Bake

Danielle Kartes' Coconut Custard Macaroons

April  1, 2021
32 Ratings
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
Ingredients
  • 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
Directions
  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.

  • Effie Sikoutris Tsengas
    Effie Sikoutris Tsengas
  • Sydnee Peters
    Sydnee Peters
  • Leslie Nicoll
    Leslie Nicoll
  • Twila Smith
    Twila Smith
  • Alison Daley Stevenson
    Alison Daley Stevenson
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

99 Reviews

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
Thanks!
 
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!!!
 
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!
 
Alison D. April 14, 2020
Perfect, perfect, perfect! Our household devoured these with abandon. No harm in trying them with unsweetened coconut (as others have proposed) if that’s what your shelter-in-place cupboard has but I don’t find these overly sweet and the flaky salt makes them...don’t sub that out! I do concur that 60 cookies is a pipe dream; we got 25 from a batch (and I even went and confirmed that my scoop was 2 T!). But who cares? These are a true treat!
 
Michael April 11, 2020
These were so delicious. Addictively so. I used the whole can of condensed milk, 3/4 unsweetened coconut, 1/4 sweetened, added 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts, 3 T of almond meal, and 1/2 t. Almond extract. I did this because I wanted to increase the nuttiness - I don’t like macaroons too sweet. Made 60 cookies using a one T. scoop.
 
clbudd April 11, 2020
I made as directed and ate almost everyone within a couple days! Loved them!! Will make again!
 
Jennifer M. April 8, 2020
These are delicious. Like some below I combined sweetened and unsweetened coconut (about 4 cups sweetened and 2 cups unsweetened) because that's all I had and the condensed milk provides plenty of sugar. They came out perfectly! Not greasy, but crunchy outside, chewy inside. Will definitely make again!
 
NaturalWineThief April 6, 2020
I really wanted to love these but was disappointed. They're ok. I've been craving macaroons since I watched the Food52 macaroon video on YouTube. I didn't want custard macaroons I wanted ones that I made in culinary school that required egg whites and sugar and unsweetened coconut. But these sounded delicious so I thought I give them a go. The only substitution I made was I used 396g of sweetened coconut and the rest unsweetened (cuz there's PLENTY of sugar in the coconut and condensed milk). The result came out as greasy on the bottom and no way would these stick to the parchment if left longer than 20 minutes. My second batch I made into pyramids and made them a little larger lowered the heat to 350 and let them bake 4 minutes longer, same result. I'll try them again with less butter and use 50/50 blend of sweetened and unsweetened coconut.
 
NaturalWineThief April 6, 2020
I really wanted to love these but was disappointed. They're ok. I've been craving macaroons since I watched the Food52 macaroon video on YouTube. I didn't want custard macaroons I wanted ones that I made in culinary school that required egg whites and sugar and unsweetened coconut. But these sounded delicious so I thought I give them a go. The only substitution I made was I used 396g of sweetened coconut and the rest unsweetened (cuz there's PLENTY of sugar in the coconut and condensed milk). The result came out as greasy on the bottom and no way would these stick to the parchment if left longer than 20 minutes. My second batch I made into pyramids and made them a little larger lowered the heat to 350 and let them bake 4 minutes longer, same result. I'll try them again with less butter and use 50/50 blend of sweetened and unsweetened coconut.
 
Robin B. April 1, 2020
These were so easy to throw together! They were delicious! Crisp, crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside! I love all things coconut so these were right up my ally! Not too sweet and that flaked salt set it off perfectly! Definitely a keeper!
 
Robin B. April 1, 2020
BYW it only made 41 cookies not 60.
 
food52fan March 30, 2020
What a treat to see Danielle and Kristen in action as they demonstrated this recipe. These custardy coconut macaroons are spectacular! A batch just came out of the oven and every cookie lives up to the promise of a chewy, caramelized, delicious macaroon. I wanted to start small so I used one bag + a half cup of sweetened baker's coconut flakes, 3 T unsalted butter, 1/4 t flaked salt, 1 t vanilla, 1 egg, and 1/2 c sweetened condensed milk. I may or may not have waited a full 5 minutes for the macaroons to cool before trying one! Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It was nice to do something with a degree of normalcy during the current pandemic and have a delicious treat as a bonus!
 
Jusika March 29, 2020
These are delicious. My husband and toddler gave a go at making them and were very pleased at how easy it is to make and how out of the world the result is! As someone who doesn’t like coconut a lot, and hates condensed milk, I actually loved these. The caramelization at the bottom is so delicious. Ours were cooked in 12-13 mins. We scaled the recipe to 1/4th since that is the amount of sweetened coconut we had. We might try it again with regular coconut and increase the condensed milk to see if that works!
 
Thom April 17, 2020
Yikes! I flagged this comment by mistake while scrolling through. Sorry! (There’s no unflag option.)
 
judy March 29, 2020
Used unsweetened coconut. Chips size as that was all I had. A little clunky, so instead of baking in scoops, I patted into an 8" square pan, baked them. After they cooled I cut them in squares, and painted with chocolate. Very good. And not too sweet. Thank you.
 
beejay45 April 2, 2020
Yay! I plan to use unsweetened coconut as well because I really hate the sugar bomb quality most macaroons have. Also thinking about subbing a nice custard (blasphemy, I know) for the sweetened condensed milk for a similar consistency but still less sweetness. We'll see. Thanks for the reassurance that the coconut sub will work.