Growing up I would love when my mom would make coconut macaroon cookies. I thought they were one of the best cookies, and they were a nice break from all the chocolate chip cookies she usually would make. She was never much of a fan of making them so we wouldn't have them all that often, but I always remember just loving them. They were so light, airy and sweet. So when I saw a recipe for coconut macaroons in the Just Desserts magazine from Paula Deen I knew I had to make them.
This recipe isn't just the plain coconut macaroon that I recall from my childhood; this has white chocolate chips and orange zest. I wasn't sure about the orange zest so I went really light on it and probably only added 1/4 of a teaspoon rather than the full teaspoon the recipe calls for. The cookies ended up with just a hint of orange; perfect in my opinion!
As I was I making these, I figured out why my mom never liked making them. They take forever! With just a few ingredients I thought they'd be simple, but you have to beat the egg whites and sugar a very, very, very long time to get stiff peaks to form. I'm not even sure I got stiff peaks; I gave up after about 15 minutes with just about, almost there stiff peaks! The cookies still turned out though, and I remember a few batches my mom made that didn't turn out because they weren't beat properly. Thank goodness this batch turned out!
The end result was exactly what I was craving. The light, airy coconut macaroon I remembered, but with the addition of yummy white chocolate chips. I'm glad I went light on the orange zest, and next time I might just leave it out all together. It didn't fit with what I like most about coconut macaroons. But the cookie itself is very tasteful, very coconut-y and a nice detour off my usual chocolate cookie path.
White Chocolate Orange Macaroons
Adapted from Paula Deen, Best Desserts
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 (14 oz) package sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 tsp orange zest (I only used about 1/4 tsp)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. (Very important!)
In a large bowl, beat egg whites with mixer on high speed until foamy.
Gradually add sugar; beating until stiff peaks form. (Be patient; this takes awhile.)
Gently stir in coconut, white chocolate chips, and orange zest until combined.
Spoon mixture onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until edges are golden brown.
Let cool on pans for 2 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Eat, and enjoy!
Yields: 2 dozen cookies (my batch turned out to be about 2 1/2 dozen cookies)