The macaroon is a flourless cookie that begins with our Basic Meringue recipe and adds a bulk ingredient such as coconut for flavor. These chewy cookies are almost candylike in taste and texture, and because they contain no flour, are a traditional Passover treat. Macaroons can also be part of a gluten-free diet, and with no butter in the mix, are also fat-free.
Low and slow are the keys to baking a soft, chewy macaroon. Keep the oven temperature low - these cookies bake at 300 degrees - and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The macaroons should be baked through and just slightly browned on top. Parchment paper or a nonstick silicon baking mat are musts for macaroons. There is no oil or butter in the cookie, and the tendency of macaroons is to stick tightly to a metal surface. It's also imperative that the cookies be allowed to cool completely prior to removing from the parchment. These cookies are flexible and will distort if touched when warm. Using a spatula to remove the cookies is the best way in which to preserve their shape.
The most common flavor of macaroon is coconut. However, these cookies can be made using ground almonds or pecans in place of coconut, and can be converted to a chocolate cookie with the addition of two tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare three baking sheets with parchment paper.
Prepare our Basic Meringue recipe, adding coconut and vanilla extracts when first whipping the egg whites.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold shredded coconut into egg whites. Drop onto parchment lined baking sheets using a tablespoon; cookies should form small mounds that are about 1" in diameter.
Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes or until cookies are slightly browned. Cool completely before removing from baking sheets. Makes 40 cookies.
- If adding cocoa powder, fold this in along with the coconut.
- If using ground nuts, flavor with almond extract or walnut flavoring in place of the coconut flavoring.
- For a holiday-themed macaroon, replace the coconut with crushed peppermint candy pieces and flavor with peppermint extract.
Sunday: Luscious lemon meringue pie