The best recipes have backstories, at least Sally’s always do. Here she gives the lineage behind these macaroons.
“My mother had one mean sweet tooth. She would be the one begging to drive the 10 miles to the nearest Dairy Queen where she would always order the biggest sundae. We kids simply couldn’t keep up.
Not a surprise that she was a great baker. These cookies were something we would often do in my teen years at about 9 p.m. as a snack before bed. They were even better for breakfast.”
Cook to Cook: These macaroons have more personalities than Madonna -- elegant with demitasse, plush dipped into Old-Time Hot Fudge Sauce, perfect as snack food and lovable as kid treats.
Keep 3 to 5 days in airtight container on the counter. These freeze well and are excellent eaten straight from the freezer.
2 large eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup sugar
Generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spread a sheet of parchment paper over a large cookie sheet, or butter the sheet.
2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and extract. Blend in the coconut until it is completely moistened. This is not supposed to be a batter, but rather well-moistened clumps of coconut.
3. Drop generous teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet, and bake them 20 to 25 minutes, or until the macaroons are golden brown with crisp edges. Transfer them to a rack to cool.
Easter Bunny Nests: Once the macaroons are on the cookie sheet, tuck a jelly bean or two into the top of each one before baking.
Chocolate Macaroons: Prepare the recipe as above, adding 3 to 4 tablespoons of cocoa into the egg mixture, or alternatively, blend in 1/2 cup chocolate chips with the coconut.
Rainbow Macaroons: Nothing is better for a little-kid party than tinted macaroons. Imagine Day-Glo pink, electric blue, kelly green, and taxicab yellow. Add 2 to 3 drops of food coloring of choice to the coconut. Toss to evenly color the strands before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
Coconut Nut Macaroons: Prepare the recipe as above, adding 1/2 to 2/3 cup nuts, from coarse-chopped almonds, to pistachios, to hazelnuts, to the coconut mixture.
Ginger-Spiked Macaroons: Prepare the recipe as above, adding 1/4 cup fine-chopped candied ginger to the coconut mixture.
From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, Clarkson Potter, 2008.
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