I had almost forgotten the perfect deliciousness of an old-fashioned coconut macaroon. After years of making the French macaron cookie, it was fun to revisit this sweet favorite of my childhood. A good coconut macaroon is crunchy on the outside and tender and chewy on the inside. They’re easy to make and naturally gluten-free. They’re also reminiscent of my favorite candy bar “Mounds” and its partner “Almond Joy”. This is truly a “one bowl” recipe that will have you enjoying coconut macaroons in less than an hour (even sooner if you skip the chocolate embellishments). It couldn’t be easier; you can add variations like nuts, dried fruit, and, of course, chocolate, to suit your taste.
I flavored my macaroons with Meyer lemon zest and almond extract. You could easily customize yours with orange or lime zest, some vanilla or your favorite liqueur. Make them small and bite-size, or a little larger. Just adjust the baking time accordingly. I used a tablespoon-size cookie scoop and packed the batter tightly, for a moist and chewy interior. Store your macaroons in a tightly covered container and enjoy them within three days (if they last that long).
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
- 2 cups sweetened , shredded coconut
- 1 cup unsweetened , fine-shred coconut
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Finely grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon (optional, but very good)
- 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate , for dipping and drizzling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, granulated sugar, almond extract, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk together until the mixture is frothy. Add the coconut and stir until the mixture is combined and the coconut is evenly moistened.
Using a cookie scoop, or your wet hands, shape the coconut mixture, and place on the prepared sheet, each about 1-inch apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes for smaller macaroons, and 20 to 25 minutes for larger ones. They should be golden, with little browned tips here and there. Allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
If using the chocolate embellishment, chop the chocolate into small pieces. Melt 2 ounces in a heat proof bowl, over a small pot of simmering water. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate and stir until smooth. Dip each macaroon in the chocolate, and place on a clean, parchment-lined cookie sheet. Then drizzle some the chocolate in a random pattern over the dipped macaroons. Allow the chocolate to set, then serve. Store the macaroons in a tightly covered container in a cool place for up to 3 days.