Here is the final installment in my wife’s macaroon adventure.
I have found the perfect macaroon recipe. Now, I just need the perfect chef. Since we visited Belfast last year, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect macaroon, a dense bit of coconut heaven. What you didn’t realize Belfast was world-renowned for its baked goods? Just look at this picture my husband snapped. Since then my search has taken me far and wide … Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Google, my mother-in-law. I’ve faced obstacles, fire and brimstone. OK, just the fire part, seriously. A recent batch was foiled by none other than the IRS. Hunched over the computer with my H&R Block software I left an entire batch to burn, and we’re not talking just a little brown. All of this brings me to culinary school. Yes, I know I would benefit from some courses but that’s not quite what I mean. I ran across a food blog by one Lisa Boyce, culinary student extradornaire. Her macaroons are exquisite. Big old mounds of sweet coconut. And, she takes the time to dip them in chocolate! So Ruf, as his wife I can call him that, asked for the recipe, which I’m putting below. I still have to try it again. The first time around, I blissfully ignored the fact that the “baker’s” label on my coconut wasn’t the type but the brand. There’s a big difference between the dessicated stuff and the gooey goodness meant for mass consumption.
The cookies I made could send a diabetic three blocks away into shock. Sugar bombs. My coworkers devoured them. On the second attempt, I think I used a tad too much coconut and skimped on the egg white, violating my own mantra, not the white after Labor Day one, but that one should master a recipe before altering it. Still there were glimpses of greatness in this batch, a cookie or two that resembled what could be. I’ll take another stab.
Here’s what I have learned. Parchment is one’s friend. Baker’s coconut is worth paying the extra bones. I need a better thermometer.
Here’s the recipe. Go ahead try it, and tell me I just need to hang up my apron. I’ll even include her variations. (Thanks, LB.)
- Egg Whites 12 oz (slightly more won’t hurt)
- Granulated Sugar 2 lb.
- Desiccated Coconut (Baking coconut) 1 lb 2 oz
- Dark Rum (optional) 1 oz
- Vanilla extract 2 tsp
- Lime zest, grated 2 Tbsp
In a double boiler over low heat stir together the egg whites, sugar, and coconut. Heat stirring constantly until it reaches 130 degrees. (It will look too dry, but will moisten when heated) Remove from the heat and stir in the rum, vanilla, and lime zest. Let stand for 45 minutes. Drop the batter in 1 and 3/4 oz portions onto a buttered paper-lined sheet pans. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, ~18-20 minutes.
Yield 40 cookies
Chocolate-Temper chocolate and once the cookies have cooled, dip or drizzle over each macaroon as above.
Pineapple- Cut 8 slices (12 oz) of pineapple, canned or fresh, into 5 pieces each. Indent each cookie and add a piece to each cookie before baking.