So Haley suggested that our first “challenge” be strawberries because she had “so many in the San Fran household”. Well, NYC strawberries are spensive ($4.99 for a container at Whole Foods) so they’re not floating around our apartment BUT the ones I got were definitely worth the price tag. I decided to make Strawberry Cococunt Macaroons because A. I’ve never made them before (CHALLENGE!) B. The man loves them. Not THE man. The man that lives with me. That sounded creepy. Continuing on. C. I had a whole bag of coconut and this girls pinching pennies after the big move to downtown Manhattan with the man. Again, not THE man. Anyway.
I found a basic FoodNetwork Coconut Macaroon recipe and played with it (as I do). Even though in baking very scientific and specific measurements are the key to successful and consistent products, I TEND to err on the side of a lil’ ol’ Grandma – “Pinch here, dash there, let’s just throw some of that in there”. I’m learning. Recipe (with notes) below.
STRAWBERRY COCONUT MACAROONS (adapted from FoodNetwork Recipe)
8oz finely grated baker’s coconut (recipe called for 140z but that’s all I had so – RAN WITH IT!)
8oz sweetened condensed milk (again, recipe called for 14oz but followed that pesky “equal parts” thing)
2 extra large eggwhites, room temperature (I used the poured eggwhites)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1.5 cups strawberries, mincediced (my baker’s word for ittybitty squares of strawberry goodness)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper (I went through 3 pans – it yields about 40 macaroons. Clearly, I’m trying to feed a football team small pink pastries).
- Combine coconut and sweetened condensed milk in a large mixing bowl and mix with a spatula until well-combined (I found the spatula was the best tool for the job – no crevaces for the cocoglue that it becomes to stick to).
- In a small mixing bowl mix the eggwhites and salt with a hand mixer until medium soft peaks form (OK, story time. So I’m mixing the freaking whites for a good 8 minutes peak-less when the man comes in. Conversation that follows. B – Um. Me – Yes? B – You’re thinking what I’m thinking. Me – No. B – YOU’RE THINKING IT! Me – NO!! B – You need to start over! There was an egg yolk in there or the bowl wasn’t clean! You’re never gonna get peaks! (Did I mention he knows his stuff and is an amazing cook? Yea. And I’m competitive . SUPER competitive.) Me – GET OUT! GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!! So, as he walked out, knowing the man was completely right, I threw away my very unhappy kinda foamy eggs and began again. A bit more success the second time but not 100%. Gotta work on those peak skills).
- Fold in egg whites until combined.
- Fold in strawberries until combined (PICTURE TIME!)
- Use an icecream scooper to portion out the macaroons onto the sheetpan (I used a stainless steel tablespoon and it was really successful).
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges of the coconut are golden brown (I baked for about 20 minutes).
Really great. Great balance of strawberry and coconut. I brought them to my songwriter’s event for my writers and I have to say they get even more lovely after a night’s sleep (WOW, me too. Coincidence?) .
So Strawberry challenge, and my wonderful friend Haley – ROCKED you, and NYC misses you – come back now.