here is a fantastic recipe i've been working on since may (if you live in covelo, you've probably been a recipient of a trial endeavor at one of the many spring potlucks). the macaroon is based on a recipe in the entirely obsessive and cool book, coconut cures by bruce fife, n.d. the original recipe is somewhere between a meringue and a cookie. the highest reviews for the macaroons came after i increased the meringue, decreased the coconut and drizzled them with chocolate. the recipe is surprisingly simple (as long as you have a lovely electric mixer), quick and satisfying. i think it is worthwhile to note that increasing the coconut by 3/4 cup will give you a thick and chewy coconut cookie... which is altogether delicious and totally different.
3 egg whites
dash of salt, i like the fine Real Salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
1 3/4 cup shredded coconut
preheat oven to 325 degrees. line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease a 12 capacity muffin tin.
add egg whites, salt and vanilla to a bowl. either by hand (good luck, you'll need a large whisk and a strong wrist) or with an electric mixer beat the mixture until soft peaks begin to form. keep mixing and slowly add the sugar, beat until stiff peaks form. add the coconut and slowly fold in with a spatula. drop by the spoonful onto your parchment lined cookie sheet or fill the muffin tins half way before shunting into the oven. bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops begin to get a little golden.
remove from the oven to cool. if using the muffin tins, remove to a wire rack to continue cooling after a minute or two.
chocolate drizzle sauce
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate of your choice (try orange chocolate)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, half and half or whole milk
while the macaroons bake, add chocolate chips to a heat-resistant bowl. slowly melt the chocolate either by placing the bowl on top of the oven and letting the heat melt it or by placing the bowl in a pan with water (keep water at least 1/2" from the lip of the bowl) and warming under a very low flame. once the chocolate is melted, ideally right after you remove the macaroons from the oven, bring out the heavy whipping cream. place cream into a pan, heat over a medium-high flame and scald (heat to just below boiling). immediately pour the scalded milk into the melted chocolate and whisk thoroughly. a beautiful shiny, chocolaty liquid will be the result of your striving. drizzle however you like over the macaroons! once cooled, the chocolate will set at room temperature.
note to bakers: macaroons don't lend themselves to stacking, they are rather sticky.