Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Coconut Macaroons Two Ways

I'm continuing on my coconut kick, rather to Michael's dismay since coconut is not his "favorite flavor." Oh well, I like it and had a big bag of coconut in the pantry that I wanted to get used up.

So, as I was browsing recipes for coconut dishes I came across an interesting number of variations on the classic coconut macaroon. The first recipe I came across was in James Peterson's Baking cookbook. It featured a classic macaroon made with whipped egg whites, sugar, and coconut. While the ingredients are simple, the assembly and baking are very time consuming.  First whipping the egg whites and finally baking at a low temperature for three (yes three) hours!

The next recipe was a classic from Southern Living that features egg whites, flour, sugar, coconut and flavorings. It's much quicker to make and requires no whipping of egg whites or long drawn out baking period.

So, I decided to do both and compare. The results were interesting. The classic recipe turned out a very light and delicate macaroon that is crisp and coconutty. The Southern Living recipe turned out a chewy and soft macaroon more akin to what you find in the grocery store. The taste test gave the ribbon to the Southern Living recipe. It's a much more substantial and tasty cookie. My only tweak to this when I do it again will be to reserve enough coconut to sprinkle the tops of the cookies just before baking.

So, here are two recipes for Coconut Macaroons.

Classic Recipe:

4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
12 oz. shredded sweetened coconut

Whip egg whites to medium peaks. Gradually add sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Fold in coconut and place batter in piping bag with large tip. Pipe 2" mounds onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 200° for 3 hours.

Southern Living Recipe:

4 egg whites
2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (clear is best but either works)
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove to wire racks to cool completely before serving.
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