How to Bake Macaroons

MacaroonsMacaroons have been with us for centuries. Traditionally, they were made with almonds pounded to a paste and flavored with rose water or spices. Today, most people think of macaroons as coconut laced chewy cookies.

Meringues are a close cousin to macaroons. They are made similarly. Meringues tend to be crisper; macaroons tend to be chewier. If a meringue is under baked, it tends to be chewy. If a macaroon is over baked, it tends to be dry.

Most macaroons are made with egg whites whipped to a foam and with no flour—though there are some recipes that call for flour. Many recipes include almond paste. The almond paste creates body to the cookie as well as flavor. Macaroons made without paste tend to be light and airy with the egg white foam forming a delicate crust with occasional cracks and voids. French macaroons made with almond paste are sturdier, piped for a uniform round shape, and often sandwiched together with a frosting filling. The macaroons that we are presenting here are of the light, delicate variety with a chewy interior. Once you are comfortable making these cookies, we suggest trying those with almond paste.

Now it’s even easier!

Check out these very easy coconut macaroons

Chocolate and Vanilla Coconut

There are two keys to making these cookies. The first is making a light egg foam with plenty of volume. We’ll explain how to do that in the directions and in the baker’s notes. The second key is to have the right consistency of batter—one that does not run and spread too much. A spoonful of batter should stand up on the pan without too much spread. If it doesn’t, simply add more nuts or coconut.

One of the challenges of macaroons is getting them to release from the pan. Most recipes call for baking on parchment or foil with the cookies peeled from the foil or parchment. We found that we could remove these from a well-greased baking sheet with a thin metal spatula as long as we removed them immediately upon taking the cookies from the oven. You might try parchment or foil and see what works best for you. If the cookies are not sufficiently cooked, the centers will be soft and be difficult to peel from the paper.

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Ingredients

Here are the recipes that worked well for us—a coconut macaroon recipe, a coconut and walnut recipe, and a chocolate nut recipe. You’ll quickly see the similarity of the recipes, exchanging nuts for coconut and adding chocolate for variations on the same formula. (Since the coconut is sweetened, you may wish to reduce the amount of sugar when making coconut macaroons.) For more variations, try adding other flavors and fruits such as almond extract with chopped maraschino cherries. You can also tint the recipes with pink or green food coloring.

If you follow the basic principles in the recipe, you will find these cookies nearly foolproof.

Easy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Ingredients

3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (optional)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (or more as needed)

Directions

Let the eggs sit on the counter for about an hour before separating. Prepare a baking sheet by greasing it very well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and starting at low speed, beat the egg whites until they begin to foam. As the foam continues to build, you can turn the speed to medium and then high. Beat until the foam forms stiff, glossy peaks. Add the extract as desired.
2. With a spatula, fold in the powdered sugar and coconut until just combined. Fold both in together to minimize the handling of the batter.
3. Spoon the batter onto the pan in rounded mounds. The batter should be of a consistency that a spoonful will stand as a mound 3/4-inch high on the pan. If the batter is too thin and tries to run, add more coconut. If the last few cookies are too thin, add more coconut again.
4. Bake for 15 minutes for small- to medium-sized cookies, 18 minutes for larger cookies, or until the cookies are a light brown color.
5. Immediately remove the cookies with a thin metal spatula by slipping the edge of the spatula under the edge of the cookie and sawing back and forth. Cool on wire racks.

Easy Coconut and Walnut Macaroons Recipe

Ingredients

3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (optional)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cups chopped walnuts
3/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut (or more as needed

Directions

Let the eggs sit on the counter for about an hour before separating. Prepare a baking sheet by greasing it very well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. Place the eggs whites in a medium bowl and starting at low speed, beat the egg whites until they begin to foam. As the foam continues to build, you can turn the speed to medium and then high. Beat until the foam forms stiff, glossy peaks. Add the extract as desired.
2. With a spatula, fold in the powdered sugar and coconut until just combined. Fold both in together to minimize the handling of the batter.
3. Spoon the batter onto the pan in rounded mounds. The batter should be of a consistency that a spoonful will stand as a mound 3/4-inch high on the pan. If the batter is too thin and tries to run, add more coconut. If the last few cookies are too thin, add more coconut again.
4. Bake for 15 minutes for small to medium-sized cookies, 18 minutes for larger cookies, or until the cookies are a light brown color.
5. Immediately remove the cookies with a thin metal spatula by slipping the edge of the spatula under the edge of the cookie and sawi00ng back and forth 6. Cool on wire racks.

Chocolate MacaroonsEasy Chocolate Macaroons Recipe

Ingredients

3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (optional)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cups chopped walnuts
3/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut (or more as needed)

Directions

Let the eggs sit on the counter for about an hour before separating. Prepare a baking sheet greasing it very well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. Place the eggs whites in a medium bowl and starting at low speed, beat the egg whites until they begin to foam. As the foam continues to build, you can turn the speed to medium and then high. Beat until the foam forms stiff, glossy peaks. Add the extract as desired.
2. With a spatula, fold in the powdered sugar, cocoa, nuts, and coconut until just combined. Fold both in together to minimize the handling of the batter.
3. Spoon the batter onto the pan in rounded mounds. The batter should be of a consistency that a spoonful will stand as a mound 3/4-inch high on the pan. If the batter is too thin and tries to run, add more coconut. If the last few cookies are too thin, add more coconut again.
4. Bake for 15 minutes for small to medium-sized cookies, 18 minutes for larger cookies, or until the cookies are a light brown color.
5. Immediately remove the cookies with a thin metal spatula by slipping the edge of the spatula under the edge of the cookie and sawing back and forth . Cool on wire racks.

Baker’s Notes:

1. Egg white foams have more volume if whipped at room temperature.
2. Use a metal, glass, or ceramic bowl to beat egg whites in. Sometimes minuscule fat particles caught in the softer plastic bowls can cause the foam to fail.
3. Make sure that there is no yolk in the egg whites. Even a little fat from the yolk will cause the foam to fail.
4. Once the foam has been whipped to a maximum volume, fold in the sugar and nuts with a spatula turning the mixture as little as possible.
5. For more uniform cookies, the meringue can be piped with a pastry bag.
6. Granulated sugar can be used in the meringue. Since there is nocornstarch in the granulated sugar as there is in the powdered sugar, you may need to use more coconut to absorb the moisture. Granulated sugar makes for a shinier finish on the cookies. A stiffer, drier foam will also lend to a shinier finish.