Imagine the taste of a coconut cluster bon-bon with a hint of strawberry and vanilla that captures the attention of your tastebuds entirely and without remorse. Once you pop, you just can’t stop – and no, I don’t mean Pringles. These are macaroons (mak-ə-ROONs), not macarons (mah-ca-ROHNs). Though occasionally spelled the same or mistakenly pronounced the same, macarons are French meringue sandwich cookies (you may have seen them in a fancy bakery) that I hear are rather difficult to prepare. In contrast, these macaroons, in the coconut-y sense, are quite easy and require only a few ingredients and a food processor or blender. It seems like every year macaroons are only in stores around Passover (or [insert name of any Jewish holiday here]), but there is no reason they shouldn’t be enjoyed year-round. They are such a poppable snack, great for when the sugar cravings hit! With spring upon us and the school year almost over (but not quite), there is no better time to enjoy some macaroons. As Melissa described, they are “like a tropical vacation in your mouth.”
7oz shredded sweetened coconut
2-3 large strawberries, washed and cut
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg white
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Divide the shredded coconut into 3 parts. Using a blender or food processor, blend the first part, pulsing and then continuously, for about 30 seconds to break the shreds down. Remove the blended coconut to a medium bowl. Repeat for the second part. For the third part, blend the coconut first then add strawberries and sugar to the blender. Blend by pulsing until the color is a relatively uniform pink. Add in the egg white, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Blend continuously for about 20 seconds. Remove the third part and mix by tossing with the remaining coconut. Form about 12 balls with the mixture using a 1 1/2 inch scoop or your hands and place them onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper (press down a little so they stay in place). To prevent crumbling while forming, use your palms to press the mixture together firmly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops brown. Remove and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes until sampling, but they are actually best when fully cooled.