Thursday, March 20, 2014

Coconut Macaroons

We have a favorite bakery in Portland, one of the many establishments we like to frequent when we visit southern Maine.  Standard Baking Company is one of those places you go to buy the best.  Standard is a European style bakery without the fuss, featuring fresh crusty loaves of fragrant breads, buttery flaky croissants and an array of delectable treats that will definitely have you wanting more.  My husband and I always grab a hot cup of coffee and a treat to snack on as we walk down Commercial street on Portland's waterfront.  My favorite is their coconut macaroons, a seriously delicious, moist and chewy delight.  Thankfully they published a cookbook!
Here is their recipe for coconut macaroons.


Recipe by Alison Pray and Tara Smith

4 3/4 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut, (macaroon coconut) 
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup egg whites from 6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Makes about 40 macaroons
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Position two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

1.  In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, combine all the ingredients and cook stirring constantly until you reach a temperature of 130° on a candy thermometer.  Mixture will be thick at first but will soften a bit and be quite sticky as it gets warmer.  Be careful not to scorch the bottom.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
2.  Scoop the batter into rounded tablespoons and drop onto parchment lined pans, evenly spaced.  At this point with your fingers dipped in water, you may form these mounds into neat little balls or you can form them into little pyramids as they do in the bakery.  Using wet fingers to prevent sticking, use your thumb and first two fingers to form each mound into a pyramid shape.

3.  Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate baking sheets front to back and top to bottom.  Bake an additional 5 to 6 minutes until the edges are browned.  Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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