These are a very English kind of macaroon, the sort you always used to see displayed in bakers’ shops alongside the madeleines (those sponge castles dipped in luminous strawberry jam and dredged in throat-catching grated coconut, and so very different from those that inflamed the memory of Marcel Proust). The difference with coconut macaroons is that you need neither to be ironic nor self-consciously retro-cool to enjoy them.
One bit of retail bossiness here: buy shredded, not grated, coconut, otherwise the sugary, fragrant dampness—which is, after all, the whole point—will be lost.
- 2 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground almonds
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or coconut extract, should such be available)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 baking sheet, lined with parchment or wax paper
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Beat the egg whites until frothy—no more—then add the cream of tartar and carry on beating, Missus, until soft peaks are formed. Add the sugar a teaspoon at a time and whisk until the peaks can hold their shape and are shiny. Fold in the almonds, salt, vanilla, and coconut. The mixture will be sticky but should, all the same, hold its shape when clumped together.
Form into clementine-sized domes, 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Don’t make them too flat; they look best if you keep them nicely rounded, but this is really just a matter of personal taste, so follow your own.
Cook for 20 minutes or until they’re just beginning to turn golden in parts.
Serving size is 1 macaroon.