This recipe was adapted from one that appeared in Dan Cohen’s cookbook The Macaroon Bible (HMH, 2013), a book that really does tell you everything you want to know about those delectable little coconut treats. Dan has a site where he sells his macaroons, dannymacaroons.com, and he offers many varieties, from Chocolate Almond Coconut to Rainbow Sprinkle to Salty Caramel. While I personally haven’t ordered any yet, I can vouch for his recipe, which delivers a cookie with a light, fluffy interior and slightly crisp exterior – a little bit of coconut heaven (and gluten-free, too!). While dipping the macaroons in tempered chocolate is optional, I do recommend it – I love the combo of bittersweet chocolate and sweet coconut, and this is way better than a Mounds bar. If you don’t want to temper the chocolate, you can either leave the macaroons uncoated or you can use Ghirardelli dark chocolate coating wafers instead.
Makes about 26 cookies
- 1 cup (298 grams) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (I like Mount Gay)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 cups (397 grams) sweetened coconut flakes
- 2 large (60 grams) egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Chocolate for Dipping
- 6 ounces (142 grams) bittersweet chocolate (70%), chopped, plus a 1-ounce (28-gram) piece of bittersweet chocolate (70%, unchopped and in good temper)
Make the macaroons:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, dark rum, vanilla and salt until well blended. Add the coconut flakes and stir until they are completely coated and all the lumps are broken up.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin mixing at medium speed until the whites and cream of tartar are blended. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the whites form stiff peaks, 2 ½ to 3 minutes.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped whites into the coconut mixture one-third at a time.
- Fill a 1-ounce scoop with batter, compressing it slightly, then release onto the baking sheet (or, using wet hands, shape 2 tablespoons of the batter into a ball and arrange it on the sheet). Repeat, forming 12 evenly-spaced mounds on the sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden all over. Place the sheet on a baking rack and allow to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the macaroons to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Dip the cookies:
- To temper the chocolate, place the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl and place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl). Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is two-thirds melted – check the temperature often – you want the chocolate to be about 113˚F, but not higher. Remove the bowl from over the saucepan and add the 1-ounce piece of chocolate. Continue to stir the chocolate constantly, until the chocolate cools to 85˚F (this will take a while, depending on the temperature of your kitchen). Once the chocolate is at 85˚F, place the bowl back over the pan of hot water and, stirring constantly, heat it just to 89-90˚F, until the chocolate is fluid enough for dipping.
- Dip the bottoms of the cooled macaroons into the tempered chocolate, shake off the excess, and place the macaroons chocolate-side down on parchment-lined sheets. Let stand until the chocolate sets, about 15 minutes.