the best - coconut macaroons

If you're looking for a fast, easy to make cookie that also happens to be gluten-free then the coconut macaroon is your go-to treat. During my first summer off during interior design school I actually ran my own little (it was just me!) catering company specifically for photographers. I had to make the occasional breakfast for early morning shoots but the majority of time I was dropping off lunch. It was a good gig. I had three desserts that I made time and time again; chocolate chip cookies, brownies and these coconut macaroons. I know these recipes so well I could practically recite them from heart.

Coconut Macaroons - Adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 30g ground almonds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or coconut essence, should such be available)
  • 250g shredded or flaked coconut

Method

Serves: Makes 10-14 macaroons
  1. Preheat the oven to 335F.
  2. Beat the egg whites until frothy - no more - then add the cream of tartar and carry on beating until soft peaks are formed. Add the sugar a teaspoon at a time and whisk until the peaks can hold their shape and are shiny. Fold in the almonds, salt, vanilla and coconut. The mixture will be sticky but should, all the same, hold its shape when clumped together.
  3. Form into clementine-sized domes, 6-7cm in diameter. Don't make them too flat; they look best if you keep them nicely rounded, but this is really just a matter of personal taste, so follow your own.
  4. Cook for 20 minutes or until they're just beginning to turn golden in parts.

I've experimented a bit with this recipe and added cocoa to the almond, salt, vanilla and coconut mixture to make chocolate macaroons. I've also seen these cookies dipped halfway into melted chocolate for a more indulgent treat.

If you love moist, chewy coconut than you will definitely want to give these a try. Be careful to watch your oven as these cookies can turn from slightly golden to browned in no time flat (mine, in fact, are borderline overdone). Let your nose guide you! When these cookies start to fill your kitchen with a warm, tropical sweetness give them a check and see if they are done.

Do you have a favourite coconut recipe? I'm a huge fan of the stuff and would love to hear if you have something you think I should try.