adapted from The Best Recipe Cookbook (Cook's Illustrated)
prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 13-15
Note: This does call for one somewhat odd ingredient: cream of coconut. This is sweetened coconut juice (and is pretty much the best tasting stuff on the planet--kind of like sweetened condensed milk, only coconut style). It has no alcohol, but you'll likely find it in the liquor aisle at the store since it is commonly used in pina coladas.
Another note: Cook's Illustrated recommends 1 C cream of coconut, 2 Tbsp light corn syrup, 4 large egg whites, 2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3 C unsweetened shredded coconut and 3 C sweetened flaked coconut. However, they offer the below alternative for those who have trouble finding unsweetened coconut (which I sometimes do).
1/2 C cream of coconut
4 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp flour
6 C sweetened shredded coconut
Put oven rack in middle. Heat oven to 375. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together cream of coconut, egg whites, vanilla, and salt.
Toss together coconut and flour, breaking up any large clumps in coconut.
Add wet to coconut and mix.
Mound into haystacks on parchment and bake for 13-16 minutes or until brown on top and at edges.
They're some kind of wonderful just alone, but we like to dip ours in chocolate to feed our gluttonous tendencies. I use 60% chocolate.
1 bag 60% dark chocolate chips (I usually use Ghiradelli)
To melt the chocolate, put chips in microwave at 30 second intervals, mixing in between, until almost entirely melted. When just a few lumps remain, mix it up until those lumps melt.
When macaroons are at room temperature, you can dip the bottoms of the macaroons in chocolate.
You can dip them by actually dipping the bottoms in. We did this with several of ours, and it's how all my kids did it (if you get a macaroon my kids dipped, lucky you, because they did not skimp on the chocolate). However, I found that the tops of the haystacks were sometimes delicate and therefore I preferred to sort of hold mine and paint the chocolate on the bottoms. I only had a child around to take a picture of this, so it's a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea.
When you're done, place them on parchment paper. I couldn't remember if we usually placed them bottoms down or tops down, so I tried some of each. They both worked.
Let the chocolate set and you're good to go.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with some push-ups and crunches. Or a nap. Or preferably both.