12 Days of Holiday Gifts: Coconut Macaroons
Every holiday season, I make loads of confections for the amazing people in my life. That includes teachers, delivery people, friends and neighbors. Last year I gave out chocolate covered pretzel rods (with colored sprinkles on some and slivered almonds on the rest -- similar to Toby's recipe) and garlic-parmesan bread twists (made with puff pastry and presented in pretty vases with big red bows). This year, I made macaroons because my son adores them and they’re incredibly easy to make. I made one big batch and dunked half of them in melted semi-sweet chocolate (for some reason, my chocolate-loving son Kyle didn’t want his dunked!). Check out how short this ingredient list is and how easy they are to make! You can even quadruple the recipe and take care of everyone on your holiday list.
Note #1: For perfectly cooked macaroons, bake them one baking sheet at a time so they bake evenly.
Note #2: To shape the macaroons once they’re on the baking sheet, use moistened fingers (wet your fingers with water).
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Whisk together condensed milk, egg whites, vanilla and salt. Fold in coconut until well blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared pans, about 1-2 inches apart. Bake 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool pans on wire racks.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water or in the microwave on HIGH (when using the microwave, check and stir the chocolate every 30 seconds to make sure it doesn’t burn). Dip macaroons halfway into chocolate, covering half of the cookie. Cool on parchment or wax paper until chocolate hardens.