I live in a middle size town in the middle of Nebraska, a state stuck smack dab in the middle of the United States. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather live, surrounded by my whole family and a zillion friends.
That being said, Nebraska has a new tourism slogan that recently replaced the old "Nebraska Nice" (because we all are.) The new one, and I've gotta tell you I wonder what someone got paid to come up with it, is...wait for it. It's "Nebraska, It's Not for Everyone." And that's because, well, it isn't. But we love it.
Why do I bring that up? Neither are these cookies. That is if you're a coconut hater like my one almost perfect son-in-law who gags at the thought of it or my boss, who say it reminds him of eating bugs. (Did he ever?) However, the rest of us LOVE the light, sweet and crispy, chewy goodness of old fashioned coconut macaroons. Coconut bliss.
Way back when I got married, every self respecting bride and novice cook had one of these in her kitchen. Why? First printed in 1956, it had some 400 pages of recipes that were simple, down to earth and very hard to screw up. Not a lot of photos but a bunch for the era. And in color to boot! It was quite possibly the world's most popular bridal shower gift when appliances were harvest gold and avocado green.
Today its's considered a vintage collectible and come to think of it, that makes me one too. Anyhow, that's where the inspiration for this recipe originates.
The meringue-like element of these cookies works best with eggs at room temperature. The whites whip up whippier when the chill is off.
Start by separating the whites and setting aside the yolks for now when you can use them in some yummy thing like noodles or pudding.
I buy farm eggs from a gal named Steph who raises happy chickens that produce great-tasting eggs with deep yellow yolks. Makes for beautiful food.
Today, I feel the need to confess I have a condition known as EggCD. I know, it's weird but I simply cannot leave eggs in a carton willy-nilly like some sort of refrigerator rebel. So, before putting them back, I'm driven to arrange them so the carton is balanced both by weight and design. There are worse quirks, right? Doesn't this look just so much better?
Whip those whites with the vanilla until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar and keep beating until the white are stiff. Stop a couple of times and scrape down the sides so all the sugar gets incorporated.
Fold in the coconut until well combined. I always have to sneak a pinch of coconut right out of the bag because I'm in the crazy about coconut camp.
Plop by plump tablespoonsful (I'm making that a word.) onto a greased cookie sheet or one you have covered with parchment paper. My secret is out, my cookie sheets are gross. Please consider a donation.
Now bake in a slow oven, about 325 degrees for what seems like forever but is actually about 20 minutes. The macaroons should have a blush of tan about the color of pantyhose if you remember that.
Let them cool a bit before moving them to a rack to cool. And that is it!!
Keep them in a tightly covered container so the retain their crisp exterior and chewy middles. But don't worry, they will disappear fast unless you have my boss or son in law around.
Simple, sweet, light and crunchy cookie crammed with loads of coconut
Set eggs out long enough to let them get to room temperature, the whites will whip up better. Separate eggs and save yolks for pudding, noodles or something else yummy.
Whip egg whites with vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and best until stiff peaks form, scraping down sides of bowl a couple of times to make sure sugar is dissolved. Fold in coconut.
Drop by round tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet or line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake about 20 minutes in slow oven, 325 degrees or until lightly browned. Cool on rack. Store tightly covered.
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