Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Coconutty Goodness: Toasty Macaroon Meringues

These are so delightfully edible, I had to share the recipe.

I had egg whites leftover and extra coconut from the lemon curd filling I made for the coconut cake last week, so I went looking for coconut macaroon recipes. I found one from Alton Brown which was basically meringues with toasted coconut, and thought it sounded good, but the recipe didn't have enough coconut in it as far as I was concerned, so I used the idea as a jumping off point and made my own recipe:
Toasted chips

Coconut chips
Toasty Macaroon Meringues
Makes: approx. 7 dozen (depending on size)
Oven: 350˚ F
4 large egg whites (measures about half a cup)
Pinch of salt
2/3-3/4 cup sugar (to taste)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 unsweetened coconut (half finely shredded, half coconut chips) toasted

Toast coconut in 350˚ F oven for 5-10 minutes, stirring at least once. Only toast one grate of coconut at a time so it browns evenly. Watch your pans closely as coconut goes from toasty to burnt in seconds. I used the fine shred and the bigger coconut chips because it's what I had. It would only change the texture slightly if you wanted to use all of one or the other.
Beat egg whites and salt in stand mixer or with electric hand mixer until they begin to stiffen. I usually do almost everything by hand, but with egg whites it is considerably easier with electricity. Be careful not to over beat your whites—easy to do in the stand mixer, particularly

add half of the sugar

Add half the sugar, beat until combined, add remaining sugar and vanilla

Add vanilla

Beat until stiff and glossy

Beat until stiff and beautifully glossy. Few things are as gorgeous as the glossiness of a meringue, IMO. Keep in mind these are raw egg whites as you try to resist tasting the lovely fluffiness. (I failed in my resistance. Thus far, still alive.)


Fold in fine coconut, then coconut chips. Again, keep in mind these are still raw egg whites. (Failed once again. HOLY CRAP LIGHTLY SWEET COCONUT MARSHMALLOW YUM)

Drop teaspoons 1-2 inches apart
Drop batter by teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheet 1-2 inches apart. Feel free to crowd these, within reason, as they don't rise or spread. You just want ample air flow. I prefer them small, with more brown edges to chewy center. You can make them larger, but keep in mind the baking time will increase and they will be slightly softer in the middle. Still scrumptious, though, I'm sure.

bake 15-20 minutes
Bake 15-20 minutes until brown and yummy (18 minutes was the sweet spot on my oven) Try not to burn your tongue. (They cool quickly.) You're an adult, you can wait.

Cool on wire rack for at least an hour before storing in air-tight container, making sure to put parchment between each layer of cookies. These stick together rather well after a few days

cool on rack for an hour
Fabulous warm or room temperature, these are best when still crispy from the oven, though they remain toothsome and wonderful for several days. Keep in mind these are basically meringues, so moisture is the enemy. They will soften up a little, but I made them on two wet days, and they still retained some of their crispness around the edges. It really doesn't matter, they are toasty chewy coconutty deliciousness, through and through. Don't expect them to last long though. I had to make a second batch because there were only six left from the day before. Everyone I've tested them on is enthusiastic, particularly the coconut lovers. Plus they are gluten-free, relatively low in sugar and fat, but taste quite decadent.

Also, if you were so inclined, I'd be willing to wager they'd be lovely with a 1 to 1 ½ cups of toasted sliced almonds folded in with the coconut. Or dipped in chocolate. Or both.

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