I found this recipe last week and couldn’t wait to give it a try. For a lack of a better term, these are coconut crack. I love that you start with unsweetened coconut; the real deal definitely brings out the authentic coconut flavor, so make sure you get the flakes. You can dress them up for Easter with chocolate eggs sitting in a coconut nest.
Alice Medrich’s New Classic Coconut Macaroons
Found on Food52
Makes about 22 cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
4 large egg whites
3 1/2 cups unsweetened dried flaked, not shredded, coconut (also known as coconut chips) or 3 cups sweetened, dried shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (available kosher for Passover, or can be omitted)
Slightly rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large heatproof mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel because the mixture will heat faster than in glass. Set the bowl directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water (if your bowl bobs in the water, simply pour some out). Stir the mixture with a silicone spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, until the mixture is very hot to the touch and the egg whites have thickened slightly. They will turn from translucent to opaque in about 5 to 7 minutes. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to let the coconut absorb more of the goop.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
Using 2 tablespoons of batter, make attractive heaps 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. (You can also make these smaller and bake for less time, in 1-tablespoon heaps.) Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the coconut tips begin to color, rotating the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are a beautiful cream and gold with deeper brown edges, again rotating the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time. If the coconut tips are browning too fast, lower the heat to 300 degrees. Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. Let cool completely before gently peeling the parchment away from each cookie.
The cookies are best on the day they are baked — the exterior is crisp and chewy and the interior soft and moist. Although the crispy edges will soften, the cookies remain delicious stored in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
Upgrade 2.1: (This is what I did) Chocolate-Topped Coconut Macaroons.
While the cookies are still hot, top each with a little piece of your favorite milk or dark chocolate. Or drizzle a little melted chocolate over each cookie.