Three ingredients are all you need for these light and airy coconut macaroons made with whipped meringue.
What happens when you cross a light and airy meringue with an intensely sweet coconut macaroon? You get these delightful little snowballs.
It begins with a beautiful Italian meringue— hot sugar poured over whipped egg whites and beaten until thick and glossy. Add to that an insane amount of toasted coconut and you’re on your way. All that’s left is to scoop and bake them just until they’ve turned golden brown.
There’s more than meets the eye with these coconut meringue macaroons so don’t be fooled by their plain appearance. I’ve baked them many times over the years and every time I do I fall a little deeper in love with their simplicity. These “cookies” are light, sweet, and wonderfully chewy.
baking tip:Timing Italian Meringue
When it comes to making Italian meringue, timing is everything. You need to cook the sugar precisely to 238 degrees F or “soft ball stage” (most candy thermometers will have this marked plainly). And you need the egg whites whipped to medium peaks at the same time the sugar is ready.
If needed, I increase or decrease the heat under the cooking sugar, and/or increase or decrease the speed of the mixer whipping the egg whites if the timing is a little bit off and I need to catch one up to the other. Practice will make this timing easier.
Coconut Meringue Maracoons
- 1 1/4 cup (250 grams) sugar
- 3/4 cup (178 ml, 6 fl oz) water
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 3 cups (8 oz, 227 grams) unsweetened coconut
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Spread coconut evenly onto a large sheet pan. Toast in the oven until lightly golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Stir as needed and watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn. Set aside to cool.
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stop stirring and insert a candy thermometer.
- While the sugar mixture is cooking, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. When the sugar mixture reaches about 220 degrees F, begin to whip the egg whites. You want to time the eggs whites to be whipped to medium peaks at the same time the sugar mixture reaches 238 degrees F.
- When the sugar mixture reaches 238 degrees F, decrease the mixer speed to medium low and immediately pour the sugar into the whipped egg whites in a slow steady stream. Be careful not to hit the sides of the bowl or the whisk. Once all the sugar is incorporated, increase speed to high and beat until the mixture cools to room temperature.
- Fold in the unsweetened coconut by hand and scoop onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake until it the meringues just begin to turn golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on the sheet pan. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- You can use wide slice or finely shredded coconut for this recipe, per your preference.
- Use a small cookie scoop for small macaroons or a large cookie scoop for larger macaroons.