I hear that macarons are the new cupcakes, but I've never actually tried a macaron. Anyway, they don't look as good as one of my all time favorite cookies (if they even should be called cookies---these dense, sticky, sweet stacks of shredded coconut): macaroons. I don't know exactly what the difference is, but I think maracons are more meringue-y, French and have no coconut (boo). Someone out there should try one and let me know. Or I'll just wait to try one myself when some hip young entrepreneur opens up a macaron food cart here in Portland, which will probably happen any moment now.
But let's focus on the moral of the story here---COCONUT MACAROONS are the best--- if you like coconut, of course, which everyone in their right mind absolutely must; although I am sad to report that I personally know at least a few coconut haters. I do feel very sorry for them and their missed dessert opportunities. But, you know, their loss really.
My favorite way to enjoy a macaroon is covered in chocolate. (See The Upper Crust Bakery in Chico, CA or The French Corner Bakery in Cambria, CA for particularly fantastic specimens.) To save time when making these at home, I made a batch with chocolate chips mixed in--not the same, but close. It is exceedingly important to use the best sweetened coconut you can get your hands on here. I used the regular supermarket sweetened flaked coconut and it tastes good, but not as coocnut-y as it should. I would consider adding a drop of coconut extract in addition to the vanilla next time if I had to use that generic coconut again.( I'd happily take suggestions on which brands to buy/where to get extra delicious coconut. No, really, do tell.)
Even so, these coconut macaroons are pretty tasty. Toasted coconut crunch and chewy, chocolate-y center! And, really truly EASY. Thanks---yet again---Martha.
Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons
- 1 tablespoon sugar (2 Tbsp if you like them sweeter)
- 2 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well, using your hands to fully incorporate the ingredients.
- Form 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart.
- Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool on a wire rack.