Lauren Groveman a recipe for delicious living

Jumbo Coconut Macaroons

(April 10, 2008)
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Jen asked Lauren:

Dear Lauren,

For years I've searched for a good macaroon recipe and I've always been disappointed. I'm not sure if it's me or if it's the recipe. I don't really like the ones from the supermarket (although, I must admit, they taste better than mine…). Anyway, I thought I would ask you for a chewy macaroon that has a really fresh coconut flavor. I figured you would know. Thanks in advance.

Lauren says...

Well, I can't say if your macaroons are disappointing you because of the recipe because I haven't seen it. I will say, though, that one of the key factors of making a great macaroon is not to over-bake them which will leave them hard and crumbly instead of light, fluffy and perfectly chewy (for days!) I also like to make them on the large size which seems to help them be able to withstand enough time in the oven to color well (so they taste caramelized) without getting overly done in the center. I suggest, to help macaroons bake gently, use "cushioned" cookie sheets, which have a built-in air pocket in between two sheets of metal. This air pocket prevents the bottoms of the macaroons from absorbing too much heat from the hot oven rack. Also, using a medium-sized ice cream scoop is great for both uniformity and for even-baking. Ok, here's my recipe for Jumbo Coconut Macaroons, which are just loaded with coconut! I hope you love them as much as my family and friends do. Please let me know (and email me if you have questions!).

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Jumbo Coconut Macaroons

Yield: about 27 large macaroons

Incredibly chewy, moist, sweet and yet nutty, these macaroons have always been a huge hit. Actually, when entertaining, this is one of my most requested recipes. Although these are perfect for Passover, don't be surprised if you find yourself craving them (and making them) all year long!

    Special Equipment:
  • 2 or 3 cookie sheets: preferably "cushioned" kind
  • Parchment paper
  • Food processor
  • Electric mixer (large capacity) with wire whip attachment
  • Medium size ice cream scoop (with ¼ cup liquid capacity)
    Ingredients:
  • 5 slightly rounded cups dried (desiccated) unsweetened coconut (from your health food store)
  • 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided 1 ¼ and 1 cup
  • 7 extra-large egg whites
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups shredded sweetened coconut, plus an additional 2 generous cups for the shaping process

    1) To set up: Line 2 or 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350° F.

    2) To grind unsweetened coconut: Put desiccated coconut into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and add 1¼ cups sugar. Grind until mixture is finely ground and well combined.

    3) To beat egg whites: Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place a skillet with 1-inch of very hot (but not simmering) water in it, over low heat. Place bowl with egg whites into skillet and whisk constantly until the temperature of the whites is brought up to just tepid (very warm to the touch). Stop frequently to check temperature: (To do this, stop whisking and remove bowl from skillet and test with your finger.) When whites are warm and frothy, attach bowl to the electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Add a pinch of salt to the whites and whip at high speed until starting to become white and thick. With machine running, add remaining 1 cup sugar in a steady stream and continue to beat until thick and shiny. Add 3 tablespoons corn syrup and both extracts and continue to beat until stiff (mixture will look like thick, shiny, melted marshmallow).

    4) To complete macaroon batter: Remove bowl from machine and, using a sturdy rubber spatula, fold in the ground coconut-sugar mixture along with 2½ cups sweetened shredded coconut. (Depending on the size of your electric-mixing bowl, will probably need transfer beaten whites into a larger bowl before folding in coconuts.) Combine gently but thoroughly.

    5) To finish assembling: Using a small-to-medium ice cream scoop (with no more than a ¼ cup liquid capacity), scoop leveled portions of macaroon batter onto prepared baking sheets, in 3 rows of three per each sheet. (If you ever find it difficult to release the batter from the scoop, knock the filled scoop against the sheet, then pull the release trigger. Wipe out interior and begin again.) Place a good pinch of the additional 2 cups shredded coconut on top of each mound, spreading gently to cover. If you want to correct the shape of your mound, just use your fingers to gently prop-up and round each portion of batter, which is very soft. (The outside coconut will allow you to manipulate and reshape mound without sticking to your hands. Unbaked macaroons should look nice and plump with rounded domed tops, all covered with shredded coconut.)

    6) To bake: Place macaroons in preheated 350° F oven and immediately turn the heat down to 325° F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown on the outside but still somewhat soft on the inside. Let sheet sit on wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before using a thin metal spatula to remove cookies to a wire rack to cool thoroughly. (If you have one oven, bake two sheets simultaneously using the upper and lower third shelf positions. Switch shelf positions after half the baking time. If you only have 2 cookie sheets, after baking first two sheets, run under cold water to cool before lining with fresh parchment and baking the remaining batter.)

    Time Management Tips:


    • Lauren LogoAlthough I like to serve macaroons within 24 hours of baking, they stay absolutely perfect for a week, when stored in an airtight tin, separated by sheets of wax paper, or simply on a platter, covered well with plastic wrap.



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    Lauren Groveman recipes have been featured in many national magazines and local newspapers. Her books "The I love to Cook Book: Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking for Family and Friends" and "Lauren Groveman's Kitchen, Nurturing Food for Family and Friends" are available through Amazon.com.

    For in depth information on Lauren Groveman as a writer, teacher, TV & radio host, as well as her recipes and cooking tips visit her website at www.laurengroveman.com

    Lauren is a Larchmont resident. She is happily married and blessed with three wonderful children.