Coconut was one of those things that grew on me. I never liked it as a kid. I have no idea when I started liking it. Maybe it was when I tried one of those Girl Scout Samoas? But I don't know why I would have tried one if I didn't like coconut.
I guess I just gave it a try for the hell of it? Maybe I was just drunk. My taste palate may be be expanding as I grow older but my memory certainly is not. In any case, I like it now--like a lot.
And I think I had certainly seen mararoons around at bakeries and in grocery stores but I had never tried one--most likely because I thought I hated coconut.
But then one day I was at Julius Meinl getting some coffee and they had these pyramid-shaped things dipped in chocolate sitting in a jar at the front counter.
I asked what they were, was like oh yeah I like coconut now and purchased one.
I think I was also about to drive up to my parents house in the suburbs and thought it was would be a good treat to eat on the way.
Well I was right. It was toasty on the outside and sorta gooey and sweet inside. I have no idea why I never like coconut before because these macaroons were intensely likeable.
So like most sweet things I try or see, I decided I wanted to try and make them myself. I found a recipe on Serious Eats that I love and it's so darn easy. It calls for unsweetened coconut which is what I use but they also have one for sweetened coconut if you can't find the former.
That's the other thing about them, they are the easiest things to make. I can tell you now--all they are are coconut, sugar, egg whites, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Then maybe you can mix in some mini chocolate chips or dip them in chocolate. They are a ssssnap to make.
Macaroons - makes about 12
6 oz of unsweetened coconut
6 oz granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Optional - 1 c mini chocolate chips
Optional - 4 oz of chocolate for dipping
Optional step 1 - spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast them until they are golden brown
Step 2 - Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F
Step 3 - Using a large bowl, mix everything together with your hands--yes, your hands. Get all in there with them until everything is thoroughly combine. If you are using the mini chocolate chips then add them in there at his time as well.
Step 4 - Use about 2 tbsp of the mixture. Form them into mounds or if you have some sort of mold you can use that. The bakery where I found them has them formed into pyramids which you need a special mold for. Recently I found such a mold made my Ateco at Sur la Table which worked great. You can also use a mini-muffin pan which I have done before and works great. In any case spread each mound--if not using a muffin pan--on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Step 5 - Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
After they are done you can dip them in some chocolate--tempered or not.