2-Ingredient Crispy Coconut Macaroons

In Cookies & Candy, Desserts
by Ann on 03/12

After making a couple of batches of these yummy macaroons, my husband and I took advantage of the sunny December afternoon and went for a walk.  While the first batch was cooking, I was sure I’d have enough time to fold a load of laundry.  I didn’t.

As we finished our walk, we passed my dad raking leaves (my parents live next door), and I mentioned that I had a batch of these coconut cookies with very brown bottoms.  My dad is one of those guys who likes a slightly burned cookie, so I said I would bring them over.

No sooner had I walked through my back door, I heard a knock.  Dad is a major macaroon fan and didn’t want to wait for these treats!  When I put a few on a plate and asked if that was too many — I mean, I didn’t want to unload all the bad ones on him — he said he fully expected to relieve me of all the subpar cookies.  In his mind, a little extra brown and crispy makes these macaroons even better!

I truly like these cookies when they are slightly browned, albeit not burned.  That way, you get a crispy outside and a moist, chewy inside.  I have contemplated drizzling chocolate over these or maybe dipping on half in chocolate.  But they are so incredibly delicious, not to mention easy, as is.  Maybe one of these days…

NOTE:  I have included additional details and photos below based on helpful feedback from several people whose macaroons flattened.  This led me to do some investigative work, as I do not want to publish a recipe that is not uniformly successful.  I hope it is helpful!

2-Ingredient Crispy Coconut Macaroons

Based on how incredibly easy these cookies are, you won’t believe how incredibly delicious they are!

  • 1 (14-ounce) bag sweetened shredded coconut (see comments and photos regarding type of coconut)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the coconut and the condensed milk until the coconut is evenly coated.
  3. Place mounds of the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet. For uniformly round macaroons, I like to press the mixture firmly into my round tablespoon measuring spoon and slightly overfill it. You want the mixture to be pressed firmly together so that it doesn’t spread while cooking. The mixture will be sticky so you will have to work it out with your fingers and pat it gently into an evenly-shaped mound. (You may coat the spoon with oil or butter, but it eventually wears off. So, either re-coat or resort to your clean fingers! For a quicker method, see notes.)
  4. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until flecked with brown spots and crisp around the edges. As all ovens vary a bit, peek a little early and watch closely for the last few minutes until you learn how long this takes in your oven.
  5. Remove from the oven, cool, and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain optimal freshness.

Notes

For an even faster preparation, you may spread the batter among two greased, parchment-lined 9×5 loaf pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden across the top and crispy around the edges. These can be cut into long bar cookies once cool and each piece will still have some of the crispy edge. As the macaroons cool, they tend to stick to the sides of the baking dish, so the parchment will make for easy removal.

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Following are some details of my quest to determine why some people’s cookies are spreading. This is a batch using Baker’s sweetened coconut which does not contain cornstarch. After trouble-shooting every other possible reason some people have this problem, I looked at the ingredients in different brands of coconut and noticed that cornstarch is not always present. Since cornstarch is a thickener, it seemed likely that this could be the culprit. The edges spread a bit although they were not completely flat for me. However, I did press the uncooked mixture firmly together.

This is a second batch using the coconut with no cornstarch. In general, I like the method of cooking in two loaf pans because it is very quick, no sticky hands, and all the pieces still get some of the crispy edges. (Although I do end up making bigger pieces–14 to 16 total yield–with this option. You could cut each bar in half, however.) With the cornstarch-free coconut, I had to cook on the longer end of the time range provided and the bottoms were a bit stickier. The taste was every bit as good, as judged by four independent taste testers: )

So, my assessment based on my experiences using different types of coconut is that a brand containing cornstarch is helpful but not imperative.  When no cornstarch is present, the macaroons will be a bit runnier although this is mitigated if the mounds are pressed firmly together.  Baking in a pan like a loaf pan where the edge area is maximized is another good option.  Finally, two egg whites, whipped until frothy, can be added if desired.  One baker raved about his experience with the 2-ingredient recipe using Bob’s Red Mill sweetened coconut. (See his interesting comment below.)

I appreciate all comments and feedback and welcome any other tales of experimentation with this recipe.  It’s good to have you all on my team!

As referred to in the comments, this is a picture of a page from my great-great grandmother’s handwritten cookbook, which I had shared on The Fountain Avenue Kitchen Facebook page. My recipe is a modern take on her version, but I love the history held in these pages…and I always marvel at her beautiful penmanship!

This recipe was shared with 365 Days of Baking’s Wicked Good Wednesdays , Sunflower Supper Club Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friends Friday, and Recipes for My Boys’ Thursday’s Treasures.