Coconut Macaroons Hit the Spot
We’ve been so busy with all of our classes, new students and related excitement at Flathead Valley Community College’s Culinary Institute of Montana that sometimes we forget about the simple pleasures like a straightforward cookie that doesn’t take much work but still does wonders for your soul.
I speak, of course, of the coconut macaroon; one of the unsung heroes of springtime baking. Oh, how they hit the spot in the fall as well. There’s something about the crisp-to-chewy ratio and that lightly caramelized coconut around the crust and the edges.
The only real thing to worry about is getting the right coconut. Look for macaroon coconut or desiccated coconut. Desiccated coconut is ground, versus the strips, shreds, or flakes that we see used elsewhere. Shreds and flakes retain more moisture and keep more of their flavor, but also won’t bind as well with other ingredients.
There are two ways to mix these wonderful cookies. The easy way is to combine all the ingredients and let them sit for 1 hour. This allows time for the egg whites to work their way into the coconut and flour and act as a binding agent. The other way is to cook all ingredients together over a double boiler until they reach 120 degrees. This is much quicker and yields a slightly chewier cookie.
Next, we’ll scoop the cookies onto a parchment-lined pan and bake, checking and rotating every 5-6 minutes until done. Don’t overbake these as they can dry out quickly.
Store leftovers (if there are any!) in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 days, spacing them apart so they don’t stick together. I think they’re best the next day!
YIELD: 1 dozen
6 oz sugar
6 oz macaroon coconut
1 oz corn syrup
½ t vanilla extract
2 t pastry flour
1 pinch salt
3 egg whites (1 oz per egg white)
1 Combine all ingredients and warm over simmering water to 120 degrees, or combine and let sit for 1 hour.
2 Allow mixture to cool. Stir before use.
3 Scoop portions onto sheet pans lined with parchment and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
4 Bake until just golden brown around edges.
Dan Moe is a Chef Instructor at Flathead Valley Community College’s Culinary Institute of Montana. For more information, visit fvcc.edu/culinary