I know that for some people, macaroons are an acquired taste. Boy have I acquired that taste. I find it really difficult to resist a nice fluffy, moist coconut macaroon - chocolate-dipped or not. I'm not sure where my love of coconut macaroons stems from because I can't ever remember eating them when I was younger and I'm not sure what possessed me to try them as I got older, but I am sure glad that I did. I know that some recipes use sweetened condensed milk, but I really wanted to stick to the traditional macaroons before branching out and using condensed milk (although I bet that macaroons made with condensed milk instead of egg whites are fabulously rich).
These macaroons have a really nice almond flavor to them. If you don't like almonds, or marzipan, I would recommend using all vanilla extract and leaving out the almond extract, or just cutting down on the amount of almond extract.
Recipe after the jump!
3 large egg whites
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional, if you don't like almond extract you can use more vanilla extract)
pinch kosher salt
2 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
4 oz. Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F with oven rack in the middle. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Once ingredients are well combined, stir in coconut. Drop macaroons by rounded tablespoonfuls (I used an 1 tbsp OXO measuring spoon) about 1-2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake macaroons until bottoms are golden brown, and tops start to turn golden, about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheets.
If desired, melt chocolate in a double broiler until smooth and glossy. You have two options - you can dip one side of each cooled macaroon in the melted chocolate and return to cookie sheet, or you can drizzle melted chocolate across the top of each macaroon with a teaspoon. It really just depends on how much chocolate you want on your macaroons. Chill macaroons in refrigerator until chocolate is fully set and firm, about 30 minutes.