The density of the thing.
Nothing cupcakey about it.
A macaroon swaggers, all heft and chew and textural intrigue.
What's that in your teeth? A cat hair? A frayed shred of floss? Nah: it's a coconut thread, a happy memento of a just-downed macaroon. Ease it out, maybe set it on the mantel. It's a totem, an idol, an emblem of a life well-lived.
I recognize that some (unhappy) people view coconut with derision, with barely concealed disdain. That to them, a macaroon is a blight on humanity's dessert buffet.
To those people I say: make like Dionne Warwick, and walk on by.
But for the macaroon aesthetes among you? Thanks for sticking around.
I've got something special in store.
Recipe for Coconut Macaroon Cups with assorted fillings
I wanted to create a twist on David Lebovitz's perfect coconut macaroon. If you've never made his recipe, you should.
In this modified version, I've used as many forms of coconut as I could: sweetened flaked, unsweetened desiccated, coconut oil, coconut flour. These items make the cup "shells" dairy- and gluten-free, but if that's a non-issue for you and you don't want to buy the coconut oil and coconut flour in particular, go ahead and sub butter for the oil and all-purpose for the coconut flour, unless you're serving these for Passover. (Watch your fillings, too, if that's the case.)
When filling the cups, use a generous hand with the jam, chocolate, and fruit. Because the cups are less sweet and a bit sturdier (re: drier) than traditional macaroons, these shine brightest when filled with abandon.
Makes 12 filled coconut cups
1-1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1-1/4 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
2-1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (medium-shred preferred)
Scant 1/3 cup coconut flour
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon (optional)
Heaping 1/3 cup granulated sugar
Fillings (quantities will vary depending on how many of each type of filling you make): melted chocolate, sliced fruit, preserves, (maybe even sorbet?)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously brush the muffin cups with melted coconut oil.
In a large nonstick saucepan, combine all the remaining ingredients, except the fillings. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes. The mixture will cohere into a mass, which you'll want to break up and move around the pan. The idea is to dry it out a bit before it bakes.
Use an ice cream scoop to divide evenly among the muffin cups. Coat the back of the scoop with nonstick spray, then make an indentation in each cup, packing the mounds down and creating hollows for the eventual fillings.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the tops of the cups are toasty brown. Let cool. Slide a sharp knife around each cup to loosen, then scoop out carefully with a spoon. Fill as desired.