Thursday, 17 September 2015

Golden Baked Coconut Macaroons

Coconut is a very versatile fruit and it adapts itself to any dish very skilfully. Be it sweet or savory, a dip or a complete maincourse dish, the coconut always lends a lingering flavor to the recipe and makes it distinct and memorable. These macaroons are no less. Not only they are a weight watcher's delight with no flour or butter in its making, they are also easy to make and require just three main ingredients and are incredibly light and delicious to eat that you won't even realize when you emptied an entire batch. 
P.S.: Recipe adapted from Once Upon A Chef with some changes
390 gms grated coconut (I used fresh coconut but you can use dried coconut as well available in the bakery section of grocery stores)
Scant 1 cup low fat condensed milk (or regular is fine too)
1 tsp vanila extract
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp salt

Start by dry roasting the coconut on the stove top in a pan. You may skip this step if you are using dried grated/dessicated coconut. Freshly grated coconut has a lot of moisture and hence needs to be lightly roasted to avoid a liquid batter. Dry roast the coconut till the moisture has evaporated and the coconut feels dry to the touch. Take care not to burn the coconut. Remove from stove and let it cool completely before proceeding to the next step. 
Preheat the oven at 175 degree celsius and keep a baking tray ready lined with parchment paper. 
Now, mix the condensed milk (make sure you use a little less than 1 cup) and the cooled and roasted coconut. Add the vanilla and mix and keep aside.
Now whip the egg whites with the salt till stiff peaks form. Fold in this into the coconut mixture and mix. Ensure that you only do gentle folding without flattening out the foam. 

Now take heaped tablespoons of the batter and drop them into the prepared baking tray. You might notice some liquid releasing from the batter. Try and avoid adding the liquid as you might have a burnt base if you add that, like I have in my first batch. You do not have to squeeze out the liquid, but instead just avoid scooping it into the tablespoon. Scoop more solids than liquid! Place the scoops one inch apart.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes till the base and top are deep and slightly golden respectively. I like mine to be nicely golden on the top and so kept a few minutes longer. You can bake as you like yours to be. The cookies will be soft and chewy from inside and while baking they will still be soft to the touch. That's the way they are supposed to be and so do not worry about uncooked cookies.
Once done, remove from the oven and let them cool in the tray for a minute before transferring them to a wire rack for cooling completely.
I baked in three batches and got a total of around 36 cookies or maybe more as I could not count properly due to my constant munching. :D You can also dip these cookies halfway through into melted chocolate and then chill them for a few minutes or drizzle melted chocolate on the entire batch for a more indulgent bite!


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