'Dessert' is the family middle name! My baking life would otherwise have been unimaginably miserable, considering my ancient affair with desserts and sweets. Kids and hubby more often than not, ask if there is dessert after a meal, knowing fully well, the answer will more often than not, be a sad 'No'. I convince myself that a spoon of sweet saunf or supari is my chocolate mousse after most meals. We would probably eat dessert after every meal if our health and the nefarious weighing-scales would permit us to...Sigh!! My son growing chubbier and yours truly growing rounder by the day keep reminding me to make desserts less frequently, treat them as once-a-while indulgences. How I hate the villains in my sweet-somethings love story!
Did I mention that hubby is a big time lover of coconut ? Add a generous lot of coconut to his chutney to go with idli-dosa and it will make his weekend. Make fantastic lemon-rice (a dish he can eat everyday, no exaggeration!), skimp on the coconut and his joy will be instantly halved! Another love is chocolate. He can eat a tiny meal of these for dessert. Whenever my sister-in-law asks him what she could get for him from the US, he invariably asks for only chocolates - special preference to those with nuts and coconut. The answer has been the same since the last twenty years or so, so she has now stopped asking him. Bottom line - He loves these two things!
On an entirely different note, funny and weird as it sounds, did I ever tell you that preparing for travel, kind of stresses a not-very-organized me out? I really do admire people who very effortlessly travel every now and then with kids in tow. Specially if its for weddings and the kind. Coordinating sarees and jewellery for each of the numerous functions is not something I am very adept at. And now with my daughter watching and aping me , nothing less will do for her either, so double the effort! Traveling with kids being an entirely different ballgame, there must be snacks, the quintessential medical kit, 'at-least coloring books and a ball' among other things in the travel bag. Clear the fridge, make sure the kids' assignments are completed before we leave, hand over my precious pot of basil to the neighbor. To top it all, things need to be in place to rush the kids to school in an hour after we come back. In short, I have a serpentine, boring of list of things needed to be done - apart from the mundane chores needed for survival - Aaahhh!
A stress-busting, very welcome, short break to bake something seriously quick for hubby to munch on while he watches Everybody Loves Raymond? Seriously quick coconut macaroons? Why not? The gaping suitcases waiting to be packed can wait for another hour, absolutely!
Some macaroons are made with whipped egg whites, almond meal etc, piped and baked. These are the ones apparently difficult to master, the kind people research and write tutorials about. (I am yet to muster up courage to try these). Some kinds need egg-whites to be cooked on the stove-top with coconut and sugar, the mixture chilled and then baked, so not really difficult, but needs pre-planning . The macaroons here are made by simply whisking together whole eggs, shredded coconut, sugar and vanilla, then baked. If you have shredded coconut on hand, its as easy and quick as saying 1-2-3! Crispy on the outside and chewy within, the bottoms dipped in chocolate - what's not to taste good? If you love the coconut and chocolate tango, this is a must try!
Recipe adapted from Joy Of Baking, I have halved the recipe as I wanted to finish baking quickly. Plus continuously baking in multiple small batches is just not me! I have used peeled, grated dried coconut (copra). Have used a potato peeler to peel the dried coconut, slightly tricky to do this, so be careful. If you get ready shredded coconut, you could try using that. If I am not wrong, dessicated coconut, being much finer can't be substituted for shredded coconut and probably not suitable for this recipe. In my opinion, using the right amount of the right kind of coconut is really important in this recipe.
Egg - 1
Unsweetened shredded coconut - 1 1 /2 Cups /110 grams (read note)
Superfine sugar - 1/4 cup (50 grams) plus 2 tablespoons ( use only 1/4 cup if using sweetened coconut flakes)
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - a tiny pinch ( I did not add)
Procedure: Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F and line your baking tin / tray with parchment paper.
In a medium sized stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg until well beaten, about a minute with the whisk. Stir in the sugar, salt (if using), and vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the coconut, making sure that all the coconut is completely moistened. You may feel that the coconut quantity is more compared to the egg, but it will be fine. You will have a moist coconut mixture, quite thick, you almost can't see the beaten egg.
Place small mounds (about 1 tablespoon) of the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them well apart. These did not spread a lot. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. I baked mine for 22 minutes. Do a small test batch if you wish. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool. They will crisp and harden a little more as they cool.
When they are all almost cool, melt chocolate, cool. Dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the melted chocolate and place the macaroons, chocolate side up, on a tray. The chocolate will set in a few minutes. Stephanie says, refrigerate the cookies for about one hour, or until the chocolate hardens. I did not do this as I was not sure if they would stay crisp. You are supposed to store them in the refrigerator. But since it was a small batch we did not have enough (left :) to put in the fridge.
This made about 20 (plus a few I think, not very sure, tasting-testing made me lose count, naturally!) small macaroons. Just about sweet, with slightly crispy exteriors, chewy insides and some chocolate to tease you just enough to reach out for the next macaroon. We loved them!
But of course, I had to take pictures and in a hurry. My daughter does not like coconut, but she was charmed by the chocolate bottoms and lifted one away as I was taking the pictures...
Hubby was immensely pleased to eat these when he came back from work. But, intentions however noble, you will agree, remain mere intentions quite often. Only 2 of these remained for him to eat while he watched the Raymonds :).
This quick and easy recipe goes on my list of keepers and I am surely baking these again!
Please Note : I have first measured by lightly spooning shredded coconut into the cup (not packed them), measuring 1 1/2 cups, then weighed, this was 110 grams. This worked fine for me, so I shall stick with this. The original recipe has 300 grams of sweetened shredded coconut.
Looking for eggless coconut macaroons? Check this.