When it comes to macaroons, I'm a purist. It's one of those things that I don't make very often...but when I do, I want it to be the essence of macaroon. Don't fuss around with it - just give me light, chewy, delicate coconut taste.
In the past, when I've made them (the last batch being around the holidays), I've used the Barefoot Contessa's recipe. It calls for sweetened condensed milk, which really amps up the indulgence factor. I was excited to try Donna Hay's macaroon recipe for Donna Hay #2, graciously hosted by Pearl of the Orient.
The recipe couldn't be simpler, which I loved. The egg whites hold the mixture together and give the cookies a much lighter texture than the macaroons I've been making. I added a touch of vanilla extract to the main batter recipe because, well, everything I bake gets an extra "oomph" of vanilla extract.
While I really thought the plain ol' macaroons were great, I decided to dress them up with some toppings. Mounds were always one of my favorite candy bars when I was a kid...and macaroons obviously loan themselves to being mound-a-fied. Some melted Lindt bittersweet chocolate and toasted almonds made some killer "Moundaroons".
Lime Macaroons (obviously in this case NOT lime macaroons)
2 cups desiccated coconut
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs whites
1 1/2 tablespoon lime zest*** (alter to suit your own recipe - i added a splash of vanilla to mine instead)
Preheat oven to 180C (that's 350F for some of you). Place the coconut, sugar, lime zest and egg whites in a bowl and mix to combine. Roll the mixture into balls. Place on a lined baking tray, flatten slightly and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Serve with coffee. Makes 15.