I think I might have a coconut problem.
It wasn’t always this way. I used to loathe coconut. Isn’t it funny how our palates change as we age? Back in the day, anything that combined creaminess with a chewy texture made me want to gag. Now, things like rice pudding, oatmeal, risotto and tapioca pudding are my ultimate comfort foods. And coconut belongs on its own level of divinity for me. I’ll knock a kid over to get to the Mounds Bar in their Halloween loot. Forget the sweet toppings at the fro-yo place, I want tart or mango yogurt topped with coconut. Don’t even get me started on Graeter’s Coconut Chip Ice Cream.
I found myself with a container of egg whites taking up space in the fridge the other day. I was just about ready to toss them (don’t read that part, mom – I know it would kill you) when I googled “what to do with leftover egg whites.” You know it’s going to lead to good things when the top search result belongs to David Lebovitz.
Among the many delicious things David recommends doing with egg whites, the one that jumped out at me was macaroons. I haven’t had one in, well, probably forever. I distinctly remember a package of macaroons being given to us as Christmas gift when I was younger and wondered what we could have possibly done to warrant such a horrible offering.
Reading through the ingredients I was inspired to take the recipe one step further and add almonds, effectively turning an already wonderful macaroon into a version of my candy bar nirvana: the Almond Joy.
If you have extra egg whites hanging around (or if you’d suddenly like to be faced with an equally delicious problem: what to do with extra egg yolks), whip up a quick batch of these golden beauties. If you’re one of those people that detests coconut, make them anyway and deliver them to my doorstep. Unlike my clueless twelve-year-old self, I won’t turn them down this time around.
Almond Joy Macaroons
Inspired by this recipe from David Leibovitz
Makes approximately 20 cookies
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 20 almonds
- 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used a mix of each)
- In a large skillet, mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, coconut and flour.
- Heat over low to moderate heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom as you stir.
- When the mixture just begins to scorch on the bottom, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. (You could also refrigerate the mixture for up to one week or freeze for up to two months.)
- When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Form the dough into 1 1/2 inch mounds on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches in between cookies. Gently press one almond onto the top of each cookie. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a deep golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once macaroons are completely cooled, prepare the chocolate. Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler, or improvise by setting the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl over a pan of simmering water.
- Spoon chocolate on to the tops of each cookie, covering the almond. Refrigerate 5-10 minutes to set the chocolate.