Alton Brown's Macaroon Delight



   [AB is looking for something inside an array of cookie jars that are covering a table] Hi, I'm Alton Brown. And, gosh darn it, I like cookies! I mean, cake is fine, pie is good, ice cream, fantastic. Mousses, candy, tarts, éclairs, all very, very nice indeed. But cookies? Well, they are really the perfect dessert, snack, dinner, lunch, and hey, what could be better for breakfast?
     Now, there is one specific cookie that is so fattening, so stickily delicious, so downright wrong, that I only make it once a year. And that's at the holidays, and I hide them, somewhere in here. I speak, of course, of the divine, chocolate-covered macaroon! [squeals with delight]
     After considerable consideration, I've decided to share this recipe with the world. Not because I want to make it a happier place, but because I'm hoping to protect my own supply against marauders and pillagers. So, let's bake.
     It all begins, of course, with coconut. I'm using here, two seven-ounce packages of sweetened, shredded coconut. To that, I'm adding one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and of course, a pinch of kosher salt, which makes everything taste better. At least I think so. Then, the secret ingredient, two ounces of sweetened, condensed milk. And simply knead by hand.
     Then, time to deal with some egg whites. I have here, four large egg whites in my stand mixer, and I'm going to beat those on, kind of medium speed with the whisk, until they become, ah, relatively frothy. And then we'll bring five ounces of sugar to the party. Do this slowly, else your whites could become clumpy and nasty, and we don't want that. Now we're looking for medium peaks, and medium peaks look pretty much like this [shows]. Good to go.
     Now, our meringue, which is exactly what this is, is folded into the coconut mixture in stages, and you want to integrate that best you can, without deflating the eggs any more than absolutely necessary.
     Once that is fully integrated, we will move that into tablespoon-size mounds I'm using a disher to do the jobonto a sheet pan lined with parchment.
     Now into a 325 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, and you'll have macaroons. Now let those cool.
     In the meantime, put two inches of water into a four-quart saucepan, and over that, place a large, stainless steel bowl containing 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and an ounce of vegetable shortening. Stir with a spatula or spoon until it is melted and smooth and luscious. Remove.
     Dip your cooled coconut balls into the warm chocolate, and then apply chopped macadamia nuts if you like, before setting them off to cool and set.
     You know, this is the kind of classic cookie that's really best kept, not in a jar, but in a tin, between layers of wax paper, where they'll keep for up to two weeks. Heck, they're so good, sometimes, I eat the wax paper! Hah hah hah hah! I shouldn't have told you that.

Happy Holidays!
from the
Good Eats Gang

Transcribed by Michael Roberts
Proofread by Michael Menninger

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Last Edited on 08/27/2010