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Up until this point, I thought I was a sweetened flaked coconut macaroon type of gal. I'd tasted cookies made with the unsweetened flakes and I found them to be dry, with a saw dusty texture and a notable lack of coconut flavor. Well, never say never to cookies, I guess.
Last week I wanted to make a new macaroon recipe for the Easter/Passover season, and specifically one that would be flavored with what I consider to be an early spring holiday duo: white chocolate and lemon. (Though it's worth noting that if you're keeping your meal parve for Passover, you can skip the white chocolate dip and still be happy with these cookies.) The next place my mind went was to coconut macaroons, since they're delicious, spring-like, and flourless to boot.
The problem was that I live close to a health food store and far from a regular supermarket, meaning I do a lot of shopping at the former. And the former, being a San Francisco health food store that does nothing if not take itself seriously, only carried unsweetened, all natural (prone-to-creating-saw-dusty-macaroons) coconut flakes. Oh well, I thought, it's worth a shot.
And you know what? These bake up just as moist and chewy as I could have hoped. The fresh lemon helps to boost the flavor of the coconut, alleviating any worries I had on the coconut flavor front. I made them extra large so that you could serve them as a real dessert option at a holiday dinner buffet.
But my favorite part is the unexpected addition of the white chocolate bottoms. When you take a bite, your teeth crunch through the lightly toasted, extra-coconutty tips, chew through the lemon-scented body, and then snap through the smooth white chocolate base. (OK, second favorite part: they're so large, you get to go back for more.)
About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios