Adventures in Coconut Macaroons

1 May

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:

Coconut through the food processor

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:

Mushy coconut macaroonsGooey, 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:

Fixed Coconut MacaroonsMuch 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.

Toasting coconut on the stoveThen, I made sure to beat the egg whites well, halved the sugar, and this time got a much better result:

Finally, good Coconut Macaroons!

So, here is my final combination of ingredients and methods:

Coconut Macaroons

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.

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