A type of macaroon which has coconut as the primary ingredient. They are descended from the Scottish macaroon, and the typical almond-based macaroon. Coconut macaroons are made by mixing fourteen ounces of shredded coconut, with fourteen ounces of sweetened condensed milk, and one fourth teaspoon of kosher salt. Separately, one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and two extra large egg whites are whisked together in a mixing bowl at high speed until it becomes a meringue with medium stiff peaks. The meringue is then carefully folded into the coconut mixture before being molded into multiple small circles about one and three fourths and inch in diameter on a cookie sheet and baked at three hundred and twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit for twenty-five to thirty minutes.
Once done, these small cake like pastries are topped with other ingredients such as honey, vanilla, cinnamon, glace cherries or even given a chocolate coating. Coconut macaroons often dipped in chocolate such as: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. Nuts are sometimes mixed into to coconut macaroons such as: almonds, pecans, or even cashews. In Australia, it is common to enjoy coconut macaroon with a dab of fruit jam. Sometimes glacé cherries are concealed in the center of the macaroon before being cooked. In the Dominican Republic, macaroons are very dark because the grated coconut is mixed with ginger, and cinnamon. In Puerto Rico, coconut macaroons are called besitos de coco which means “little coconut kisses” in Spanish. A few variations of besitos de coco are made with lemon zest, and vanilla added into the mix.
Macaroons, themselves, have been appearing in cookbooks since 1725, but have been claimed to be around from as early as the 1500s. The name of Macaroons derives from the Italian word maccarone which means “paste”. This most likely refers to the texture of the dough after the almonds and other ingredients are crushed into extremely small slivers. Over the years, coconut was included with the ground almonds and eventually replaced them to create a different variety of macaroons. The coconut macaroon is known as congolais or le rocher à la noix de coco in French.
Macaroons made from coconut are very popular and can be found and sold in the United States, Mauritius, the United Kingdom, Australia, The Netherlands, Germany, and Uruguay. The coconut macaroon is the best known variety found in America and are commercially made to be dense, moist, and sweet with toppings often including honey, granulated or powdered sugar and even dipped in chocolate. Homemade macaroons are commonly light and fluffy. Macaroons made with coconuts are piped out with a star shaped tip, while macaroons made with nuts are shaped individually because of the toughness of the dough.
Since macaroons tend to lack wheat, flour, and other leavening ingredients, the pastries are often consumed and enjoyed during the eight-day observation of the Passover in many Jewish homes. Since macaroons are leavened with egg whites instead, they don’t need flour. It is said that coconut macaroons were made accidently when a man in Scotland tried to make macaroons and felt that he had ruined it. He tried to cover up his mistake by throwing on the top of his pastries toasted coconuts and claiming this inclusion was planned all along. This later inspired for the inclusion of coconut into the macaroon batter to create the modern day coconut macaroon.
In conclusion, coconut macaroons was an experiment when being made, just like it’s predecessor before it, and is one of the best dessert to grace this world. Of course, that is all my opinion seeing as how they are my favorite pastries. Just goes to show what a tasty mistake they turned out to be.