Macaroons are light, almost meringue-like cookies that originated in Italy, France, and Belgium. They were originally comprised of mainly almonds, similar to the Italian cookie amaretti. But once North America got its hands on the cookie, by way of Scotland, we swapped the nuts for coconut and made it our own. The coconut macaroon is popular in Australia, the United States, The Netherlands, and Germany.
Macaroons are a favorite treat in my parent’s household because they are on the lighter end of the sweet scale, especially when homemade. Made this way, they are also highly customize-able. You can choose different fillings (chocolate & almond spread for my in-laws, lemon curd for my side), to dip or drizzle with chocolate, or to eat them plain (my Dad’s favorite way). The shredded coconut I use is a little bit drier than the common “blue bag” (Baker’s Angel Flake) brand, and I also supplemented it with a little unsweetened shredded coconut to tamper the sugar level even more.
Besides decorating these to be cute nests, the best part was getting to snack on the leftover sweetened condensed milk, a tradition in my family. And since I was making these at my condo, I didn’t have to beat anyone at rock-paper-scissors for the rights to do so.
I saw this recipe linked to in an Easter Dessert Recipe Round-up at Rachel Cooks, which led me to two different variations on Two Peas and Their Pod: Coconut Lemon Macaroon Nests & Nutella Macaroon Nests. My personal favorite was eating them plain, followed by the chocolate ones. It may have been the lemon curd I used, but the lemon versions were a bit too sweet. And, I almost killed my sister because I forgot that these were tropical jellybeans that had “strawberry” as one of the flavors! (She’s allergic to strawberries).
If you want an even easier version, you can look at Danny’s Macaroons, or a quick white-chocolate dipped version I made a while back for my Dad.
Spring Coconut Macaroon Nests Recipe
By May 9, 2014Published:
- Yield: 15 Servings
- Prep: 2 mins
- Cook: 18 mins
- Ready In: 20 mins
Cute and springy, these are good for Easter, Passover, or Mother's Day.
- ⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 large egg white
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3½ cups shredded coconut sweetened, or mixture of sweetened and unsweetened
- filling of your choice nutella, lemon curd
- spring candies jelly beans, m&ms
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until combined. Add in the coconut and mix well. Depending on the moisture level of your coconut, you may want to add some additional coconut oil or condensed milk.
- With a roughly 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, measure out the dough and place onto the prepared baking sheet. If filling, form the cookies into the shape of a nest and use the back of the cookie scoop to indent the centers a bit.
- Bake the macaroons for 17 to 20 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and press the centers again to make room for your filling. After the cookies have cooled and firmed, remove with a spatula to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Place about a tablespoon of filling (warm chocolate spread, lemon curd, preserves) in the center of each macaroon where the indent is. Try not to overfill if topping with candy; place candies in the center of the filling.
- Cuisine: Cookies