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Mastering the Art of Coconut Macaroons
Richly textured with a perfect contrast of a soft heart and a crisp exterior, these macaroons promise a flavorful escape to a tropical paradise. 
Nina Gold
4 min read

coconut macaroons

The noble coconut macaroon stands as a testament to the wonders of the tropics. While its French cousin, the 'macaron', has taken the world by storm with its delicate meringue-based allure, the hearty coconut macaroon sings a different, yet equally captivating, tune. Its depth of flavor, achieved through the clever use of sweetened condensed milk, is a cherished secret in the culinary world. I, having delved into numerous coconut macaroon recipes, present to you a version that stands out - golden crisp on the outside, indulgently chewy on the inside, and with an optional flourish of rich dark chocolate. Perfect for festive occasions or simply to satiate a sophisticated sweet tooth!

Ingredients for our Culinary Masterpiece:

ingredients for coconut macaroons

  • 1 14-oz bag sweetened flaked coconut (Baker's Angel Flake preferred for consistency)
  • ⅞ cup sweetened condensed milk (Note: ⅞ cup is equivalent to ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces high-quality semi-sweet chocolate (like Ghirardelli, optional)

The heart of this recipe lies in the use of sweetened condensed milk - a transformed milk product where water has been evaporated and a generous amount of sugar infused. Its rich and adhesive nature crafts impeccable macaroons. While numerous recipes advocate for its inclusion, a recurrent issue emerges: an overly liquid batter. This often results in the batter gathering and caramelizing undesirably at the macaroon's perimeter in the oven. The usual culprit? An inclination by many to utilize an entire bag of coconut and a full can of the milk, aiming for recipe simplicity. However, the aftermath is often a surplus of this sticky milk with limited use aside from a coffee sweetener. In our version, we slightly undercut a full can. This might mean parting with a bit of this sugary milk, but the outcome is macaroon perfection.

Step-By-Step Instructions (towards Coconut Nirvana!):

1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Arrange two oven racks near the center. Equip two baking sheets with parchment paper – remember, parchment paper, not wax, lest your macaroons get clingy!

In a spacious bowl, amalgamate the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. 

coconut, condensed milk and vanilla extract in a bowl

This fusion serves as the foundation of our delicacy.

mixed ingredients for coconut macaroons

2. With an electric mixer, challenge the egg whites and salt. Your goal is to achieve stiff peaks, the hallmark of perfectly beaten egg whites.

perfectly beaten egg whites

These peaks retain their shape and add volume to our macaroons.

egg whites and mixture for coconut macaroons

3. Gently fold these airy egg whites into your coconut concoction. It's this union that gifts our macaroons with their iconic texture.

egg whites and a mixture for coconut macaroons mixed in a bowl

4. Use a mini ice cream scoop or two spoons to mold generous tablespoons of our mixture into delightful mounds on the baking sheets, ensuring a gap of about an inch between each.

coconut macaroons placed on a baking sheet

5. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes. Halfway, swap and rotate the pans to ensure uniform golden-brown hue on every macaroon.

baked coconut macaroons

6. Let the macaroons cool on the baking sheet for a minute, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

coconut macaroons on a rack

7. Melt the chocolate cautiously in a microwave-safe bowl. Ensure you pause and stir at 30-second intervals to achieve a luscious smooth consistency. Dip the base of each cooled macaroon into this molten delight and let any excess drip away.

dipping coconut macaroons in melted chocolate

8. Place them back on the parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, allowing the chocolate to set.

ready to eat baked coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate

Macaroons, having been nurtured to perfection, can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week. The brilliance of coconut, condensed milk, and optionally chocolate, all combined into one, is sure to earn applause from anyone who partakes in its joy.

P.S.: Wondering about the leftover egg yolks? They too can become stars of their own dishes, like the exquisite Tres Leches Cake or the decadent Rum Cake. Enjoy every part of your culinary journey!

Nina Gold
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