Please don’t buy those macaroons from a tin. It really is very easy to make your own and the difference is quite extraordinary. No longer will macaroons be the butt of jokes the way that fruit cake is in December. And of course, when you make your own, you can opt to decorate them by dipping part in chocolate or leaving them pure. Last year I read a recipe for a cinnamon almond macaroon in the Off Duty section of the weekend Wall Street Journal. Somehow cinnamon just didn’t sit right with me and when I was making them, I simply skipped that step. I think I made the right decision, but feel free to add it back if you like. After you taste these, there won’t be any more jokes about macaroons surviving the apocolypse. This year I am making these vegan, substituting aquafaba for egg whites so my godson can eat them since he is allergic to eggs.
Almond Coconut Macaroons adapted from Leah Koenig
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
3 large egg whites OR liquid from one 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas that have been drained (this is aquafaba) See note.
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2¼ cups coarsely shredded unsweetened coconut
½ cup sliced almonds
Ground cinnamon, for dusting (optional)
1. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepan, stir together egg whites, salt, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until combined. Set saucepan over low heat, stir in coconut and almonds, and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens slightly and turns sticky, 5-6 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and let stand, uncovered, 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. Mound slightly rounded tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets, moistening your fingers with water if mixture is sticking.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through cooking time, until macaroons are golden around edges, 20-25 minutes total. (Be careful not to overbake as cookies will continue to firm up while they cool.) Carefully transfer to wire racks to cool completely. If desired, once cool, dust lightly with cinnamon, leave as is or dip the tops in melted chocolate. Store in an airtight container.
NOTE: I accidentally opened a can of cannellini beans instead of chickpeas, but decided to use the liquid anyway to see what would happen. It worked perfectly! I ended up only baking these for 22 minutes, turning the pan once.