chocolate-dipped triple coconut macaroons.

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.

ย (chuckle) sorry.

ย 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 375หšF. 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.

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  • Reply Jen @ Juanita's Cocina April 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I love you because you use math jokes. *sigh* Let’s move to a commune somewhere together. You can bring macaroons and lots of lemony stuff. I’ll bring…ummmm…something. Probably involving booze. And we can cook our way through momfuku with our respective families serving as guinea pigs.

    Also, my mother ingrained a love of macaroons in me from a very young age. Although, she used to hide them from us. Because she was selfish…I mean, a big lover of coconut. Especially dipped in chocolate.

    Also, I can drink cream of coconut straight like it’s a glass of water. Only it’s not.


    • Reply shannon April 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      i love you because i know you giggle at my math jokes. You find a nice commune for all of us, and we’ll set up a kitchen (and bar) and eat/drink to our hearts’ content. the momofuku book can serve as a menu to all who choose to visit (speaking of, i was thinking about you and hoped your momofuku-ing was going well.)

      there is a high correlation between macaroon lovers and selfishness/hoarding. I’ve noticed this in my own family as well, so i’m familiar with the disease er…”love” of coconut.

      Jen, you’re my kind of girl. anyone who can drink cream of coconut straight would be. i so want to try that now.

      • Reply Jen @ Juanita's Cocina April 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

        I have recently acquired corn flour and milk powder. And I am all set to make compost cookies and crack pie. I’m thinking I’ll do crack pie this weekend. Because it’s called crack pie. I’m still debating whether I should make the full recipe of halve it. If it’s good, I’ll definitely want the second one. If it’s not, I’ll still probably want the 2nd one.

        My dentist will love me at my next check-up. I can just tell.

        • Reply shannon April 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm

          I adore how we approach this like a science experiment. Which, in reality, it kinda is.

          I forgot that recipe makes two pies! Make that second pie; take it to your dentist when you go. It should serve as evidence when you scream “but i’m a food blogger! I have to make things like this!!!” between the “zzzzzzizzzing” sounds of the clean-y thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

          i’ll check on you this weekend.

  • Reply Brianne April 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Gosh, these sound fun! Super simple, which is totally what I need right now. I have no plans to bake this entire week, which is kinda crazy. But I always have a hankering for something sweet, and I have yet to arrive at the coconut party. Before I get there, though, I need to go blast some 80s tunes. While I never got into Debbie Gibson, I could bust out some Taylor Dayne, Tiffany, Stacey Q, or Kim Wilde instead. Now I gotta go find my leg warmers…

    • Reply shannon April 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      Good for you for taking a much-needed and deserved break! Everyone needs time away from like, life for a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m actually the same this week – no plans to bake due to a stockpile of baking/no writing done while i was under the weather.

      If you come to this coconut party, bring those 80’s chicks along! I completely forgot about them, but those were always on my hit list too. We’ll wear legwarmers and bust a move while making macaroons. Maybe i’ll do a karaoke version of “Two of Hearts” since it’s stuck in my head now…

  • Reply movita beaucoup April 18, 2012 at 6:52 am

    When you look at about 400 food blogs a day, you learn that bookmarking every interesting recipe you see is ridiculous. Because your computer will break. So you get selective. You are very particular about the recipes that make it to the bookmarked file. And when you see something like these coconut-loaded beauties in your Google Reader, you sigh. You say, “thank you, interweb, for sending these magical bars my way.” THESE TRIPLE-DIPPED TRIPLE COCONUT MACAROONS HAVE MADE THE CUT.

    Enough said.

    • Reply shannon April 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      (eyes welling up with happy tears) there you go; you pull at my heartstrings when you yell at me. I want to make you like, a triple batch of these and send them up to you. And i think i’ve actually had a computer break due to over-bookmarking, so i proceed with caution as well. i am honored i made the cut with these macaroons.

  • Reply Amrita (Beetlebuggy) April 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve gone a little nuts over coconut recently and am thinking of putting a coconut cake together! And as a food blogger, you go through many stages of palate evolution – one, from child to young adult; two, from young adult to older adult; and three, from normal person to food blogger experiencing multiple new flavors and tastes through experimentation. I used to hate things like green bell peppers and mushrooms as a kid and now I can’t live without them. And things have changed further once I started getting active with the blog. But, I’ve always always loved coconut macarons! I remember eating them as a child but not in the recent past strangely. I shall have to rectify that now with my coconut phase! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for these coconut laden bars!

    • Reply shannon April 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      isn’t it weird how tastes really do change from when you’re a child to when you’re an adult? some things i really still love, just like i did when i was younger, but my tastes have expanded so much over time. I’m lucky; i have a mom who exposed us to a lot of different foods and flavors, so neither me nor my sister were ever picky eaters or shied away from trying new things, which still holds true for me today. and i agree: blogging has opened up new food combos and flavors for me, which is a great perk. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Kim Bee April 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Dang, these are gorgeous. I love coconut. Like more than life itself. But not more than pistachios.

    • Reply shannon April 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      i completely understand; pistachios are the most gorgeous things ever. As we speak, in fact, i’m researching how to make a pistachio thing. because i love them too. i act like it’s for other people, but it’s not. it’s for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Kristin May 24, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Can I substitute regular cane sugar for the corn syrup and just add it to the egg whites at soft peak stage? Otherwise, I have seen recipes for homemade sugar syrup as a corn syrup substitute. Would that work? I do not keep corn syrup in the house and do not want to buy a bottle simply for 2 tablespoons. But, since I couldn’t see the original ATK recipe, I was not sure why they added corn syrup in the first place.

    • Reply Kristin May 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Sorry this is my correct email for replying back.

      • Reply shannon June 21, 2017 at 7:46 am

        Hi Kristin! So sorry; my reply is long overdue, and I was taking a little bit of a hiatus to wrap up some things in my real life. ๐Ÿ™‚ In regard to your question about cane sugar as a substitute: i wouldn’t necessarily do that, but a homemade sugar syrup may suffice. I don’t have any experience with that, but I can tell you that corn syrup is added to things like this for a smoothness and to hold ingredients together. Good news, because what it’s *not* used for here is viscosity, which is the one thing a sugar syrup may not help with. If you haven’t already, I’d try your homemade syrup for this: comparing the relative thickness of the syrup to the corn syrup should help you determine quantity here.

  • Reply Bill Elliott July 2, 2017 at 11:08 am

    If you’re tardy to the party, I’ve nearly missed the boat. I have baked the triple coconut macaroons twice already in as many months. They’re great!

    I have a question though. Both times, I stuck close to the original recipe and ended up with a fair amount of liquid at the base of each macaroon. Obviously I could add more shredded or reduce amount of liquids. But I’m wondering if I’m missing something more elemental. Since much of the liquid ended up at the base of the macaroon (and turned sticky and deep brown), the macaroon didn’t ‘hold’ together well. On some of them I had to trim away the excess in order to have a decent looking macaroon.

    I let the mixture rest in the frig for at least 15 minutes, I’m assuming this is to let some of the liquid absorb into the shredded coconut. The size of each was a heaping tablespoon, I even tried the haystack shape (but I like you’re cube shape for the future). Any other ideas as to what went wrong?

    Clueless in Cleveland.

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