Monday, March 23, 2009

Lime-coconut macaroons

Here is a recipe adapted from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Traditions from Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I don't have a sweet tooth, so I am not often tempted to bake cookies but these cried out to me.
First of all, two egg whites that begged to be used were sitting in the fridge. Then my spring cleaning of the kitchen cupboard had unearthed coconut flakes that I wasn't sure to find another use for. More importantly, one of my dearest friends from France is arriving tomorrow and I know she loves cookies. So does the Man, and these are cholesterol-free, which means he can indulge to his heart's content. Also, I had two limes in the fruit bowl and I don't believe there is any flavor/fragrance combination (save for the aroma of fresh bread of course) that appeals to me more winningly than the alliance of lime and coconut.
The proportions however only yielded 15 cookies, half of what the authors say they got. Maybe I made them taller?
The resulting cookies actually look a lot like what we call in France "rochers de noix de coco", literally, "coconut rocks", presumably because they look like they could be climbed by miniature alpinists.


  • 2 large egg whites (they amounted to 69 g)
  • 100 g cristallized sugar (next time, I am strongly tempted to use half that amount because I find these cookies way too sweet but I am not the one to judge. We'll see what the Man and my friend say)
  • 70 g unsweetened coconut flakes (the authors used shredded unsweetened coconut but I didn't have any)
  • 22 g pastry flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour which is all I had)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • grated zest of two limes

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F/149 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a heavy saucepan, combine the egg whites, sugar, coconut and flour
  3. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan, about 10 minutes
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, vanilla and zest
  5. Immediately begin shaping the cookies. Scoop up a heaping teaspoonful of the mixture and drop onto the prepared baking sheet
  6. Repeat until the mixture is used, leaving nearly 1 1/2 inches between the cookies
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the coconut has turned opaque and the cookies are very lightly browned on the bottom
  8. Lift the cookies, still on the parchment, onto a rack to cool and firm. Then peel them off the paper and let them cool completely, so they crisp up a little.
  9. Store, once cooled, into a well-sealed container.

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