This is the recipe that put Danny Macaroons on the map (and by “map” I mean “convinced HMH to publish [my] book”). I cannot guarantee that you will have similar success, but you may gain friends.
Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, from The Macaroon Bible by Dan Cohen. Photography by Alice Gao. © 2013.
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- One 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 large egg whites
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In an extra-large bowl, measure out 10 1⁄2 ounces by weight of the condensed milk. If you don’t have a scale, use approximately 8 ounces (1 cup) by liquid measure. Add the vanilla and incorporate with a rubber spatula. Add the coconut and combine until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the egg whites and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt to the bowl of a stand mixer (or small bowl if you’re using a hand beater) and whip on medium-high until very stiff peaks form, 2 1⁄2 to 3 minutes.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. After it’s combined, push the mixture into one big blob to make it easier for you to portion out the macaroons.
- Dip 2 spoons into a small bowl of water, shake them off, form the mixture into balls approximately 1 1⁄2 inches in diameter, and place them on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. (You can also form them by hand, but be sure to wet your fingers frequently.)
- Place the sheet into the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes. After about 22 minutes, start checking for coloring. Look for an even, light golden color and for the undersides to be nicely tanned.
- Remove from the oven and let the sheet rest on a cooling rack, leaving the macaroons on the sheet until they’re cool enough for you to pull off (about 2 minutes depending on how sensitive your fingers are). Transfer the macaroons to the cooling rack to let cool completely.
- While the macaroons are cooling, prepare the caramel. (WARNING: If you’ve never made caramel before, please be careful. Melted sugar is very hot and will burn you if you touch it or if it splashes on you.) Place the sugar in a small saucepan—the heavier the better—over medium heat and don’t touch it until the sugar starts to melt. It’ll slowly turn clear, then pale yellow, and then start to darken. When it just starts to darken and/or boil, start stirring carefully but rapidly to fully distribute any unmelted sugar throughout the pot. Keep stirring until all the sugar is melted and there are no lumps, then turn the heat down to low, and when the sugar has a nice copper color to it, add the butter. Stir to mix the sugar and butter together, then add the remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and continue stirring until the butter is completely integrated with the sugar. If it starts to smoke, remove the pot from the heat. When the caramel has a nice caramel color to it, remove from the heat and, using a small spoon, drizzle on top of the macaroons.
- The macaroons will keep uncovered for 3 to 5 days, for about 3 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge, and for a few months if stored in an airtight container in the freezer.