Easter egg coconut macaroons
Prep time: 15 minutes plus 30 minutes resting time
Bake time: 15 minutes
Makes 20 cookies
This no-flour, no-egg-yolk cookie is a great treat for Easter, especially dyed for the occasion. The chocolate eggs on top can be replaced with small squares of chocolate (or white chocolate) or omitted.
If you want to dye the cookies several colors, divide the batch in half or fourths before putting the batter on the baking pans.
Unsweetened coconut often can be found in grocers' natural-food aisles, but an additional cup of sweetened coconut can be substituted.
Recipe is adapted by Kathy Morrison of The Bee from several online sources, including cookbook author Alice Medrich's recipe featured recently as a "genius recipe" on food52.com and "The Gourmet Cookbook."
4 egg whites
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Food coloring, optional
20 small solid milk chocolate or dark chocolate eggs, unwrapped
Heat 1 inch of water in a large skillet on the stove until simmering.
Blend all ingredients in a heatproof bowl (metal or Pyrex). Place bowl directly in the hot water and stir ingredients frequently with a silicon spatula for 5 to 8 minutes, being careful not to allow the contents to burn. The egg whites should start to become opaque. (This process "sets" the egg whites.) Mixture will still be pretty wet.
Remove the bowl from the water and set it aside for 30 minutes for the contents to rest.
Position baking racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
If you want to dye the cookies one color, stir in 6 or 7 drops of food coloring. Otherwise, divide mixture in half or fourths into separate bowls. Add 2 to 3 drops of food coloring per bowl; blend thoroughly. (For cream-colored cookies, leave the batter undyed.)
Scoop out mixture by rounded tablespoons and place on the parchment- covered sheets.
Put one baking sheet on the bottom rack, the other on the top. Bake for 5 minutes, switching pans between racks and back to front after 3 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue baking 10 to 15 minutes until the tips of the outer flakes are rich golden brown, switching the pans between racks and back to front halfway through baking. (Turn oven down to 300 degrees if cookies seem to be getting brown too quickly.)
Remove pans to cooling racks. Carefully push one unwrapped chocolate egg into the top of each cookie.
(The chocolate will melt but the egg will hold its shape if undisturbed. The chocolate will harden again as the cookie cools.)
After the cookies are completely cool, peel them from the parchment paper. Enjoy immediately or store in closed tins.