There is some controversy over the exact origin of macaroons. However, most food historians believe the macaroon’s humble beginnings date back to an 8th or 9th century Italian monastery. The word ‘macaroon’ is derived from the Italian word ammaccare, which means ‘to crush’. This is a nod to its original main ingredient - almond paste. The move to shredded coconut as the main ingredient came in the 1890s when a French company needed the cookie to not spoil or fall apart during transport. Macaroons can be made gluten free by not including any flour. However, in my recipe I add a small amount of flour to give the cookies more body. I prefer to use unsweetened shredded coconut as the star ingredient in my macarons, but if you prefer an even sweeter cookie feel free to substitute sweetened shredded coconut. The use of golden syrup is a nod to my British roots that adds a light caramel flavor and subtle buttery notes. If you cannot find golden syrup, light corn syrup can act as a substitute. I like to dress up my macaroons with melted chocolate, but they are just as delicious plain! Macaroons can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. I guarantee that if you whip up a batch they won’t last that long!
- 3 egg whites
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup golden syrup, such as Lyle's
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt.
- When the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved, remove the bowl from the heat.
- Stir in the golden syrup, vanilla extract, flour, and coconut flakes.
- Cover dough and refrigerate for one hour (or until firm).
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, form dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets approximately 2 inches apart.
- Bake until golden brown - between 15 and 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let macaroons cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
- Place macaroons on a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate.
- Dip the bottom of the cooled macaroons in the chocolate. Use the edge of the bowl to wipe off any excess chocolate. Set macaroons on a piece of parchment paper and allow chocolate to harden.
- Drizzle remaining chocolate over the top of the macaroons.
- Allow chocolate to fully set before storing macaroons in an airtight container.