No, no chocolate is evident in the picture. The complete recipe is below, with the chocolate, but the teenagers consuming the cookies were, to be direct, gloriously impatient. Some of the macaroons were dipped in chocolate, many were not, and the only ones left were unadorned with chocolate.
The Manhattan/Hunter College High School for the Sciences is a very special New York City institution. Students specialize in science and math but have massive, hands-on tutoring in the social sciences and English. Their entire fourth year of high school is spent on the Hunter College campus taking a mix of both high school and college level courses.
The kids are wonderful: bright, happy, and hungry. They are far from being pure geeks. The school has, for example, a Cooking Club. Suzen has always had a mission at Cooking by the Book to give back to the community. So three times a semester the Club comes to Cooking by the Book to prepare a complete meal or to enjoy an afternoon of baking. For their latest CBTB outing, the kids did prepare a real meal, but it ended with these cookies. And these cookies were consumed almost as soon as soon as they exited the oven.
Try these yourself. Either chocolate dipped or simple coconut. You’ll feel like a teenager.
Yield: 36 cookies
- 1 package (7 ounces) flaked sweetened coconut
- 2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl break up flaked coconut well with your fingers; stir in unsweetened coconut, sugar, and flour. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Stir with a spoon, then use hands to blend until well mixed.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Using a rounded tablespoon of batter for each macaroon, shape into ovals and place onto sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or untilg olden brown. Remove from oven. Let stand 1 minute. Remove to wire rack. Cool.
Combine chocolate and cooking oil in 2-cup glass measure. Microwave according to chocolate package directions;stir until smooth. Dip one half of each cooled macaroon in chocolate, covering evenly. Scrape excess off bottom with a knife. Place on waxed paper-lined tray.Chill until chocolate is firm. Store in tightly covered container.
Last week I blogged about my favorite macaron books. I’d waited a bit, trying to get the latest and greatest books for comparison. I wanted one more book, but it was not going to appear until next year and I did not want to delay offering advice with the holidays upon us
Guest what? The book, Macarons by Pierre Hermé, has appeared early. All my high hopes and expectations for this book have been exceeded. This book, this one, is the macaron bible that we have all waited for. It should be at the top of your list when considering macaron cookbooks.
Why? Baking macarons may be the single most delicate cookie operation you will ever undertake. It’s complicated, with many steps. Along the way, doing the wrong thing — something too hot, too much folding — and your macrons will fail. Hermé’s solution is to provide the most completely documented set of instructions, each accompanied by a photograph:
- 32 steps for the macaron shells
- 9 steps for a perfect chocolate ganache
- 8 steps for assembling the shells and fillings into complete macarons
There are techniques and details here that only the expert Hermé could provide. He reminds us that the meringue egg whites have to be weighed to get just the right proportions. And he surprises us by saying those egg whites should then be refrigerated for a week so that they lose their elasticity. Clearly, his great macarons require advance planning!
I promise to faithfully follow 48 of his 49 steps. His last step, to refrigerate the assembled macarons for 24 hours before easting, is untenable.
There are, by my count, 56 macron recipes here. Every recipe is accompanied by a full page color photograph, all tortuously tempting. It’s impossible to open this book and not start eyeing your eggs.
Recipes are grouped by chapter:
- Classics like rose and pistachio
- Fetish flavors like a peach, apricot, and saffron gem
- Signature creations including the Inca: avocado, bananas, and chocolate
- Made-to-order types including a carrot + orange
- Exceptions like the Delicieux: grapefruit and wasabi
Macarons is filled with imagination, creativity and wonder. How do they all taste? Well, I just got the book yesterday, but I can tell you that our holiday dinners and parties will be complemented by choices from Macarons. This Christmas will be white for us. Snow we don’t need. Just lots and lot meringue!