Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

May 31: National Macaroon Day

Islander is nuts about coconuts! After all, she grew up on an island surrounded by coconut trees. To feed the family with the fruit, her Daddy would use a long pole with a knife attached to the end of it and extract the young coconuts from the tree. He would chop off the top of a coconut, stick a straw in it or pour the liquid in a glass and the family would drink fresh coconut water. After that, he would crack the coconut open and we would spoon out the flesh to eat the soft meat. Daddy would also grate the older and firmer coconut meat so Mommy could transform them into a variety of tropical treats.

Coconut Macaroons

Islander misses coconuts from Hawaii and must make do on the mainland when she finds coconut products at the grocery store. Sometimes, she makes coconut macaroons because these chewy cookies remind her of a similar dessert her Mommy used to make back home. Try these tropical treats when craving coconut flavors, especially on National Macaroon Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups finely shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ¾ cup sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt (we used Hawaiian sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the coconut, sugar, egg whites, salt and coconut extract. Blend well until all the ingredients stick together.

Coconut Macaroons

Cover the bowl and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small scoop to drop the coconut cookie dough about an inch apart from each other. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven at 10-12 minutes or until they begin to brown a bit. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove from the parchment paper. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Serve in mini-muffin/cupcake papers (optional).

 Coconut Macaroons

Notes

  • Macarons and macaroons? We have made both before for our blog. Although they are both cookies, macarons most often are referred to the Parisian-style almond meringue treats (see our Mac Attack page) while macaroons are known as the coconut cookies. Read about the different spelling and more about “macarons vs. macaroons” at The Kitchn site.
  • Coconut water and coconut juice? Unlike macarons and macaroons, coconut water and juice are one and the same. However, some companies that are selling them tend to add some unnatural preservatives in the drink. Learn more at the same Kitchn site.
  • Search our blog for more recipes containing coconuts.

HI Macs

(Chocolate Macarons with Whiskey-

White Chocolate Ganache Filling)

 Chocolate Macarons

April 11: HI Cookery Blog Anniversary

When we launched our blog on April 11, 2010, we wanted to feature a recipe that represented us as Highlander and Islander (HI) for HI Cookery. Last year, our HI Pizza incorporated ingredients, such as Canadian bacon and pineapple, to honor our heritage. This year, for our blog’s first anniversary, we made macarons! Our HI Macs are a special combination of dark (Islander) and white (Highlander) chocolate. Besides the obvious skin color symbolism of our intermarriage, we made our macaron shells with organic Hawaiian vanilla and mixed the filling with Canadian whiskey. As chocoholics, we felt that these macarons befitted a recipe post to celebrate HI Cookery’s first blog-o-versary!

Recipe

(Adapted from Macaroons)

For the chocolate macaron shells (Italian meringue method)

  • 1 cup almond flour/meal (we used non-blanched ground almonds to enhance the chocolate color)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (we used C&H brand)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (we used Nestle Toll House brand)
  • 3 egg whites (fresh, unpasteurized and aged overnight at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white (we used C&H brand)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Hawaiian Vanilla Company brand)

Directions

Sift the almond flour/meal with the powdered sugar. Stir in the chocolate powder until well combined. Grind in a food processor in batches to remove any lumps (optional).

Chocolate Macarons

Whip the egg whites until peaks form. Mix in the vanilla. Make a simple syrup to stabilize the egg whites by boiling the sugar and water together until it reaches a temperature of 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer (or until it reaches a soft ball stage). Pour into the egg whites and whip again until stiff and glossy.

Chocolate Macarons

Fold in the almond flour/meal-sugar-chocolate powder mixture until the consistency “flows like magma.” Pipe one-inch discs on a parchment paper on top of an insulated baking sheet. Let the discs air dry to develop a thin skin for at least 30 minutes.

Chocolate Macarons

Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes. Watch the “feet” develop, but be careful not to burn the macarons. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Peel off the macarons from the parchment paper. Sort by size and match pairs. Make the filling.

Chocolate Macarons

For the whiskey-white chocolate ganache filling

  • 4 squares (4 ounces) white chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon Canadian whiskey

Directions

Melt the white chocolate. Heat the whipping cream and add to the melted chocolate. Stir until smooth. Add the whiskey and mix well. Let cool to thicken but not harden.

Chocolate Macarons

Whip the ganache to a spreadable consistency. Fill a pastry bag with a large round tip. Pipe in the filling and sandwich the macarons together. Refrigerate to set.

Chocolate Macarons

For the chocolate drizzle decoration

  • 2 squares (2 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)

Directions

Place the macarons on a wire rack atop another pan lined with foil to catch the chocolate drippings. Melt the chocolate. Fill a plastic zip-top or pastry bag with the melted chocolate. Cut a smll hole in  the corner of the zip-top bag or use a small round tip for the pastry bag. Drizzle the melted chocolate in a back and forth motion. Refrigerate the macarons to set the chocolate drizzles. Bring to room temperature to serve.

Chocolate Macarons

Notes           

  • HI Macs are also our entry into the MacAttack #18 challenge for “Decadently Chocolate Macarons.” See our MacAttack page for “maca-rights” and our Food Flops page for “maca-wrongs.” Visit the MacTweets blog, hosted by Jamie S. and Deeba R., to see more decadently chocolate macarons made by talented food bloggers.
  • Cooking with chocolate is always a challenge for Islander. With her hot flashes and a hot Texas climate, it is a surprise that our HI Macs did not melt and become a mess this month!
  • We used our new Silpat silicone baking mat as well as parchment paper to bake our batches of macarons. The “feet” were frillier and the macs baked higher with the Silpat (adjust the baking time about five minutes longer) than on the parchment paper.
  • Thanks to Lisa L. for the ground almonds and the Big Island vanilla.