These French coconut macaroon sandwiches are exquisite, filled with either lime, lemon or orange curd. The filling should be prepared in advance.
Coconuts had been called the nut of India even though no one knew for certain where they originated. A tropical plant, coconut palms are found along the coastal areas throughout the tropics. They grow quickly and can start bearing nuts as early as six years old.
India leads the world in coconut production, followed by the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. If not harvested and consumed earlier, coconuts will mature completely within 14 months.
Every part of this nut is useful in the kitchen. Coconut water is naturally sweet and very refreshing. In the movie Castaway, Tom Hanks drank coconut water straight from the nut. That is the best way to take it.
Coconut milk is extracted from the mature gelatinous flesh or meat, which is very rich in oil. The mature and firm meat is also shredded to produce coconut flakes that we use widely in baking. The hard shells can be used as fuel for the furnace.
Lime Curd – Essential for Coconut Macaroon sandwiches.
|Lime juice, strained||½ cup|
|Unsalted butter,||6 Tbsp or ¾ stick|
|cut into pieces|
|Egg yolks||4 large|
- In a small heavy enamel saucepan, combine lime juice, butter, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk together the egg yolks in a bowl, then whisk in about 1/3 cup of the lime mixture. Return the remaining lime mixture to a simmer and whisk the yolk mixture into it.
- Continue to whisk for about 3 or 4 more minutes, until the lime curd thickens and begins to bubble slightly around the edge of the pan. Do not allow it to boil or it may curdle.
- Pour the lime curd into a small glass or non-reactive bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface. Refrigerate until cold and thick, at least 2 or 3 hours. The lime curd will keep almost indefinitely in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Lemon curd – substitute lemon juice for the lime juice.
Orange curd – substitute a combination of 1/3 cup orange juice and 2 tablespoons lime juice for the ½ cup lime juice.
Now that we have the lime curd, let’s prepare the coconut macaroons.
|Confectioners’ sugar||1½ cups|
|Unsweetened coconut,||6 ounces (about 2 cups)|
|plus more to sprinkle on the macaroons|
|Egg whites||4 large|
|Granulated sugar||½ cup|
|Light corn syrup||2 tablespoons|
- Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper and should have on hand an extra cookie sheet.
- With a food processor, process confectioners’ sugar with coconut for 3 or 4 minutes. Coconut should be very fine. Put the ground coconut in a bowl and set aside.
- Bring some water to a boil in a small saucepan. Then reduce the heat to allow the water to simmer.
- Combine egg whites, granulated sugar, and water in a bowl. Place it on the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until egg whites are hot and sugar is dissolved. Make sure that bottom of bowl does not touch the water.
- Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whip the egg mixture until cool and stiff.
- Gently fold the ground coconut and corn syrup into the mixture.
- If desired, divide the batter into three portions. Put a drop or two of red food coloring in one portion, and green in another.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with 1½-inch plain tube, pipe about 1-inch or 1½-inch coconut macaroons onto the prepared baking pan. Leave about an inch around each cookie.
- Sprinkle the uncolored macaroons with more coconut and let them all dry, uncovered, at room T. for about an hour.
- Ten minutes before you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the macaroons double pan in the center rack for about 10 minutes, or until they are risen, smooth, and crackled around the edges.
- Remove the pan with the coconut macaroons on it to a wire rack to cool. When they are completely cool, carefully remove them and sandwich them with about ½ teaspoon of lime, lemon, or orange curd for each pair.
- Store these coconut macaroon sandwiches between sheets of parchment or wax paper in airtight containers. This recipe makes about 20 sandwiches.
If you prefer almonds, replace coconut flakes with 1½ cup of whole blanched almonds, and follow the above directions for preparation.
GRIFFITH, L. AND F. First Edition. Nuts – Recipes from Around the World That Feature Nature’s Perfect Ingredient. St. Martin Press. 2003.
MALGIERI, N. First Edition. Cookies Unlimited. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. 2000.