Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cory's Coconut Macaroons

When I got home from work yesterday, I noticed that the power was out. Balls. So I started unloading the groceries and putting them away when, all of a sudden, BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! Electronics galore began turning back on. It was then that I realized that there might be a problem… a big problem. You see, our desktop computer, though hooked up to a surge protector, should still be unplugged before the power comes on to not fry the power supply. Sure enough, upon further inspection and multiple tests, the power supply is toast. Double balls. My plans of eating lunch and spending the remainder of the evening writing were, well, out. Sure, I could write on the laptop (as I’m doing for this blog post) but the thing about the laptop is that it, well, has sensitivity issues. By that, I mean it will randomly decide to place the cursor wherever it feels like on the page in the middle of writing, causing sentence structure problems (i.e. You see, our deskcture problems top computer…) It sucks big time, but alas, when the finances are too tight to replace or fix the problem, you live with them.

Anyway, writing was out. That meant I had two options: Quilting and Baking. I stared at the horrifying mess my quilting area and sewing machine is and said, “Eff this!” and decided to bake. I decided it would be best to make something I’ve never done before, and lately I’ve been craving coconut macaroons. Now, there are a plethora of recipes for coconut macaroons in various cookbooks and internet search results, but I couldn’t find one that had the flavor combination I was looking for. Since I had made Crème Brûlée for Valentine’s Day, I had four egg whites begging to be made into something delicious, so I opted for creating a meringue, adding a couple tablespoons of butter, some almond and vanilla extract, and folded the coconut in gently.

Figuring out the baking part was a bit tricky. I had originally thought that fifteen minutes would do the trick, but the insides were too gooey and the outside became sticky to the touch and they fell apart when you picked them up. That just isn’t any good. So I decided to treat them like I would a meringue since, well, that is what I used as a base. I baked them for five more minutes then turned the oven off, leaving the macaroons in the oven for about half an hour. When I checked on them, they looked much more like the macaroons I was trying to create. After allowing them to cool completely for about an hour, they were perfect; crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and delectable in my mouth. I seriously think I’m developing a coconut addiction!

Cory’s Coconut Macaroons

14 oz flaked sweetened coconut
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, slowly whip the egg white mixture, gradually increasing speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Turn down to medium and add the softened butter a tablespoon at a time until combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts until combined. Fold in the coconut, careful not to deflate the meringue. On a parchment lined baking sheet, use a 2 tablespoon scoop and place macaroons 1 inch apart (they will not spread). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn the oven off, leaving the macaroons inside for 30 minutes, or until crispy on the outside, they feel light and airy, and are no longer sticky. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Keeps at room temperature three days, 2 weeks in the fridge, 6 months in the freezer.

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