January 13, 2011

Coconut Macaroons...

My coconut macaroons fetish is set in all things coconut.. coconut burfi, ada filled with coconut, plantains filled with coconut, flattened rice or aval mixed with coconut, ari undas, coconut based chocolates, upma crunchied up with a dash of coconut....or just fresh coconut (harvest fresh)with a piece of jaggery is soooo good. How can you not like coconut? Especially if you have a tropical gene in you? No offense, but you must be a mutant if you are from the coast and don't like coconut. But seriously, I know a lot of people who prefer chocolate everything to coconut. 

 I used to volunteer to grate coconut for my mom (now my cherava/ grater is gathering dust while I rely on the frozen grated coconut.:)) only to stop after the first few seconds of grating to scoop up the first soft bits of moist shredded coconut and chew on it. Sadly, you can't do that with the frozen coconut.
Along with the hazaar coconut based curries that only a malayalee can dream of, Mom makes yummy coconut burfi, a kind of chewy candy with fresh coconut which I don't even bother trying to make. I just wait to go home and then ask her to make a big batch.
But these macaroons are much easier and fill the need for a coconut candy. The internet abounds in macaroon recipes so why add another of mine? Only for my own reference, as after two months when I decide to make it again, I won't remember how I did it!!

So what is a macaroon?
As per the wiki, the original macaroon was a "small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds" similar to Italian or Moroccan amarettiMost recipes call for egg whites (usually whipped to stiff peaks), with ground or powdered nuts, generally almond or coconut. There was an abundance of macaroon fever going around the blogosphere some time back with macaroons of every color and flavor being made.  Those gorgeous looking ones in pastel colors with fillings are the French macaroons. The Italian ones are the almond macaroons which are a chewy crunchy cookies, pretty easy to make for a non baker like me,( though the first time I made it, I soaked almonds and peeled it one by one instead of blanching it.)
But when I decided to go in for coconut macaroons, it got ugly..It is so confusing to sift through the recipes..should i add whole egg or flour or just egg whites..?some overkill it by adding condensed milk, almonds and egg whites..and then dipping the whole thing in chocolate!

This recipe originated in Nigella Lawson's book but I didn't add the cream of tartar. The cream of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites, but its not super important. I followed the instructions as is, but added a teaspoon of flour to make it hold its shape. The more the almond meal in the recipe, or less the coconut, the better is the shape.

Here is the link for those who want to try it and here is a wonderful site to see the step by step directions. The other recipe I trust is the one from the Joy of Baking site.

It came out really crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside but after a day, it turned soft.. any body knows why? or is it supposed to do that?

Then my sis suggested making the macaroons with condensed milk to be egg free and the next batch of the cookies, I tried out this recipe, but again had to omit something.  So I omitted the semolina and nuts but added the cardamom. This recipe had the really chewy  burfi like taste to it so I tended to like this better. The condensed milk and the cardamom added a depth and maybe Indianised it to an extend. I used store bought sweetened shredded coconut that is so easily available here, but I am sure this can be tried with fresh coconut too. So here is my version of the recipe:

Eggless Coconut Macaroons 
Sweetened condensed milk – 7 ounce or 1/2 can
All purpose flour – 1/4 cup
Sweetened shredded coconut – 2.5 cups( 7 ounce package)

Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon

Preheat oven 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 

 In a  large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, flour, coconut and cardamom powder and stir well to combine. If the mix is too hard, add 1 tbsp of milk.  

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets in slight mounds, 2 inches apart.  You will get about 20- 24 mounds depending on size.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Let the macaroons cool on a wire rack as they will turn slightly moist if allowed to cool down on the parchment. Only after it has completely cooled down, store loosely covered at room temperature.
I like mine really crisp outside so I baked it for a minute or two more to get this extra brown look.


Sumi said...

wonderful macaroons.Its on my wishlist to bake for a long time, but Iam not able to get those coconut flakes over here :)

Soni said...

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kaustubh Restaurant said...

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Cynthe said...

Oooh! This sounds SO yummy. And how incredibly easy to make. Will do it this weekend.

My sister spotted your recipe and forwarded it to me.

I'm a "pure veg" as they say in India, so haven't eaten macaroons in years due to the egg ingredient. Thanks so much for sharing an eggless recipe.

lan said...

i have no experience making macaroons but i am sure they are delicious because you made those:-) i am sitting here dreaming fresh juicy grated coconut going to my mouth....from fresh picked coconuts...

My Informations said...

Good, finally everythingz alright!

Myra said...

They look and i can imagine the taste must sublime the combination,
cardamom,condensed cream,cocunut, Wow
yours Myra xx

Good Pediatrician in Chennai said...

Looks delicious...this is kind of how my mom makes coconut macaroons...

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

OMG I am in love with your blog!!! My boyfriend made healthy macaroons the other day but it didn't turn out well. I can't wait to make these :)

Jayashree said...

I totally, totally, totally share your love for coconut......I'll take this over chocolates any day.

Krish said...

On eof the fav quick snack, hapy have the know-how now!

Nat said...

Hi Shaheen...leaving a comment after ages. If you know this restaurant called Nanking in NJ, you shud try their coconut mousse. They are adding it as a new addition to their dessert menu and we got a taste last week...it was heaven.
Nat (calicut)