Another guest post from my fetching wife…
For more than a decade, the perfect coconut macaroon has eluded me. When I first met Greg, I quickly learned he didn’t share my sweet tooth. But he occasionally hankered for a coconut macaroon — the kind that to my horror came in a box. I may not have had his kitchen prowess, but armed with my trusty Better Homes and Gardens I knew my way around a recipe, and an oven. And so I slowly weened him off the box, with airy egg white confections that tasted more like melt-in-your mouth meringue, than cookies. This is what a macaroon tastes like, I reasoned. Until, I ran across this guy outside City Hall in Belfast.
For a pound, he forked over what was aptly billed as the world’s best macaroon. His cookies were dense mounds of coconut, doughier and softer. I was no longer biting air, but sinking my teeth into something. One left us sated, but I craved more. Between heavenly bites, I wondered: “How can I do this when we get back to the states?”
My first attempt was a 10-year-old recipe from Bon Appetit that I found on Epicurious. It calls for condensed milk, coconut, egg whites, salt and vanilla extract.
The dough gets piled high and the cookies turned out beautifully. But the condensed milk was overpowering for me. Greg enjoyed them more and says he prefers them to our old standbys. But I want something more.
The perfect recipe has to be out there somewhere. Hopefully, closer than Belfast.
1 14 ounce package sweetened flaked coconut
1 14 ounce can condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine coconut, condensed milk and vanilla in bowl. Beat egg whites and salt to medium peaks in another bowl. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into coconut, then fold remaining amount. Drop half of mixture on baking sheet in even spoonfuls 2 inches apart. Top each with a second spoonful. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.