Danielle Kartes' Coconut Custard Macaroons

May 24, 2021
4 Stars
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Instead of the straightforward sweet, coconutty chew of classic macaroons, these have a more rounded richness, and a welcome savory oomph. Butter has an amplifying effect—the cookies don’t just taste better because butter inherently tastes good, but because it turns to browned butter in the oven, and mingles with sugars and salt to become caramel. All of these flavors are swim along quite happily with coconut.

At the same time, the butter and egg yolk help the pointy outer edges of the macaroon brown and crisp up, while the inside stays soft and custardy. Adapted from Danielle Kartes of the blog and cookbooks Rustic Joyful Food.

Note: In the video, we make Danielle's original version, which is slightly sweeter and stickier and also very good: She uses the whole 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, so feel free to do the same if you like.
Genius Recipes

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes about 60 cookies
  • 6 1/2 cups (510g) sweetened, shredded coconut (about 6 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (available kosher for Passover)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or other large-flake sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (235g) sweetened condensed milk
In This Recipe
  1. Mix all ingredients until batter is completely mixed. Use a 2-tablespoon ice-cream scoop to distribute equal portions of the mixture onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. You must line your baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat or the cookies will stick like glue. Bake at 375° F until all edges and tops of cookies are dark golden brown, about 14 minutes. Depending on the weather, cookies might need a few additional minutes to bake. Let cookies set on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes—no more than 20, or they may stick! Transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling. Make sure they are completely cool before packing up (I recommend leaving them out to dry as long as possible), and leave the container cracked to help keep them crisp and chewy.
  2. If they do become soggy and you’d like to restore them to their former crispy-chewy glory, toast them in the oven at 350° F on a lined baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them so they don't get too dark.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

110 Reviews

Ann D. April 28, 2022
What a great video--one of the best I've seen on Food52--definitely makes me want to try it!
Marjorie April 27, 2022
I wish I could make these for Passover, but I can't find Kosher for Passover SCM.
Robin D. January 16, 2022
my whole family loves these! sometimes I add crushed pecans and/or walnut which cuts the sweetness a bit. Sometimes I drizzle melted chocolate on the finished product. Sometimes I measure condensed milk & sometimes I don't. Excellent recipe every time.
Deb H. January 16, 2022
Every Christmas...I add chopped dark chocolate chips and chopped dried cranberries to my macaroons! Love the crispy bottom and edges of the coconut...and the additions are really good (maybe too good for my waistline!).
SusanOliver December 19, 2021
Nancy H. December 13, 2021
Best macaroons ever! Safely in my 'Favourites' Food 52 recipe box. Genius Danielle!
Amy H. December 4, 2021
These are one my families favorite cookies! A MUST TRY!
Dawn September 1, 2021
Friends, family and colleagues beg me to make these. I'm currently visiting friends in Michigan and everyday have heard, "Are you making the yummy macaroons today?" Yes I am, which is why I was on this page today. : )
charlenesilver July 15, 2021
This is a favorite at my place now and a frequent goto. I’ve used the complete 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk. Delicious recipe always! If you have some freshly baked you can’t stop.
MrsMehitabel May 18, 2021
These were not my favorite- I found them overly sweet and one-note, almost harsh with sugar, even after using part unsweetened coconut. The custard texture was more... heavy? Sludgy? than custardy.

I prefer Dorie Greenspan's egg-white-based coconut patties with the zest/flavorings left out for an all-purpose macaroon; they're drier, chewier, and more restrained. Plus they're dry enough that before baking, with some plastic wrap, the mixture can be molded firmly in a little cup with dark chocolate in the centers. Win!

Thank you for this recipe- I will always try a new coconut recipe and even if it isn't a personal keeper, it's a pleasure.
Effie S. December 22, 2020
This is an incredible recipe - delicious, easy and so impressive! Thank you!
Dreamofheaven December 20, 2020
So I tried these today, and for some reason they turned out terrible. They fall apart, only taste of coconut and nothing else and I don't have a clue why.
I followed the recipe to the letter, but maybe I shouldn't have followed the gram instructions? Truly no idea, but I never had macaroons this bland and I have been baking them for years :/
Sydnee P. December 7, 2020
Question: would this cookie still hold up and be tasty if I dipped it in chocolate? Thank-you!!
Karen L. December 7, 2020
The bottom gets so crispy and delicious, that I would not recommend dipping the bottom in chocolate. I drizzle chocolate on top.
Sydnee P. December 11, 2020
Sydnee P. December 11, 2020
Thanks!! A couple more questions and then I can't wait to make them!! Will they hold like for a cookie-package to send out for the holiday? What is the shelf life and should they be refrigerated? Thanks so much for your attention to inquiries!
Alan S. April 7, 2021
I made half plain and added 2/3 cup of mini chocolate chips to the second half. They came out great!!!
Robin D. January 16, 2022
Claudia E. December 6, 2020
I just took these out of the oven and risked a serious burn to try these. The BEST macaroons! Buttery, salty & chewy, these will be added to my “must have” Christmas cookies from now on.
Leslie N. December 5, 2020
These came out great but really, make it easy on yourself--it's a 1-1-1 recipe. On 1 bowl mix: 1 bag (14 oz) coconut, 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 (scant) tsp sea salt. Add 1 stick melted butter. Easy! I used a scoop and had 41 total. They cooked just fine on silpat lined pans.
Twila S. November 14, 2020
I make mine really big that it all fits on an extra large cookie sheet. I only do one bag of sweetened coconut at 14 oz and the whole 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk. Makes them extra oowey gooey. I also add semi-sweet chocolate chips to mine. They get devoured every time. I put them warm on vanilla bean ice cream.
shars November 8, 2020
Delicious!!! I used only 2 cups of sweetened coconut and the rest unsweetened and they had the perfect sweetness. Best macaroons I've every had!
Liz May 13, 2020
Super delicious and very easy to make. I did use a smaller scoop and got 33 cookies. I will make them again. Best macaroons I’ve ever had.
Paula M. April 26, 2020
OMG these are so good. My husband, a fan of macroons, loved them! Had to keep switching out the oven shelves to keep them from scorching on bottom. Used smaller cookie scoop--got 68 cookies! Salt definitely a keeper here.
[email protected] April 25, 2020
Loved these! Shared them with our daughters and their families and they all gave rave reviews from toddler to adult. Will definitely make again especially since due to shortages in our grocery store I had to order the sweetened condensed milk and coconut and I now have 20 cans of the milk and a dozen bags of coconut...oops!