Dissing Dainty Macarons with Coconut Almond Macaroons

Coconut Almond Macaroons. So I get up today and I open the Los Angeles Times and let forth a sigh.

I always sigh when I read the LA Times because it makes me so sad to see what a pathetic rag it has become. Once among the nations great reads this newspaper has degenerated so far and so fast (much further and much faster than other papers suffering through the same fate) that the front page of today’s paper had an ad for Cadillac ($0 due at signing, 0% GMAC financing).

Anyway, I digress.

Despite the state of the LA Times I still enjoy the Food Section. Russ Parsons, Amy Scattergood, Noelle Carter, Rene Lynch and Ms. S. Irene (among others) are running hard enough and fast enough in place to keep that section readable.

Take today. There was a nice article written by Dorie Greenspan (a respected author and high class foodie) about that ubiquitous cookie trend of the moment Macarons. According to Dorie these colorful little treats are “all the rage in Paris”. Well, I don’t know about Paris, but Macarons have exploded across the blogosphere in the past few months to the point that if I never see a Macaron again it will be too soon!

macaronsI mention this with just enough harumph in my voice because today (coincidentally) I have Macaroons for you. Only (as I am so prone to do) I arrived at this party late and severely under-dressed.

Because the Macaroons I am presenting are not the lighter than air “beloved, bewitching and bewildering” Macarons of Ms. Greenspan’s fancy. Nope, mine are the fat little coconut cousins with a similar sounding name.

Unlike the chic French pastries my little treats are foolproof. There’s no need to circle the oven three times chanting an offering to the gods whilst rubbing your special spatulas together (to paraphrase Dorie). Mine are also not “ooh-la-la worthy”. Again according to Dorie Greenspan, harumph…

Now I am not dissing Dorie’s dainty delicacies. You can bet your butt if Dorie Greenspan made ’em they are sheer perfection. But come on already. All this attention to the Macaron is down right humiliating for the humble little Macaroon.

So today (coincidently because I swear I had this planned long before I saw this morning’s LA Times) I bring you the Double-OH version.

Mine are Coconut Almond Macaroons. I adapted the recipe from Cooking Light. I say adapted even though all the ingredients are straight from the magazine because I have always preferred my Macaroons to have lots of ridges. This way when they bake you get a lot more crunchy caramelized edges. So like the fancy-pants French version, I chose to pipe my batter through a pastry bag onto the baking sheets. I used a large star shaped tip to get the ridges. I attempted to pipe them in a circular manner in hopes of getting an interesting swirled shape (think Dairy Queen). But the thick batter performed for me better with out this flourish.

Coconut Almond Macaroons makes 32 CLICK here for a printable recipe

  • 3 T almond paste
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites, divided
  • 1 1/3 c powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 1⁄2 c flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c blanched almond slivers (optional)

macaroon ingredientsPreheat oven to 350°.

Combine almond paste, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer until well blended. Combine powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add powdered sugar mixture to almond paste mixture, beating until blended. Stir in coconut.

Place remaining 2 egg whites in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form using clean, dry beaters. Gradually add granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg white mixture into coconut mixture.

Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the mixture into 2 tablespoon dollops about 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then slightly flatten each one to get a rounded shape. Try to keep the pointed edges intact as these get brown and crunchy.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until firm. Cool in pan 2 to 3 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cookies from pan, garnish with optional almond slivers and cool completely on wire rack.


Greg Henry