Coconut macaroons have been around since the 9th century. From Italy it spread to the rest of Europe, and was later adapted into several forms, including the delicate and classic French Macaron. So if you thought that the French Macaron was the oldest, most classic version, think again! These babies were created long before the French adapted this Italian recipe.
Coconut macaroons are most common in the UK, US and Australia – think British colonies. We too have coconut macaroons in India, you’ll probably find them in bakeries under different local names, even as coconut biscuits (with flour in them), but essentially it’s just desiccated coconut, egg whites, sweetening and flavours. There is no flour used in the making of macaroons, making this perfect for those who cannot process gluten.
When you bite into a freshly baked coconut macaroon, there’s a nice crunch on the outside, but in a couple of days, the entire macaroon goes soft after being exposed to air, and on absorbing moisture from the chocolate.
5 ingredients is all you need, and it comes together in 40 minutes or so. They make perfect hostess and holiday gifts as they keep well at room temperature for about a week. Just put them in a cute gift bag, tie it up with colorful ribbons or bows and you are all set to go!
Since these use just the egg white, the yolk can be frozen in an airtight ziploc bag for upto 6 months with a pinch of salt.
You start with whisking the egg white and sugar until you get stiff peaks. This is what will give that crunchy, almost glass like coating to the macaroon.
Then you carefully fold the egg whites into the rest of the ingredients. Scoop the batter into a tablespoon measure and drop it onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. You don’t want the batter to be dripping wet, it is a fairly dry batter. If it’s too wet, that means you added too much condensed milk and while baking, all that extra liquid will pool down at the base of the macaroon, making for a very wet, seemingly under-cooked end product.
Bake until the bottoms and tops are golden brown.
You may eat it as is, but why not kick it up a notch? Dunk the bottoms into melted chocolate and drizzle some more on the top. Now it’s almost like the coconut macaroon is sitting inside a chocolate cage!
Refrigerate for about 10 minutes till the chocolate sets and then you can store it for upto a week at room temperature.
- Use sweetened coconut flakes that are smaller in size. You can substitute with unsweetened coconut flakes, but they tend to result in a drier end product.
- If using unsweetened coconut flakes, you need not adjust sweetening in the recipe. But if you must, add sugar (while whisking the egg white) instead of more condensed milk.
- You can also melt and fold in white chocolate into the batter for an extra kick in flavour.