Chewy honey coconut macaroons served with a chocolate sauce for dipping.
I hesitated to call these coconut macaroons because we’ve all had at least one bad experience with those misshapen, heavy, tooth-achingly sweet confections that pass for macaroons sometimes. The kind whose cloying sweetness hits you over the head at first bite and whose flavor is barely reminiscent of coconut. A good macaroon is quite the opposite.
The French call their coconut macaroons rochers à la noix de coco or congolais and they are an altogether different breed from the tooth-aching varieties. Baked until lightly golden on the outside, but still creamy white on the inside they are bites of pure coconut goodness.
A good coconut macaroon strikes a fine balance; it’s at once creamy yet light, chewy but still tender. It is a little crispy around the edges but with a soft and moist interior and a pure clean taste, just lightly sweet.
Made up of baking staples just stirred together, the differences in coconut macaroons lie in the ingredients. While coconut, egg whites and a sweetener make up the base of most recipes, I’ve also come across some that call for sweetened condensed milk. I find that the addition of the sweetened condensed milk makes for a heavy and too sweet macaroon. I use honey instead of sugar for a naturally sweetened version and to add a subtle taste.
The type of coconut is also key. For the best results use a very finely shredded and unsweetened coconut for the purest flavor and finest texture. Using an unsweetened variety give you control of the final sweetness and has a cleaner taste than the sweetened kind.
Other than that, it’s simply a matter of stirring and shaping. One bowl, one spoon, one large sheet pan and a pair of clean hands are all the equipment needed. Finally, a short baking time in a hot oven ensures that the macaroons get crispy and golden on the outside while keeping the centers nice and moist.
Chocolate is never far from my thoughts whenever I bake, so I couldn’t resist making a cocoa chocolate dipping sauce to accompany my macaroons. The chocolate sauce is a nice counterbalance, slightly bitter and rich. The combination of chocolate and coconut makes for a luxurious treat any Bounty or Mounds lover can attest to.
Serve these for dessert fondue style and dip or dunk to your heart’s content!