I've loved coconut my entire life.
I don't remember the first time I tried coconut. I do remember my mom making German chocolate cake for my birthdays when I was younger, topped with that luscious coconut and pecan frosting.
More traditional coconut cakes were also on the list, with fluffy, buttercream frosting and loads of chewy, sweetened coconut flakes. Sometimes there would be a surprise layer of lemon or raspberry in the middle that really woke up your taste buds.
Let's not forget all of the coconut-filled chocolates over the years, either commercially produced (I'm looking at you Mounds, Almond Joy, Russell Stover, Whitman's) or straight from the candy shop (a la coconut haystacks, bon bons, truffles...you get the idea).
But when you really just want a mouthful of coconut, nothing quite compares to a coconut macaroon. Just a big ball of coconut! Sure, sometimes they're dipped or drizzled in milk, dark, or white chocolate (love all those, too), but macaroons are equally delicious all by themselves.
And, coconut macaroons are fairly simple to make, if you're really craving a dose of coconut and there's no candy shop within a five-mile radius.
For example, I found a recipe in the most recent issue of Tea Time Magazine that combined sweetened, shredded coconut with egg whites, sugar and vanilla. It was that simple! Granted, the macaroons took a while longer to bake and didn't brown as much as I was used to, but they still quelled my coconut cravings.
Asking around, and searching recipes online, I've discovered many ways to make macaroons, and I'm pretty sure they are all delicious.
So, if you're a coconut lover like me, I challenge you to open your pantry and test out any or all of these recipes using what you have on hand. Let me know which one ends up being your favorite.
This recipe from Taste of Home is called First-Place Coconut Macaroons, and sounds pretty promising from its title. It uses flour, which I was surprised to see.
This recipe for coconut macaroons from Ina Garten on the Food Network does not use flour, but does use sweetened condensed milk, which should provide additional sweetness and chewiness.
This macaroon recipe on All Recipes is said to have won 1st Place ribbons at the state fair. It combines both flour and condensed milk.
And finally, over at My Baking Addiction, vanilla extract is swapped out for almond extract in these coconut macaroons.
So there ya go. Four new coconut macaroon recipes to add to your recipe box. And if you aren't in the mood to turn on the oven, just grab a bag of coconut and a spoon!