The big day is so very close and, while we may be short on excuses for more cookies, Christmas is the magical excuse for just about anything that brings joy. And believe me when I say that these little coconut clusters are joy in a bite.
These macaroons began as a mistake. From blunder to blessing. That’s the magic of the season I suppose.
This was not the recipe I had planned to share with you all, but as soon as I took a bite, the schedule had to flex, and I tested and shot these lovelies in a hurry.
My family was over for the evening, we were wrapping Christmas gifts, and I had planned to make some quick coconut macaroons for a treat.
As I was throwing a standby recipe together, I realized that rather than picking up sweetened condensed milk, I had purchased evaporated milk. Kind of a big mistake.
So, the recipe went to the sidelines and my wheels started spinning.
I began at the beginning, making up my own recipe as I went, and, with crossed fingers, slid them into the oven.
The results were far better than I had even dared to hope. These were in fact my favorite macaroons ever and, less than forty-eight hours later, I was back in the kitchen tweaking and refining the recipe that I had so hurriedly contrived.
I like to think that the kinks are all worked out now and that only pure, fool-proof delight remains.
I still put the evaporated milk to use for some extra moisture, and I also added corn syrup which lended them the most wonderful, sticky, caramel-like texture.
You could certainly omit the lemon zest and white chocolate, because these cookies are fabulous in their simplest form, but I could not resist a little extra pizazz. It’s Christmas, after all.
Mistakes are not always a bad thing.
Lemon Coconut Macaroons
makes four dozen
5 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup evaporated milk
zest of two large lemons, or four small
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2, 14-ounce packages sweetened shredded coconut
22 ounces good quality white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place egg whites in a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it reaches medium stiff peaks.
In a separate bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
Add the shredded coconut to the bowl with the egg whites and gently fold until all the coconut is evenly coated, being gentle so as to not completely deflate the egg whites.
Pour the sugar and corn syrup mixture over the coconut mixture and use a spatula to stir until all the mixture is well combined.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to portion out the cookies, packing the scoop tightly before placing on the cookie sheet.
Bake the macaroons for 18 minutes. No more, no less.
Allow the macaroons to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
After all the cookies have been baked and allowed to cool, prepare the white chocolate.
Melt the white chocolate in a medium, shallow bowl, microwaving for thirty seconds at a time, and stirring well after each heating cycle until the chocolate is smooth.
Dip the bottom of each macaroon into the white chocolate and place on a cool baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Transfer the sheet to the freezer for five minutes; until the chocolate is set.
Place in cookies in an airtight container and store for up to a week.