Alice Medrich's New Classic Coconut Macaroons

By • March 23, 2012 • 67 Comments


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Author Notes: Alice Medrich, chocolatier and author of scads of baking cookbooks, is famously a little wild with her desserts. She developed this recipe not with the standard bag of sweetened, angel flake coconut in mind, but those wide, sloping unsweetened shavings, often called coconut chips and sold at health food stores nowadays. Naturally, Medrich offers two even more exotic upgrades: 1) Instead of painting a little chocolate shoe on the bottom of each macaroon, why not jam a piece of chocolate in each still-hot cookie and watch it melt? 2) For that matter, why not lace it with lime zest and shower it with cinnamon? Who are we to say that's not a macaroon? Adapted very slightly from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich (Artisan, 2010)Genius Recipes

Makes about 22 cookies

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 1/2 cups unsweetened dried flaked, not shredded, coconut (also known as coconut chips) or 3 cups sweetened, dried shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (available kosher for Passover, or can be omitted)
  • Slightly rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large heatproof mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel because the mixture will heat faster than in glass. Set the bowl directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water (if your bowl bobs in the water, simply pour some out). Stir the mixture with a silicone spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, until the mixture is very hot to the touch and the egg whites have thickened slightly and turned from translucent to opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to let the coconut absorb more of the goop.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  4. Using 2 tablespoons of batter, make attractive heaps 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. (You can also make these smaller and bake for less time, in 1-tablespoon heaps.) Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the coconut tips begin to color, rotating the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
  5. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are a beautiful cream and gold with deeper brown edges, again rotating the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time. If the coconut tips are browning too fast, lower the heat to 300 degrees. Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. Let cool completely before gently peeling the parchment away from each cookie.
  6. The cookies are best on the day they are baked — the exterior is crisp and chewy and the interior soft and moist. Although the crispy edges will soften, the cookies remain delicious stored in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
  7. Upgrade 2.1: Chocolate-Topped Coconut Macaroons. Do this for any version of Coconut Macaroons: While the cookies are still hot, top each with a little piece of your favorite milk or dark chocolate. Or drizzle a little melted chocolate over each cookie.
  8. Upgrade 2.2: Coconut Macaroons with Lime Zest and Cinnamon. Stir 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest into the batter before scooping it. Using a fine grater or Microplane zester, grate a little cinnamon stick over the cookies just before serving.

Comments (67) Questions (5)

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about 17 hours ago AmyRuth

Jessicawgraham
Thanks for your response. I really appreciate knowing your take on the recipe. I just soldiered through with double the amount in a big bowl and a big skillet. It was fine but required long cooking time. I made it once as written to make sure I had the proper consistency and so I knew how it should look. Thanks they are great.

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about 17 hours ago AmyRuth

I made about 165 of these babies this PM and they are truly so delicious. I'm not even a huge coconut lover but they are worth the calories. Also, I doubled recipes a few times and it works out fine, although the length of time cooking stovetop is of course longer. Additionally, tinting the coconut for a portion was requested and so I made some pink coconut macaroons. :")

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1 day ago jessicawgraham

AmyRuth, This week I doubled the recipe in a sense. I just made two different batches at the same time, put the two bowls over the boiling water separately and then combined prior to putting the cookies on the sheets to bake.

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1 day ago AmyRuth

Have any of you doubled or tripled the recipe successfully? If so any nuances shared would be great

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4 days ago Lisa

Totally psyched - just made recipe for Seder tonight and came out BEAUTIFULLY! Love the recipe!!

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8 days ago ctgal

Me too, jessicawgraham! Thank you for reminding me of them.

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8 days ago jessicawgraham

I have used this recipe twice now and absolutely love it! Looking forward to making these cookies again for this Passover!

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2 months ago JJ

I've tried this recipe twice using organic coconut chips and both times they simply haven't held together. the first time I forgot to let the mix rest 30 mins. This time I followed the instructions so carefully. Very frustrated ... Delicious cooked mess though!

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2 months ago JJ

After much research I have concluded I'm going to use less egg in future. I looked up "foolproof" coconut macaroons and decided next time to try a drier recipe. Thanks

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2 months ago Jean

I have been looking for a macaroon recipe and this one looks gret!
I live in a one store town in NM and will have to use presweetened coconut shreds so I was happy to see someone else used them too. I will cut 1/3 of the sugar...Yeah weekend baking!

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4 months ago Ami

I just tried these and they taste great! But can anyone tell me how they keep them from getting rock hard as they cool off? And from sticking to the paper? The taste is great, though, so I'd really like to be able to make them.

Wickedgood

4 months ago Dessito

I am not sure if you meant that you just made them (tried the recipe for the first time) or that you tasted them from someone else's, but they shouldn't get rock-hard at all. True, the only "liquid" in them are the egg whites, but if you haven't overcooked them in the double-boiler step, they remain nice and chewy.

On the sticking to the paper: that happened to me too the first time I made them, but it was my error since I used wax paper by mistake (BIG mistake!) If this was not the case with you, then I am not sure what must have caused the sticking. But I personally plan to not use anything to line the baking sheet next time. (Which, now that you reminded me of these wonderful cookies, should be very soon again)

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4 months ago Ami

Dessito, thanks for your response. Perhaps I overcooked them. I didn't have a metal bowl as was recommended and was concerned that I wasn't getting the "dough" hot enough. I'll try it again. I did use wax paper, though, but next time I'll try it without lining the baking sheet like you suggested.

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about 1 year ago mzungu

I have made these three times as each time, some fall apart while baking. What am I doing wrong? I try to condense the heaps as much as possible each time, yet this still happens. I love this recipe so much, but the falling apart thing is killing me here!

Wickedgood

12 months ago Dessito

Obviously it's hard to guess where the problem may lie, but from just looking at the recipe, I'd suggest the following: 1) make sure the "cooking" of the egg whites over the double boiler is long enough; 2) definitely let the hot mix rest for 30-35 mins for absorption; 3) don't skip those first 5 mins of baking at the higher temperature. Additionally, it may have something to do with the specific coconut shreds you use. If they've been the same each time, maybe try to find some from a different supplier? Those would be my suggestions. I can vouch that the recipe can come together very nicely and easily. Good luck in your next attempts!

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about 1 year ago ella11

I am so incredibly pleased with this recipe! After asking a panicked question here I got an awesome response in less than 5 minutes! Took the advice shared : (1/4) cup less coconut if using unsweetened shredded. Results were amazing!! I've never made macaroons before and these were easy and delicious!! I also did the chocolate bar upgrade which was a huge hit at dinner. They did look rather unnatractive but that's ok :).

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about 1 year ago Tucker & Me

I've been baking "Martha's" chocolate dipped mac's for the holidays for more years than I choose to admit. They've always turned out beautifully, and are fabulous for Passover. BUT....I have got to try these. Bon Appetit has a similar recipe in this month's mag. So, I am beside myself to take a test run this weekend. I will definitely post the results!

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

These are absolutely fabulous!

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about 1 year ago stimps

This weekend will see these on my counter. =)

Wickedgood

about 1 year ago Dessito

I'm planning to make this over the weekend, but am wondering if anyone can offer tips on how to make the heaps "attractive". :)

Thanks,
D.

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about 1 year ago stimps

I find the two spoons mode works well enough if you take your time to scrape each spoon. I am not always careful enough, and have to remind myself to slow down. I also have a cookie scoop, but I'm not sure if it's the right size for these ingredients yet. Good luck!

Wickedgood

12 months ago Dessito

Finally had a chance to make these -- easy, beautiful and so delicious! (What made the heaps "attractive" was ruffling up the smooth tops very gently just a tad with a fork after making irregular balls with two spoons as stimps here had suggested.) Got 20 pieces out of the ingredients. Probably 2.5-3 bites in each. :)

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over 1 year ago Butternut

These are lovely - tasty, pretty, and different. Stuck a semi-sweet chocolate chip into about half of them right when they came out of the oven, as per the "Upgrade 2/1" - very good. Loved the plain ones, also, though, with coffee in the morning - yum.

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over 1 year ago witloof

These are in the oven right now and they are already wonderful, judging from the finger I swiped along the bottom of the bowl, but I didn't get 22, I got 12.

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over 1 year ago alice medrichs

sweet treat

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over 1 year ago vjsoftball

These sound amazing. I am thinking about substituting this for my traditional macaroon-dipped-in-chocolate recipe. However, I make a large amount of cookies and give away at Christmas, so I have to freeze them for 2-3 weeks until delivery day. I would make about 300 of these and freeze most. I read that it is best to eat them right away...have they been freezer tested?

Miglore

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

I've never freezer tested these, but hopefully if someone else has, they'll pipe up!

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over 1 year ago vjsoftball

I made almost 500 of these on November 30th, kept some as macaroons and dipped most into dark chocolate. Friends that ate them on the first day said they were amazing. I froze most of them to deliver this week. First deliveries were yesterday and the results are good, my testers said the first day is the absolute best, but they are still wonderful. They could not tell the difference between eating them the second day or after freezing them for two weeks.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Amina Abdelaziz

Since you made so much of these, I'm sure they turned out perfect with you :-) when I made them they were just too hard and chewy. I'm not sure what I did wrong for them come out like that.any suggestions for the next time I make them?

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about 1 year ago vjsoftball

In addition to making the original 500, I have made them two more times and each time the results are the same - crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside - on the first day. They do lose the crisp outside on the second and subsequent days, but the taste is still amazing. You do need to follow the baking instructions closely (steps 3 - 5 above). It is time consuming and I don't like to be interrupted because there are a lot of pan moves (I bake two pans at a time) and temperature changes if you are doing multiple batches. Be sure to do all of the pan flips and top to bottom - there are two, one at 350 degrees and one at 325. Hope this helps!

Stringio

about 1 year ago Amina Abdelaziz

Thanks for your reply!I only used one baking pan because it's larger than the usual baking sheets, but I still rotated it and changed temps as well. I just realized that using a thicker baking pan might have made the browning time longer, because I actually went over the time recommended for browning them. I'm definitely going to keep making them till they're perfect:-)

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about 1 year ago vjsoftball

Until this year I was using Airbake pans, but switched to the jelly roll type that Costco sells. I didn't think about it until you said it, but that may be the difference. I was very true to the time because the pans are not as thick as the Airbake. Good luck!