I say adventures because for me it has been an adventure making these coconut macaroons! I had gotten 2 coconuts from Bountiful Baskets, which were a lot of work to prep. First, I poked a hole in each coconut in one of the eyes to get out the coconut water. Once each was drained, I then tapped around it with the back of a heavy knife (not the sharp side). Then, I used a knife to pull the meat away from the shell. There are a few different methods to do all this, and this article, 8 Ways to Open a Coconut, explains it well with lots of pictures.
Once I got the meat of the coconut, I left the husk on (lighter brown part) ran each one through my food processor. I considered hand grating it, but decided the food processor would be fine. I got it fairly fine like this:
Then, it sat in the refrigerator a few days until I could get to it again! When I had time, I got out one container (each coconut yielded approximately 3 cups of grated coconut) and started on a coconut macaroon recipe that was straightforward and easy. And, the first pan turned out like this:
Gooey, stuck to the parchment paper, overly sweet coconut macaroons. Boo! It was too runny, probably because of the moisture content of the fresh coconut. The other half of that batter I put in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I put it in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirred constantly, for about 15 minutes. That yielded macaroons that looked like this:
Much better structure, but still too sweet, too much sugar. I still had 3 cups of coconut, so it was time for one last attempt. This time, I started by toasting the coconut in a large skillet on the stove since I didn’t want to heat up my house too much using the oven.
So, here is my final combination of ingredients and methods:
What you need:
3 cups fresh coconut, or 3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (make sure it is gluten-free, if needed)
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Toast coconut in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes, or until coconut becomes slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract until frothy. Stir in coconut until just moistened.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon to drop mixture into small balls onto parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.