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Coconut Macaroons

These macaroons are perfect for gift giving, as they will stay fresh for up to 5 days. To achieve their chewy interior and firm exterior, they are left in the oven with the door ajar for several minutes after they have finished baking. If desired, dress up these cookies by dipping half of each cookie in melted chocolate. Let the chocolate harden before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sweetened shredded dried coconut, plus
      more for serving
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Candied rose petals or violets for serving
     (optional)

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 250°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they just barely hold soft peaks. Beat in the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the 3 cups coconut and just enough of the condensed milk to make a sticky batter. Fold in the egg white mixture.

Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Dip the spoon into cold water every once in a while to prevent the batter from sticking.

Bake until the cookies are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the oven off. Prop the oven door ajar and leave the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool completely on the pans, then remove the cookies from the pans.

Serve the cookies on a bed of shredded coconut with a few candied rose petals or violets or both. Store in layers, separated by waxed paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Makes about 24 cookies.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2007).