top of page

Macaroon madness


Freshly baked coconut macaroons, ready to eat as soon as they cool off. Hard to stop eating these.


It has been about 10 years since I wrote about, looked for or made a macaroon recipe.

Lately, I have been craving my favorite macaroons, which happen to be the easiest ones to make of any recipe I have seen, so I am going to start out with that recipe, with hopes it will become a favorite of yours, too.

Macaroons seem to exist in the half-candy-half-cookie category, at least to me. Coconut is something that I don’t care for all the time, but after a while when I do feel like eating it, I almost feel like I must have it.

I have heard other people say that, too, but I have no explanation for it. Not that it matters; we just know when we crave it and when we don’t.

If you feel like making some macaroons, break out that coconut and join me in the kitchen. The last recipe calls for almond paste, not coconut.

Magic macaroons

From Eagle Brand.

2/3 cup Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

3 cups shredded sweetened coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, mix all together and drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart. (Note: parchment paper works good, too, but whatever you do, remove the cookies before they cool off all the way — it’s much easier.)

2. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until a delicate brown. Makes about 30.

Easy macaroons

This recipe calls for pudding.

1 package (3 1/2 oz.) vanilla pudding and pie filling (instant)

2 2/3 cups shredded, sweetened coconut

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 325. Combine dry pudding and pie filling, coconut, condensed milk and almond extract. Drop from teaspoon onto greased, floured baking sheets.

2. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from baking sheet at once. Cool on rack.

Chocolate coconut macaroons

From 365 Great Chocolate Desserts, by Natalie Haughton.

2 cups flaked or shredded coconut (doesn’t specify if sweetened, but I am assuming so)

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 egg whites

Dash of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325. In a medium bowl, mix together coconut, sugar, corn syrup, flour and cocoa powder until well blended. Stir in vanilla, unbeaten egg whites and salt until well mixed.

2. Using a small 1 1/2-inch diameter ice cream scoop or a generous tablespoonful, place 15 small mounds of coconut mixture 1 1/2 inches apart on a greased, foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until just set. Let cool on pan. When cool, carefully separate cookies from foil.

Coconut macaroons (old fashioned style)

Originally appeared in the October 1996 issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.If you would like to use vanilla sugar, it must be prepared two to three weeks before making the macaroons, so it can develop flavor.

1 14-ounce package shredded coconut

1 1/2 cups sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, or 3/4 cup granulated sugar plus 3/4 cup vanilla sugar (see note on how to make vanilla sugar)

3 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325. Put a sheet of baking parchment on each of two cookie sheets. Dump the coconut into a food processor and process about 60 seconds until it is ground. Add the sugar or sugars and the vanilla, if using. Process for another minute.

2. Add the egg whites and salt, and process until the mixture looks like wet snow. Use a scoop or a tablespoon to drop cookies onto the parchment, or wet your hands and make small balls, and put them on the parchment about 2 inches apart (or less, as the macaroons don’t spread much).

3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned on top. Allow to cool on the parchment.

For vanilla sugar: To make vanilla sugar, split a vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the seeds from the inside of the bean into a food processor, cut the bean into small pieces with scissors and dump the pieces into the food processor. Add 3 cups of sugar, and process until you have sugar with brown specks. Then put the sugar in a jar and put it away somewhere for two or three weeks. Take it out and use it in baking, or on strawberries, or on cereal (if anybody still does that).

Just to round things out, I will also include a recipe for macaroons made with almond paste rather than coconut. This is a crisp, feather-light macaroon. Not recommended for long keeping, as they dry out quickly.

Almond macaroons

8 egg whites (4 in each of 2 bowls)

2 cups almond paste

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/8 cup granulated sugar

1. Make a stiff meringue with 4 egg whites. Break the paste into small pieces; add the sugar and the remaining 4 egg whites and beat. Mix the meringue into this mixture. Let stand in a covered container for at least 4 hours.

2. Drop onto cookie sheets which have been lined with baking parchment and bake at 330 degrees. for 20 minutes. Makes 8 dozen.

bottom of page