I'm kind of embarrassed to admit how nervous I was to make macaroons. Like, I was petrified. There's no rational reason for it. I just was. I've been a coconut lover my whole life and have always had a strong affinity for these treats. My first were devoured as a child, attending pre-school at the synagogue. Over Passover, our Oreos were replaced with macaroons. A canister bearing the Manischewitz logo made its way around the room, our little fingers groping inside. I immediately fell in love with the chewy cookie and how little specks of coconut hid in my mouth for me to snack on throughout the afternoon.
I got it in my head that making macaroons had to be complicated. There was no way that you could whip something like this up quickly and have it actually turn out ok. But it's true... they're ridiculously easy and just as wonderful as I remember.
(adapted from the recipe from Gourmet via Epicurious)
Makes 4 macaroons
Butter for preparing baking sheet
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 oz chocolate, chopped into a few pieces
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300°F. Butter a baking sheet, then line with foil and lightly butter foil.
2. Stir together egg white, sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and a pinch of salt until combined, then stir in coconut. Divide coconut mixture into fourths, then drop in 4 mounds (about 2 inches apart) onto baking sheet.
3. Bake until tops are pale golden in spots, 15 to 20 minutes, then carefully lift foil with cookies from baking sheet and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes. Peel macaroons from foil.
4. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter. Let chocolate mixture cool before dipping the tops of the macaroons.
5. Transfer the macaroons to a parchment-lined platter or baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.