I’ve always loved receiving plates piled high with all sorts of cookies such as coconut lime cookies with cream cheese filling and rosewater shortbread cookies as well as more unusual varieties like dark chocolate sour cherry scone cookies and Earl Grey butter cookies. This gingerbread spice coconut macaroons recipe is a welcome addition to these and the goodies of our childhoods: brightly iced sugar cookies, fluffy cake, and rich shortbread.
Ingredients to Gather
Coconut Macaroons are easy to make. You just need a sweet syrup to bind the coconut shreds together into snowball shaped confections before baking them to toasted coconut perfection.
A good macaroon starts with coconut. Traditionally they are made with sweet shredded coconut, but I like to use unsweetened, desiccated coconut instead. This gives the macaroons all the flavor of the original, but without the cloying sweetness.
Coconut macaroons are best when the syrup binds them well but doesn’t puddle at the bottom of each cookie in a sticky mess. Sweetened condensed milk solves the problem nicely, providing a good, thick syrup that binds the coconut together but does not puddle.
Coconut is a strong flavor, so when you add spices they will only supplement and enhance rather than overpower. You can stick with simple ginger and cinnamon, but I like to add cardamom and nutmeg as well. The scent as the macaroons bake is downright heavenly. I stir the spices into the coconut before adding the sweetened condensed milk. This provides an even distribution of spices, so you don’t end up with clumps of cinnamon in some macaroons and nothing in others.
Let's Get Baking
The key to good coconut macaroons that hold their shape is ensuring the mixture isn’t too wet. In this case, less is more. Never use a full can of sweetened condensed milk. I start with three quarters of the can and only add more if needed. Stir the mixture well, ensuring each piece of coconut is incorporated and coated with the sweetened condensed milk.
Gingerbread spice coconut macaroons don’t take long to bake, and it’s essential to keep a close eye on them. A good macaroon is beautifully browned on the bottom and along the tips of the exposed coconut, but it doesn’t take long for beautifully browned to become brazenly black, so keep a good watch during the baking process.
Eating and Serving
This gingerbread spice coconut macaroons recipe is delicious served warm or cold, so it’s easy to make them ahead of time and know they won’t lose their charm.
They are scrumptious eaten on their own with a glass of milk, but even nicer served alongside a cup of tea. Try our Coconut Macaron Dessert Tea, Caramel Almond Black Tea, or embrace the spice theme and brew up a cup of Full Moon Chai.
Gingerbread Spice Coconut Macaroons Recipe
- 4 cups desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon powdered cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon powdered cardamom
- 1/2 tablespoon powdered nutmeg
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (more if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 325.
In a large bowl, stir together coconut and spices. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and almond. Add to coconut mixture and stir well to combine.
In another medium bowl, beat together egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into coconut mixture.
Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop coconut mixture by teaspoon onto pan, about an inch apart. Shape with spoons into mounds.
Bake 20-25 minutes, checking often to make sure they don’t burn.
Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to continue cooling. Store in airtight container until ready to serve.