Friday, November 2, 2012

Coconut Macaroons

 "What are you going to do with all this shredded coconut you bought?" Mom asked me.
 I went a little wild, I'll admit. A recent trip to Big Lots showed me that really fresh coconut was available in a large bag and I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Since that time we've been having coconut on nearly every dessert we've made, even Jello.
 So when Mom got into the freezer yesterday, even after liberally dousing our dessert of pears with coconut, she decided she had looked at it long enough.
 "How about I make coconut macaroons," I asked.
 And so I searched for a recipe. We used to buy coconut macaroons in a box. They were too good to bother with making them from scratch. But in recent years we no longer find the boxed variety. A quick search of the internet gave this award-winning recipe.
 And the result:

 The recipe is ridiculously easy and produces a macaroon similar - though less sweet - than the boxed variety of years gone by. I didn't want the cookies to be "golf ball size" so I cut back a bit and managed to make 21 cookies from a recipe that is supposed to make just a dozen. I had to increase the baking time, too, from 15 minutes to 18 minutes. They should look toasted and golden brown when they're done.

 I made the macaroons to get rid of our excess shredded coconut but found I had to buy more to have enough for the five cups the recipe calls for. Go figure!
 This shot (above) shows all the ingredients mixed. Though the recipe calls for mixing with fingers, I avoid that at all cost. I used a big spoon. The mixture is stiff and requires some force to mix everything properly. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly before adding the wet. That'll make it easier. Also, I mixed the vanilla flavoring with the sweet evaporated milk before pouring it into the dry ingredients.

Though we have a non-stick baking sheet, I used parchment paper to assist with clean-up. Also, I don't have an ice cream scoop so I used a soup spoon to gather enough mixture for each cookie and helped it off the spoon with a teaspoon. It's really easy to do, though as sticky as you might imagine.
 When the cookies come out of the oven, the insides remain a bit wet. As they cool, they'll absorb that moisture. I cut the used parchment into small strips and layered the cookies in a bowl with a sealing lid. I think now it wouldn't have been necessary. Once cool, they don't seem to stick.
 We kept a few out to eat and froze the rest.

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