I’ve never been one for features here but this holiday season I found myself already baking more cookies than I had expect to. So I figured why not feature them all before Christmas?
This gives me the incentive to post more and gives you the chance to see a few different cookies with time left to whip up a batch or two…or five!
The first recipe I bring to you this holiday season are these coconut cream macaroon sandwich cookies.
Now, macaroons aren’t really considered a traditional Christmas cookie per se. But rather, they are more often associated with the Jewish holidays because there is no flour or leavener in cookies.
But, no matter the religious or cultural association, I assure you that these cookies are damn good. And they are so incredibly easy to make!
I’ve made other coconut cookies in the past but none that are completely focused on this one flavor.
These macaroon cookies alone only have 5 ingredients (one of which is salt) and if you want to skip the filling, you certainly won’t be let down.
These coconut cream filled macaroons are simply perfect by themselves!
The coconut around the edges of the cookies brown in the oven and it’s these toasted coconut edges that are just fantastic with the sweet soft coconut centers. If you stick with the filling, you’ll add a nice complement of coconut creaminess to the mix.
Keep in mind that the filled sandwiches are considerably more substantial than the single macaroons are without the filling so you may want to consider what you’ll be serving with them when you do. Some fruit would be nice with these cookies!
Unfortunately for us, these macaroons were too good to stick around for very long but they will likely make a reappearance before our Christmas Eve festivities. I don’t expect they will stick around in your house for very long either.
A few notes about ingredients for these coconut cream macaroon sandwich cookies:
You may have some issues finding these ingredients so let me help you out!
- Unsweetened shredded coconut: If you can’t find unsweetened finely shredded coconut in your regular store, you can use sweetened shredded coconut and reduce the sugar from ¾ cup to ½ cup (my changes are reflected in the recipe card below). You can easily find this in any health food store, Whole Foods, or on Amazon.
- Coconut extract: I found coconut extract in Whole Foods. You can also order it from Amazon. King Arthur Flour has coconut flavoring which is similar but a little sweeter.
- Cream of coconut: You can find cream of coconut in some larger grocery stores and probably liquor stores as well. In the grocery stores, check in the soda isle near the drink mixes; I found it both in a squeeze bottle and in a can. Otherwise, I think the coconut cream you can find in the Asian food area of the grocery store will work fine.
For the cookies:
- 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- ⅛ tsp Kosher salt
For the coconut cream filling:
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp cream of coconut
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- To make the cookies: Stir together coconut, granulated sugar, egg whites, coconut extract and salt in a large bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until cold, at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Form heaping teaspoons of dough into balls; space 1 ½ inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Gently flatten to about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges begin to turn golden, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
- To make the filling: Put butter, cream of coconut and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add confectioners' sugar and coconut extract; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- To assemble the cookies: Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling on the bottom of 1 cookie. Sandwich with another cookie on top. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Transfer to a platter; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until filling is firm, about 30 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
Storage: Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.
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