I was catching up today on the food blogs I enjoy and ran across Clotilde's lovely macaroons at Chocolate & Zucchini. Very pretty! And such an intriguing shape. Since I just happened to have a bag of shredded coconut (purchased on a whim a few weeks ago) and the night off work (yay!), I decided to give them a try.
First I checked around to see how others make macaroons, since I didn't have quite as much coconut as her recipe called for. There's a lot of variation out there, both in ingredients and prep, so I figured I had a fair amount of latitude.
I used 3 egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, a pinch of salt, a splash of pure vanilla extract (from my vanilla winnings; thanks, Jaden!) and an 8 oz. bag of shredded, unsweetened coconut. The oven was preheated to 350 and I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper.
The recipe says about 12 minutes, but at 10, I noticed the bottoms were browning much faster than the other sides, so I quickly reached in and flipped them with a small spatula. And discovered how very asymmetrical I'd made them. But that was OK. A few minutes more and they were done. Not as pretty as Clotilde's but a fair first effort. And tasty! Nice and crusty-crunchy on the outside, but still chewy and soft inside.
To tweak this recipe, I think I could reduce the sugar to a heaping half a cup, and I would use medium-shredded coconut rather than fine, for a more textured cookie.
I've got a second sheet of this batch in the oven now, this time on a silpat, and I made them a little smaller, which I think I will like better. Stand by ...
Well, the silpat didn't seem to make much of a difference in the bottom browning. Then again, I'm using a pretty cheap cookie sheet. I'll add a better one to my mental "allowed to buy on my next restaurant supply outing" list. But I do like the smaller cookie, more like half a tablespoon's worth. I prefer an equal proportion of chewy to crunchy.
(Eating another one) Mmmmm .... yeah.
P.S. from April 5: Made another batch of these with demerara sugar and they came out delicious! Click here for pictures.