That’s right; I said triple coconut macaroons. These things are packed with not one, not two, but three types of coconut deliciousness, baked up, and then dipped in chocolate. How could I resist sharing this with you? Well, obviously I couldn’t.
I was, shall we say, tardy to the coconut party. I don’t know why, and maybe it’s that phenomenon where they say your tastes and preferences change over time (I mean, I used to rock out to Richard Marx and Debbie Gibson, too), but I never really craved coconut. I never hated it, but I never sought out desserts which contained it, either. Those days are over, in large part, because of these macaroons.
Three kinds of coconut, people. how can you possibly go wrong? You’ll need the normal sweetened coconut, some desiccated coconut (not hard to find), and some cream of coconut. I had never seen cream of coconut before, but it’s what they use in pina coladas. You should be able to find it in the liquor section of your favorite market. If you’re like me, and enjoy staring right at something on the shelf and still inexplicably not be able to find it, then do what I did and substitute full-fat coconut milk instead. If you don’t shake the can, the cream is on the top and the liquid stays at the bottom. Open the can, scoop the cream out, and discard the liquid. Poof: DIY cream of coconut.
Oh, and I found that blasted can of cream of coconut. On my next trip to the market after finishing these macaroons.
My only complaint with the original recipe (which is, by the way, a breeze to put together) was the shape. The directions indicated haystacks as the most desirable shape. There was even a photo. I did my best to shape them the same way, but I found the entire process more than a little tedious. I didn’t know that much about macaroon baking, and thought maybe the haystack shape ensured the best possible color and texture. So I did one batch like haystacks:
They cooked up fine, but I wanted to try them a different way, just to see if it would work. I’m not a big one for finicky shaping, and if I’m going to make a recipe again, it needs to not be tiresome. So for the second batch, I made coconut cubes. As in, “cubed.”
Like how a number three times is cubed.
And these are triple coconut macaroons.
But oh so cute, right? And so much easier to shape, and you start with the same size balls and just squeeze them gently into the cube shape. No pesky haystacks, no uneven sides, nothing. Just cute little squares. And I know it’s probably not the traditional way to shape macaroons, but I prefer these to the stacks. If you like the stacks, feel free to shape them how you like; both were delicious.
I think it goes without saying that you don’t need to dip these in chocolate. The macaroons, in and of themselves, are superbly chewy, dreamy little coconut clouds. But: if you like the combination of chocolate and coconut, I highly recommend you melting down a few bars of semi-sweet chocolate and having yourself a little triple coconut macaroon swim party.
Here are the haystacks fresh from their chocolate dip. And yes, we did eat them like this, before they hardened. Just to make sure we did it right. The chocolate adds a nice little bite to an otherwise sweet little treat, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell you which I preferred. I loved the slight bitterness chocolate added, but the macaroons without chocolate had such a pure, unadulterated coconut flavor, I guess it may depend on the mood you’re in.
I was in a mood to just stack them into pyramids and eat my way through them. You will be too.
Adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2010 by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated.
Triple Coconut Macaroons
- 1 cup cream of coconut*
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 4 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded, desiccated coconut
- 3 1/2 cups sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
- 8 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate (bars, not chips), and this is optional and only if you’re dipping the macaroons
*note: remember, if you can’t find cream of coconut, you can sub one can of full-fat coconut milk. Do not shake the contents of the can, but rather open the top and scoop the cream out, leaving behind the coconut liquid (which will be on the bottom, about 2/3 of the way down.) Discard the coconut liquid; you won’t need it for the recipe.
Make those macaroons:
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Adjust oven rack to middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the cream of coconut, corn syrup, egg whites, vanilla, and salt together in a small bowl; set aside. Combine the unsweetened coconut and sweetened coconut in a large bowl and toss together, using your fingers to break up any clumps. pour the liquid ingredients over the coconut and mix with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened. Chill for 15 minutes.
Roll heaping tablespoons of the coconut mixture into balls and shape into your favorite shape; either haystacks or squares. Bake until light golden brown and a little darker brown around the edges (see photo above), about 15 minutes.
Cool macaroons for 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. You can stop at this point, or….
dip those macaroons!
Break up the chocolate bars and melt using a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently. Once chocolate is completely melted, remove from water and set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Dip cookies, one by one, into chocolate mixture. You do it how you like, but I found it worked well for me if I dipped the macaroons in the chocolate and did a little back-and-forth spin motion with them to get the sides evenly coated. Place dipped macaroons directly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (and small enough to fit comfortably in your fridge.) Place in refrigerator and let chill for at least 20 minutes.