Sunday, December 13, 2009

[Cookie 053] Coconut Macaroons

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I have a very vague, small, hidden away memory that is of relatively little importance in my life as a whole, but makes for a good starter topic for today's cookie: Coconut Macaroons. I was in the kitchen of my Nana and Poppy's house circa 1995, and my Aunt was sitting at the glass kitchen table, right beside the faux-colonial painted plates mounted on the wall and across from Sam (Nana's Parakeet with a nasty habit for screeching and a sweet tooth for human flesh) who was pacing inside her rattly cage. On the table were a lot of things, most of which I don't remember (I'm sure there must have been at least 3 pairs of knitting needles though), but I do remember my Aunt offering me a Macaroon from a small box. I was hesitant to taste them--partly because I was a picky eater as a kid, and also because I was worried it might taste like Gefilte fish--but I reached into the box anyways and pulled out a wad of golden, flaky strangeness. A Macaroon. I think I tried it. And I'm pretty sure I hated it.

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I don't remember much of what it tasted like because I only ate about 0.0001 grams of it, but it didn't go over that smoothly on the ol' palate. It had a funny chewy texture unlike anything else I had eaten--unlike any real food at all--and it tasted like coconut (a long time foe during my childhood, and only recently a friend as of about 3 months ago). Not my cup of tea, to say the least, and I most likely spit it out in favor of a couple of slices of Kraft American cheese or a bag of M&Ms that had been sitting in the pantry since 1983. What can I say--I was 5 and notion of cheese coming in such perfect, prepackaged slices was beyond awesome to me. But, what I'm trying to get at is that Macaroons actually are derived from real ingredients, with real flavors, that are actually pretty delicious and edible.

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A Macaroon is quite a simple treat--and I say 'treat' not 'cookie,' because it really doesn't have any of the qualities of the latter. It's basically a glob (sorry--horrible word choice) of coconut, egg whites, and sugar, plus a few add-ins here and there. For this recipe I made the Macaroon entirely chocolate, and though I might not have baked them long enough, they tasted pretty good.

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Now, I'm not raving about this recipe. The recipe itself is fine, but I still haven't been won over by the Macaroon committee. I love coconut. I love love love chocolate. But they were a little on the "eh" side for me. Maybe I'll try again and bake them a little longer to get them more toasted on the outside. Or maybe I'll just make a different recipe. Either way, if you like Macaroons, give it a go! It's dead easy, and they look like dog poop! Hahaha sorry, but they do. Proof:

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Don't worry--it's wheatgrass. Stayin' healthy!

So by now you are reaching for your cookbooks to find a completely different recipe to make, but don't let me discourage you! Okay...this is beginning to sound like I'm pleading, so I'll stop writing and let you make the decision. Go coconut!

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Coconut Macaroons (Chocolate)
Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Reduce heat, and allow it to simmer. Place chocolate in a small bowl, and set over saucepan. Stir until chocolate is melted, and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cooled chocolate, cocoa, sugar, coconut, egg whites, vanilla, and salt. Use your hands to mix well, completely combining ingredients.
  4. Dampen hands with cold water. Form 1 1/2 tablespoons of mixture into a loose haystack shape, and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture, placing macaroons 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake until just firm to the touch but still soft in the middle, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven to a wire rack, and let cool on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 1.5/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
Tastiness: 3.5/5
Attractiveness: 1/5 (Even when they are made perfectly, they aren't much to look at)
Is it worth it?: If you like Macaroons, this recipe is easy and tasty! But you don't have to stop what you're doing and make these ASAP, by any means.

{Pairings}
Drink: French-press coffee. No sugar. Take Macaroon. Drop into coffee. Drink/Eat. Done.
Song: Give Me Just a Little More Time -- Chairmen of the Board
Activity: Washing your hands--this shits messy! (Get it?! Get the pun?? Okay, I apologize...enough's enough.)

9 comments:

Kim said...

A lot of people struggle with makng macaroons, but it looks like you did a great job!

Linda B. said...

Don't forget the frozen Snickers in Nana and Poppy's freezer... that was always a good snack source too.

Barbara said...

Interesting memories. At least your aunt (my sister) didn't offer you "faux coconut" made by Ivory Soap Co. I'm not bitter - after all, it was only 53 years ago.

Anne said...

wow, you were getting all Proust-like with your grandmother's cookies, but then: "I'm pretty sure I hated it." Hahhahahaa! Oh, and your cookie a la dog feces picture is priceless! Cannot wait for winter 200fine.

LuĂ­za said...

OMG, your blog is addictive! These cookies are amazing... you've definitely got a brazilian fan :)

Ellen said...

i thought you called M&Ms A's&B's when you were little... but i definitely agree with you on the food selection at nana and poppy's... i preferred bialys with kraft slices

tiny homes said...

Making macaroons for you is like a pretty easy task to do. I envy you.

Primary Work at Home said...

I will try this one. Thanks for sharing this. Your blog is very informative.

Bea said...

Amazing and mouthwatering cookies. thanks for sharing! :)