Macaroons were developed in the United States in the late 1800s, after a Philadelphia flour miller named Franklin Baker developed a method to shred coconut. These cookies were especially popular in Jewish cookery, since the unleavened cookies could be eaten for Passover.
The name macaroon is similar to that of the French cookie called macaron. Besides the similarities in name and a common ancestor (an Italian almond-meringue cookie), they are very different. A French macaron is made of almond flour and consists of two cookies sandwiched together with a filling, while an American macaroon is made of shredded coconut and is a single cookie in a pyramid shape The French macaron also was developed later, sometime in the 1900s.
A recipe for a coconut macaroon is below.
Preparation time 5 minutes
Bake time 25 minutes
Makes 12 cookies
- 150 grams (5⅓ ounces) sweetened shredded coconut*
- 50 grams (about 1 large) egg white(s), at room temperature
- 75 grams (⅓ cup+2 teaspoons) sugar
* I used Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut. You also can use unsweetened, desiccated coconut instead of the sweetened coconut.
- Preheat the oven to 120C (250F).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Measure all of the ingredients.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar with a fork until frothy and well blended. Add the coconut to the egg whites-sugar mixture and stir until well blended, using a wooden spoon.
- Using a tablespoon to separate the dough and your hands to mold it, form 12 tightly packed mounds or pyramids and place them on the prepared baking sheet. They must be compact or they will crumble while baking. They should also be consistent in size and shape to bake evenly.
- Bake the cookies for about 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half way through baking. The cookies are done when the edges are lightly brown. Immediately remove the cookies from the baking sheet to a wire rack. Cool completely before serving.
- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for one week.
Published: 8 June 2020
Updated: 21 December 2021