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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons4 large egg whites
3 ½ cups unsweetened dried flaked coconut ( not shredded) or
3 cups dried shredded coconut
¾ cup castor sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
200gms dark cooking chocolate ( optional)
1 tblsp butter to add to chocolate as it is melting

Combine all the ingredients in a large heatproof bowl or saucepan. Stainless steel is better than glass as it conducts the heat better. Set the bowl over a pan of boiling water and stir the mixture constantly until the egg white starts very slightly to turn opaque, approx.. 5-7 minutes. The mixture should be be very hot to touch but not cooking the egg white. Take off the heat and set aside to allow the coconut to absorb the egg white – 10 minutes.

Pregheat the oven to 170 deg. C and line cookie trays with baking paper

Using two tablespoons, make attractive heaps of mixture 2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down 5 or 10 degress and cook for another 10 minutes. The macaroons should be a creamy golden colour with deeper brown crispy tips. Rotate the trays as necessary if the cookies are browning unevenly.

Cool the cookies completely on the tray before removing.

If desired you can coat the underside of the cookies with melted chocolate. Melt the chococlate in a double boiler with the butter and use a spatula or blunt knife to spread the chcoclate. Place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the chocolate properly.

Store in a completely airtight container. They are best on the day of coking but do keep well if tin is airtight.

This recipe comes from a fab book – Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich

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