Sally’s Coconut Macaroons

Luca's Macaroons

The best recipes have backstories—at least, Sally’s always do. Here she gives the lineage behind this coconut macaroons recipe. “My mother had one mean sweet tooth. She would be the one begging to drive the 10 miles to the nearest Dairy Queen, where she would always order the biggest sundae. We kids simply couldn’t keep up. So it’s no surprise that she was a great baker. These cookies were something we would often do in my teen years at about nine p.m. as a snack before bed. They were even better for breakfast.”–Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

LC Cookies For Breakfast, Cookies For Easter Note

We’re big proponents of cookies for breakfast. Big. We’re also big proponents of cookies for special occasions, such as Easter. Witness the charming young gentleman in the photo above showing off the coconut macaroons he and his mom, Annie, made this past weekend. (Annie is David’s administrative assistant and sooooooo much more. He couldn’t function without her.) Given that it was a holiday, they fancied up the coconut macaroons with some Jordan almonds. And there are plenty of other ways to gussy them up, whether for breakfast or a religious occasion or no reason at all, as you’ll see in the variations just beneath the recipe.

Sally's Coconut Macaroons

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 40 M
  • Makes 30 cookies
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Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread a sheet of parchment paper over a large cookie sheet, or butter the sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and almond or vanilla extract. Blend in the coconut until it is completely moistened. This is not supposed to be a batter but rather well-moistened clumps of coconut.

Drop generous teaspoonfuls of the cookie dough on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the macaroons are golden brown with crisp edges. Transfer the macaroons to a rack to cool.

Print RecipeBuy the The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper cookbook

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    Tuxedo Variations

    • Easter Bunny Nests
    • Tux variation

      Once the macaroons are on the baking sheet, tuck a Jordan almond or a jelly bean or two atop each one before baking.

    • Chocolate Macaroons
    • Tux variation

      Prepare the recipe as above, adding 3 to 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder to the egg mixture; or, alternatively, blending in 1/2 cup chocolate chips with the coconut.

    • Rainbow Macaroons
    • Tux variation

      Add 2 to 3 drops food coloring of choice to the coconut. Toss to evenly color the strands before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.

    • Coconut Nut Macaroons
    • Tux variation

      Prepare the recipe as above, adding 1/2 to 2/3 cup nuts—coarse-chopped almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts—to the coconut mixture.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    I love these coconut macaroons. Love. They’re sweet and chewy and coconut-y and much too easy to whip up at a moment’s notice. I couldn’t bring myself to have them for breakfast, however. The coconut macaroons remind me a bit of the coconut layer of Samoas/Caramel deLites. I might try drizzling the next batch with some caramel and chocolate just to get a fix (we don’t know any Girl Scouts right now). The macaroons turned out better when I let the well-moistened clumps of coconut, as Lynne and Sally describe them, sit for 30 minutes before baking.

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    1. I am a big fan of coconut desserts and have been searching for a good and straightforward macaroon recipe. A lot of macaroon recipes I’ve come across always have condensed milk as an ingredient and I would want to try something without it so i can enjoy the sweetness of the coconut on its own. This is definitely a macaroon for the purist and wouldn’t want the flavor adulterated in anyway.

      I will try to let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before baking the next time I bake them. Is it advisible to bake it a lower temperature??? I noticed that the bottom and edges browned immediately, way before the prescribed 20 mins baking time.

      1. Trish, is your oven temperature correct? That could be the problem with the burning. I have two oven thermometers to make sure it’s on target and to know where the hot spots are.

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