I recently went through about three weeks where I was absolutely obsessed with macaroons. I’ve tried making them before and they were too cakey (something macaroons should never be) or just too, well not good. While on vacation in May, we stumbled upon this fantastic little bakery in Topsail Beach (next to a real NY Deli sans NYC of course, what are the chances!?!). They actually had gluten-free goodies, which was a treat! The one day, they had coconut macaroons. They were crunchy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. Perfect.
That’s when I realized the trick to a good macaroon must be a meringue. So I started searching for meringue macaroons recipes.
And this time, this time I got it right – thanks of course to Annalise and her post on Italian Meringue Macaroons.
The timing of this recipe is a bit precise with the Italian meringue, but it’s straightforward. Just follow the directions.
You’ll notice that I used quail eggs – I was trying a different egg source for my friend Jillian that is allergic to chicken eggs. Just in case she wanted to try them 🙂 (She was coming over to help play around with some vegan macaron recipes.)
For this recipe, you will need:
1 7/8 c. cane sugar
5 chicken egg whites, or 15 quail egg whites
1 3/8 c. water
5 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 t. vanilla bean
1/2 -3/4 c. almond slices
1 t. almond extract
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1 lemon half or 1 tsp. lemon juice
First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Separate your egg whites. I want you to appreciate how long it took to carefully separate 15 egg whites from 15 small quail eggs. Just saying.
Remove about 1/2 t. worth of vanilla beans from half a pod.
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla beans and whisk.
Bring the mixture to a boil and insert a candy thermometer. Here’s where you need to monitor the temperature carefully. When your candy thermometer reaches 220 degrees F, start whipping your eggs whites.
First, take the lemon half (or lemon juice) and wipe the inside of your mixing bowl with it. This helps remove any fat that may be on your bowl, which could ultimately affect your meringue.
Next, with the whisk attachment or beaters (if you’re using a hand mixer), begin whipping the egg whites.
The goal is to have your egg whites forming medium peaks when the sugar mixture temperature reaches 238 degrees F. I had to slow down my whipping a bit to allow the sugar mixture to catch up.
When the sugar mixture reaches 238 degrees F, turn the mixer speed to low and carefully and slowly add the sugar mixture to the egg whites. Try not to hit the sides of the bowl or the whisk.
Once all of the sugar mixture is incorporated into the egg whites, increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture cools to room temperature.
I made three types of macaroons – if you’re doing the same, divide the coconut into three small bowls. To one bowl, add the almond extract and almond slices and mix. To another bowl, add the chocolate chips and mix.
Now, take one third of the meringue and fold in the coconut by hand. Note, if you’re only making one kind of macaroon (i.e. only plain or only chocolate chip) you don’t need to divide the coconut or meringue. Just fold directly into the meringue bowl.
Use an ice cream scoop and spray with oil – scoop the mixture onto the cookie sheet or a sheet pan.
Bake the meringue macaroons until they just begin to turn golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Let them cool on the cookie sheet or sheet pan and enjoy!
To store these, put them in an air tight container otherwise they will dry out. For macaroons that are a bit moister, add a few tablespoons of coconut milk to the shredded coconut and let it sit about 30 minutes – 1 hour before starting.