Incredibly chewy, moist, sweet and yet nutty, these macaroons have always been a huge hit. Actually, when entertaining, this is one of my most requested recipes. Although these are perfect for Passover, don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving them (and making them) all year long!
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Line 2 or 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.
Put desiccated coconut into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and add 1 1/4 cups sugar. Grind until mixture is finely ground and well combined.
Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place a skillet with 1-inch of very hot (but not simmering) water in it, over low heat. Place bowl with egg whites into skillet and whisk constantly until the temperature of the whites is brought up to just tepid (very warm to the touch). Stop frequently to check temperature: (To do this, stop whisking and remove bowl from skillet and test with your finger.) When whites are warm and frothy, attach bowl to the electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Add a pinch of salt to the whites and whip at high speed until starting to become white and thick. With machine running, add remaining 1 cup sugar in a steady stream and continue to beat until thick and shiny. Add 3 tablespoons corn syrup and both extracts and continue to beat until stiff (mixture will look like thick, shiny, melted marshmallow).
Remove bowl from machine and, using a sturdy rubber spatula, fold in the ground coconut-sugar mixture along with 2 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut. (Depending on the size of your electric-mixing bowl, will probably need transfer beaten whites into a larger bowl before folding in coconuts.) Combine gently but thoroughly.
Using a small-to-medium ice cream scoop (with no more than a 1/4 cup liquid capacity), scoop leveled portions of macaroon batter onto prepared baking sheets, in 3 rows of three per each sheet. (If you ever find it difficult to release the batter from the scoop, knock the filled scoop against the sheet, then pull the release trigger. Wipe out interior and begin again.) Place a good pinch of the additional 2 cups shredded coconut on top of each mound, spreading gently to cover. If you want to correct the shape of your mound, just use your fingers to gently prop-up and round each portion of batter, which is very soft. (The outside coconut will allow you to manipulate and reshape mound without sticking to your hands. Unbaked macaroons should look nice and plump with rounded domed tops, all covered with shredded coconut.)
Place macaroons in preheated 350F oven and immediately turn the heat down to 325F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown on the outside but still somewhat soft on the inside. Let sheet sit on wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before using a thin metal spatula to remove cookies to a wire rack to cool thoroughly. (If you have one oven, bake two sheets simultaneously using the upper and lower third shelf positions. Switch shelf positions after half the baking time. If you only have 2 cookie sheets, after baking first two sheets, run under cold water to cool before lining with fresh parchment and baking the remaining batter.)
Although I like to serve macaroons within 24 hours of baking, they stay absolutely perfect for a week when stored in an airtight tin, separated by sheets of wax paper, or simply on a platter, covered well with plastic wrap.