Did you know that most chain grocery stores have samples of some baked good sitting out in the back by the bakery section? I think they are supposed to be to keep kids quiet in the store, or perhaps to help an elderly person who’s having an energy crisis. But I like to sneak a taste – somehow eating cookies back there hidden between the loaves of Italian bread feels good to me. This past week they had out a tray of coconut macaroons dipped in some chocolate. I went straight from the bakery section to the baking goods aisle and bought a bag of coconut to make my own.Sometimes there’s a lull in the middle of my cooking classes, as was the case last week when we needed to let the 5 soups we were making simmer away for a bit, and I try to pull something spontaneous out of the pantry for the group to make to fill the time. Why not put my students to work making my macaroons for me? I mean, I did share – everyone took home a bag full, and left me just enough to satisfy my craving post-bakery tasting. We used the recipe on the bag of coconut and it whips up in about 2 seconds – or perhaps a bit longer if you have young kids working on their skills to separate eggs like I had!
Yields about 30
Adapted from the back of the Baker’s coconut bag.
14 ounces sweetened coconut flakes (1 bag)
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites, not whipped
1 teaspoon almond extract
Combine coconut, sugar, flour and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix. Add egg whites and almond extract and stir until well blended. Drop by tablespoonful onto greased and floured cookie sheets or onto a silicone baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees, just until edges of cookies are golden brown. If using silicone liners, cool on baking sheets, otherwise Immediately transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
I like a little chocolate with the coconut – kind of like a Mounds bar – so I like to melt some dark chocolate in a double boiler and drizzle just a little over the top of the baked macaroons.