge success! I scarfed them down and then brought the rest into work where they were quickly devoured – because for coconut loving people – they were the bomb.com. Check these out!
Oh yeahhh! I *love* those little slightly darker brown crunchy bits! *drools* These puppies were made the old fashioned way, with egg whites not sweetened condensed milk. I adore sweetened condensed milk. Especially in coffee – if you haven’t tried it, do it. Do it now. But, I’m also cheap, don’t use it very often, and can’t seem to compromise my grocery list by adding one small can for $2-3 just to have around. Besides the cost, one cup has 1000 calories and over 150 grams of sugar! Add to that the fact that some people use sweetened flaked coconut instead of plain flaked coconut and those cookies have a lot of calories and sugar! Mine aren’t healthy or anything… they still have sugar, but my calculations in MyFitnessPal (a totally free website and app for helping to count calories and stay healthy) shows that even with unsweetened coconut flakes, it can add over a 100 extra calories a cookie. Nope, can’t do it! I want to eat as many as possible! How could you not eat a ton of these little guys?
I know some of you have seen the words macaroon and macaron thrown around. A macaroon, pronounced just like it is spelled, is a coconut cookie that is typically sticky, chewy, dense, and sweet with a slightly crisp and golden exterior. They are made with few ingredients – mostly sugar, flour, and egg whites – but are many times made with almond extract as well. I prefer vanilla myself, and know a few people who don’t like almond flavoring at all, so I omit the almond extract in mine.
A macaron, pronounced mah-kah-RON, is a French cookie that has a thin crisp exterior, a fairly airy/empty-ish interior, and an almost nougat-like chew. Plus they are not made with any coconut. Nope, none. They also are assembled similar to whoopie pies, with a sweet filling of buttercream, preserves, jelly, etc. These bundles of goodness are made with almond flour, egg whites, and sugar and are sometimes called French macaroons, which adds to the confusion. Plus, on a side note, they are incredibly tempermental and even some of the more experienced bakers can have an issue getting them right. Just remember, “your friend RON is allergic to coconut” 😉 that way you’ll always know the difference. Never fret – macarons will be featured in another post in the near future, but for now – on to the coconut macaroon recipe!
- 4 egg whites
- 1 14oz package sweetened coconut flakes
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond if preferred)
- 1 pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside.
- In a food processor (or blender) quickly pulse your coconut flakes, sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla 4-5 times to incorporate and slightly break up the coconut flakes into smaller chunks. (You do not want a uniform flour like mixture, leave those flakes visible!)
- Add your coconut mixture to your egg whites and fold together until just incorporated.
- Grab an ice cream or cookie scoop for perfectly shaped balls or wet hands and roll them yourself into a golf ball sized cookie.
- Bake 13-15 minutes or until bottoms and little flakes on top are golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!
- Cover, drizzle, or coat the bottom or sides in dark, milk, or white chocolate for extra flavor and visual appeal.
- Add colored sprinkles for holidays, red and green, purple and orange, etc
- Experiment with adding different extracts and come up with your own flavors - raspberry coconut sounds delicious!