Alice Medrich’s Coconut Macaroons

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Given the number of dessert recipes on this site, dear readers, I doubt it will come as much of a surprise to you to learn that I do a great deal of baking. And, to be sure, I’ve had my share of flops — cakes that mysteriously sink, ‘healthy’ cookies that had the texture of oat-studded bricks, brittle burnt to a crisp. But, generally speaking, I do pretty well. I’ve been at it long enough that I can usually tell what’s going to work in a recipe, and what won’t, and how to fix most snags that come my way.

Except, of course, for recipes that depend heavily on egg whites for their leavening. For some reason, those are always my downfall.


After years of shrunken, dense angel food cakes and shattered meringues, I decided that egg whites were an ingredient better suited to pisco sours than dessert. But alas, Passover rolled along, and macaroons were requested for the Seder dinner.  Panic set in.

Thankfully, I happened to have a copy of Alice Mederich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies lying around (bless you, Toronto Public Library), and came across her genius recipe for coconut macaroons in which the egg whites are simply heated up along with the other ingredients, then given time to all meld together before going in the oven.

No whipping? I wondered, No beating or frothing the whites? No risk of the whites not foaming due to impossible-to-predict things like atmospheric pressure or humidity? And just like that, I was sold. Which is a relief, because these turned out to be some of the best macaroons I’ve ever made — ultra crisp on the edges, chewy in the middle, and just the right amount of chocolate to balance things out.

They turned out so well the first time that I baked up another batch just for snacking at home — and I suspect you might do the same.


Alice Medrich’s Coconut Macaroons

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 20-22 cookies

Coconut Macaroons adpated from Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies.


  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (also known as coconut chips)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (though not all brands are Kosher for Passover)
  • Slightly rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Handful of chocolate chips or baking callets


  1. Fill a wide skillet with about an inch of water and heat it to a gentle simmer.
  2. Dump all the ingredients together in a large, heat-proof bowl (preferably stainless steel) and give them a stir. Set the bowl directly in the pan of simmering water and stir occasionally, until the mixture becomes hot and the egg whites have thickened and turned opaque (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside for half an hour, so the ingredients can continue getting friendly. 😉
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Using your hands (which are about to get quite sticky), smoosh together roughly 2 Tablespoons of dough at a time to form each cookie. Bake for 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 325F and rotate your pans. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until, as Alice says, "the cookies are a beautiful cream and gold with deeper brown edges."
  6. As soon as the cookie are out of the oven, pop a bit of chocolate on top of each and the residual heat will melt them together. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Best eaten the day they were made, but will survive in an airtight container for another day or two.



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8 Responses to “Alice Medrich’s Coconut Macaroons”

  1. Mourer November 28, 2019 at 4:24 AM #

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  2. Kimberlie Robert October 26, 2015 at 1:38 PM #

    Hi Alanna! I made this macaroon and posted it to my website, as well. All of Alice Medrich’s cookies are wonderful. You can see my post here.

    • toughcookie October 28, 2015 at 12:59 PM #

      Yours look lovely, Kim! Though I must say, I really do love the melted chocolate on top. Helps cut the sweetness a little!

  3. Elsa April 10, 2015 at 11:02 AM #

    Now I have to go and buy coconut flakes!

    • Alanna April 10, 2015 at 11:15 AM #

      Elsa, you can also substitute regular (unsweetened) shredded coconut if you’d like, but reduce the amount to 3 cups.

  4. Chelito April 7, 2015 at 1:50 PM #

    Lately for me it’s been mayonnaise. I used to be able to make mayonnaise in my sleep – perfect EVERY time.

    The last THREE times I’ve tried to make it it has completely fallen apart.

    • Alanna April 10, 2015 at 11:14 AM #

      Chelito, I hate it when that happens! There are always a couple recipes I think I have down pat, and right when I decide I no longer need to look at the instructions, something always goes seriously awry.

  5. Dadaa April 7, 2015 at 12:26 AM #

    Yup, they’re delicious folks.