As a copy editor and a cook, it goes without saying I have some pet peeves when it comes to food spellings. For instance, a single sandwich cooked in a panini press? That’s a panino; “panini” is the plural. Cassava root cooked in a mash? That’s yuca, not “yucca,” which is a spiky, inedible plant found all over Southern California. And those little ground-up beans you sometimes see sold as “cocoa nibs”? Those are cacao nibs, from the cacao bean. Cocoa is the processed powder. But the one that really burns my ass is when people call the French macaron, that notoriously-difficult-to-master meringue sandwich cookie, a “macaroon.” Most people know what a macaroon is—that sweet, sometimes dense puck of coconut and egg white. Does the macaroon even look anything like a macaron? Let me answer that for you: NO. So please, people, stop it. Here to help is a super-simple recipe for light coconut macaroons (chocolate chips optional), which also happens to be a splendid way to use up egg whites left over from eggs used for ice cream or crème brûlée.
I only had half a bag of coconut this time around, which resulted in a lighter, more meringue-like cookie, but it was still good. This recipe came from
the friend of a former co-worker Nancy Reagan! It makes about 18.
• 2 egg whites (freeze them in a bag next time you have any extra; they last forever): $0
• 7 oz. sweetened shredded coconut (again, I used 3 oz. here, and it was OK, but 7 is best): $2
• 3/4 cup sugar: 15 cents
• 1 tsp vanilla: 10 cents
• Pinch salt: 1 cent
• 1/4 cup flour: 5 cents
• Optional: Handful of chocolate chips: 25 cents
TOTAL: $2.10/18 = 11 cents each
Pretty simple stuff here, folks:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Beat together egg whites, sugar, salt, vanilla and flour.
3. Fold in coconut and chocolate chips, if using. (The mixture will be kind of crumbly, as you can see in the picture; this is fine. And keep in mind this is less coconut.)
4. Drop by tablespoons on Silpat- or parchment-lined cookie sheets. (If the mixture is super-crumbly, try to form it into a ball as best you can.)
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet.