Learn how to make classic coconut macaroons that are crisp on the outside with a moist, chewy interior. Easy gluten-free recipe with just 5 ingredients.
Spring has sprung!
Same goes for coconut. For some reason I always associate coconut with this time of year.
And nothing could be more iconic than classic coconut macaroons. They’re sticky sweet and so good. I especially love the kind you can get on the boardwalk at the shore. Big as your fist and so chewy and moist. They totally converted me from a coconut-hater to a coconut LOVER!! Bonus points if they’re dipped in chocolate.
It’s an easy mistake to call macarons “macaroons,” but they are two completely different things.
- French macarons are made with almond flour and meringue, and they’re sandwiched around a filling.
- Macaroons are made with coconut and condensed milk. They’re naturally gluten-free and perfect for Passover.
If you are looking to make macarons, I’ve got quite a few recipes. Just type “macarons” into the search window at the top of this site. Or check out this post; it’s a great starting point: Basic Macaron Recipe.
WHAT ARE COCONUT MACAROONS MADE OF?
One of the greatest things about macaroons is how few ingredients are needed to make them! This recipe has just 6 simple ingredients:
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Almond Extract
- Egg Whites
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST COCONUT MACAROONS
If you like macaroons that are light and a little crisp on the outside, with a soft, moist interior, then look no further! This recipe is JUST like the macaroons that you get on the boardwalk.
Start by placing the coconut, condensed milk, and extracts in a big bowl.
You’ll need just a little more than half a can of condensed milk. Make sure you buy “Sweetened Condensed Milk,” and not “Evaporated Milk.” They are NOT the same thing!
You want to stir in just enough condensed milk to make the mixture sticky, without it being overly wet. Add half the can at first, and stir in a little more at a time, until you get the right consistency.
Not enough condensed milk will result in macaroons that are dry, and too much will cause your macaroons to spread too much and form a puddle of condensed milk around the base. Personally, I err on the side of slightly too much. It’s easy enough to trim the excess away from the baked macaroons with a sharp knife or round cookie cutter. But don’t go too crazy!
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER CONDENSED MILK
Once you’ve got the coconut, condensed milk, and extracts stirred together, whip the egg whites and salt together until nice and stiff.
Add the whites to the bowl and fold everything together. You’ll notice the egg whites will make the mixture even more wet.
That’s your coconut macaroon batter made! Pretty simple, right?
HOW TO SHAPE COCONUT MACAROONS
The best way to shape these macaroons is with a 1/4 cup scoop. I like to use this kind.
Pack the batter in there tight as you can, and try not to have strands of coconut hanging off the sides of the scoop. Then press them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
HOW TO BAKE COCONUT MACAROONS
These coconut macaroons will bake at 325 degrees F for 28 to 36 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they are starting to look a little golden.
Once they’re cooled, try dipping the bottoms in melted dark chocolate, and give the tops a little drizzle as well. This is totally optional! But my husband loves them this way and I think it makes for an extra pretty presentation.
HOW TO STORE COCONUT MACAROONS
Place these cookies in an airtight container, and they can be left out at room temperature for up to a week.
After that, they can go into the fridge for another week or so.
CAN MACAROONS BE FROZEN?
Macaroons freeze beautifully. They’ll last, tightly wrapped, in the freezer for at least a month or two.
Thaw them at room temperature and they’re just as delicious as the day they were made!
If you love coconut, definitely give this recipe a try! It’s got such a great flavor and moist, chewy texture. Bake up a batch or two for Easter or Passover!
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- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Place the coconut, condensed milk, vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl and stir together until combined. (The coconut should be moistened but not overly wet.)
- Whip the egg whites and salt together until they hold stiff peaks, and fold into the coconut mixture.
- Scoop 1/2 cup mounds onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 28 to 36 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Optional: Dip the bottoms of the cooled macaroons in dark chocolate and drizzle additional chocolate on top.