It is the perfect season for coconut macaroons. They have no leavening. They have no gluten. If you are lactose intolerant and can drink goat’s milk, they may work if you use Mexican cajeta instead of sweetened condensed milk. I wish I could say they have no calories. Ah well, you can’t have everything.
Traditional macaroons are usually made from almonds, and some say that coconut is the poor person’s almond. I don’t know where that comment originally came from. As for me, I think I prefer coconut.
It is also said that macaroons were first created by the Sephardim. I don’t know whether that is true, either, but before becoming ubiquitous, macaroons were considered to be a North African/Southern European delicacy.
- 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk or Mexican cajeta
- 2 egg whites
- In a large bowl, combine the coconut, almond extract and salt.
- Stir in the condensed milk to make a thick paste.
- Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Then fold into the coconut mixture.
- Using a #50 food scoop or a tablespoon, drop the mixture into mounds about 2 inches apart on baking sheets either lined with Silpat or parchment or greased aluminum foil.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes in the top third of an oven preheated to 325°F. until very lightly browned on the edges.
- Cool on a baking rack. Peel from the Silpat or the greased aluminum foil.
- Makes about 2½ dozen. Serve immediately or store in a container with a tight lid. (If there are any left.)