Before I get to the recipe I have a request . My blog has been nominated for best food photography on a blog on the kitchen (thank you Carey :)) and I would deeply appreciate it if you could vote for me here. The voting is open for today only and I know that it is not fun to have to sign up to vote but it is a quick sign up and it would mean so much to me if you would do this. Thank you in advance.
When I was a kid, my dad had one day off, Monday. It was the day we looked forward to all week. He would take us shopping, to playgrounds, to visit friends and family but the part we enjoyed the most was spending time with dad. It was the busiest and happiest day of the week. You see my dad is a pharmacist and he works long hours, 6 days a week and Mondays were his only day off.
Of all the places we’d go and things we’d do I loved going with him to down town Amman. It is the oldest part of the city, full of beautiful aged buildings, markets, farmer markets, libraries, bakeries and shops. Walking down the street you’d see shops that have been there for decades, shop keepers who are mostly old men that time has left its mark in the wrinkles on their faces and the wisdom in their eyes. Go a little further and you’d get to the fruit and vegetable market that is the closest to a farmers market as you can get in Amman, stands of fruits and vegetables of every color and kind. Shop keepers trying to get your attention with songs and jingles about how fresh and tasty their fruits are.Some are really funny “like oh these cucumbers are as tender as a baby’s fingers” and some are flirt-y “come check out these tomatoes, they are as red as beautiful young woman’s cheeks”. Markets for accessories, for knitting and craft supplies, others for toys, bags, gold, utensils and even pets. You name it, downtown Amman had it. With the years the area has been renovated and changed a bet but there is still part of that old magic that is still there.Some day I’ll have to take my camera and take you on a tour downtown with me.
Today’s recipe has to do with a little bakery in down town Amman. Whenever we’d go there, dad would buy me coconut macaroons from there and they were the best coconut macaroons in town. Crisp and golden on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Light and just the right sweetness. For years, I tried to find a bakery that made macaroons that were as good as that little bakery’s without success. I tried recipe after recipe, only one came close but still it wasn’t it. Till this recipe came a long. I found it is a reply on a forum to someone asking about the perfect macaroon. It had no picture with it, nothing just the recipe and a promise it is the best you’ll ever have.
I decided to give it a go, curious about the technique of making it(read the recipe and you will know what I mean).I know I already gave away the result in the title but have you ever made a recipe and with the first bite you close your eyes and go “Yes! I ‘ve nailed it!”? Well that is what I did 🙂 and if you have been looking for the perfect macaroon like I was, try this recipe. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 cups shredded coconuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Candied cherries for decoration (optional)
To prepare your coconut macaroons
Beat the egg whites until they become white and form stiff peaks (using the food processor this requires 5- 7 minutes)
After you get the stiff peaks, start adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time while beating (if you add the sugar all at once you risk deflating the egg whites)
Add the vanilla and lemon zest while you continue beating.
Empty the egg whites into a bowl and fold in the coconuts
Put the coconut egg white batter in a pot and cook over low medium heat while stirring continuously till the mix is heated through and thickens in consistency (this should take around 5-7 minutes)
Take the pot off the heat and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Heat your oven to 240 C
Spoon the mix on to a greased baking sheet
You can decorate them with candied cherries or leave them plain
Place the coconut macaroons in the oven on the middle rack.
Bake at 240 C for 3-5 minutes (this will help the macaroons set) then lower the heat to 160 C till the edges touching the pan are golden brown
Place them under the broiler till the tops are golden brown too
Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool for 5-6 minutes (they will be too soft to handle when they come out and might crumble if you try to move them)
Take the macaroons off the pan and cool on a wire rack
Once they cool you can decorate them by dipping half of each macaroon in melted chocolate or drizzling lines of melted chocolate on them
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