Let Me Be Your Cookie Expert
I have written many books on cookies and made them by the dozens every single day at our bakery, so I do consider myself a bit of a cookie expert. When I tell you that these Coconut Macaroons are the best ever, I’m not kidding!
Get The Right Kind Of Coconut
Here’s what makes them special: I recommend a combination of unsweetened coconut for maximum coconut flavor and sweetened long-flake coconut shreds for its incomparable chewy texture. The two together make what I think is the best coconut macaroon, maximizing flavor as well as texture.
Sweetened coconut shreds are very, very sweet and years ago I tried to make a coconut macaroon just using unsweetened coconut, thinking that I could better control the level of sweetness in the cookie.
That might have been true but the texture was an utter fail. The 100% unsweetened coconut version just couldn’t replicate the wonderful chewiness that one looks for in a coconut macaroon.
Using all sweetened coconut yielded tooth-achingly sweet cookies. So the idea of tempering that with unsweetened coconut occurred to me and the results were worth the experimentation.
Some recipes use coconut extract to up the coconut flavor but it tastes very artificial to me, so I don’t stock it in the Test Kitchen. Using the two types of coconut did the trick.
These really are a simple cookie with egg whites, sugar and vanilla being the only other ingredients.
Let’s Shop for Coconut!
Refer to our article on All About Coconut but briefly, make sure you buy the right coconut products! The unsweetened coconut is often found in natural foods stores, sometimes even in bulk. It is sometimes labeled “grated”, other times it is called “desiccated”, which is such an icky word to use around food but basically this coconut will not contain anything but coconut and the texture will be very fine.
It almost looks like it is ground. I can sometimes find unsweetened coconut in my regular supermarket as well, but not in the baking aisle. It is usually in a bulk area or in an area that features nuts and dried fruit.
The sweetened coconut is found in the baking aisle and is often referred to as “angel flake” or “long shred”.
I love making these cookies for both Easter and Passover. If creating for an Easter celebration I sometimes make the extra effort and turn them into little “nests”. Now, the candy-coated chocolate eggs are a very commercial candy, complete with a not-so-great ingredient list, whether we are looking at it from a FODMAP perspective or not.
Here’s my suggestion. The nests are a variation and not reflected in the “e” for Elimination worthy designation. If you have non-FODMAPer friends who might like the nests, create a few. If you want to try them yourself – go for it. But stick to one!
Here’s how you do it. When you dole out the macaroons on their pans, before baking, you have two options. Either press a couple of candy-coated chocolate eggs into the center of each cookie or, simply make a depression in the macaroon and add the candy to the “nest” after the cookies are baked and cooled.
Bake as directed either way.
The reason for the two approaches is because I cannot decide which I like better. If you bake the macaroons with the candy, the eggs will crack and look like they are hatching! If you want to keep the candy pristine, add it after the cookies have cooled.
The image below shows both.
These Coconut Macaroons are perfect for Easter, Passover or any day of the year if you are a coconut lover.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 18 macaroons; serving size 1 macaroon
Preheat oven to 375˚F/190°C. Line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper; coat paper lightly with non-stick spray.
Whisk together the egg whites, sugar and vanilla in top of a double boiler (not over hot water yet) until combined. Add both types of coconut and fold in until coconut is completely coated with the egg white mixture.
Place top of double boiler over simmering water with the water just touching the bottom of the part that is holding the cookie mixture. Stir the mixture constantly; the sugar will dissolve and the mixture will become glossy and warm to the touch in about 3 minutes.
Drop 2 tablespoon sized mounds about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on prepared pans. Do not flatten. Coax them into a neat shape with fingers if needed by pressing any stray shreds around the edges into the cookie mound.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edge of the macaroons and some of the coconut shreds on top have turned light golden brown. Cool pans on racks. Coconut macaroons may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- You can dip the macaroons in chocolate. These are so sweet that I think it is best if you use really dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao. Simply melt some chocolate, dip half of each macaroon in the chocolate, allow excess to drip off of the cookies, and place on a parchment lined pan. Refrigerate until firm. Allow to come to room temperature before eating. Remember that you will want to watch how much chocolate is added to keep FODMAPs low. I suggest about ¼ ounce (7 g) per cookie. These are best eaten the day they are made.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.