Spring is just full of color, isn't it? When I think of Spring, I think flowers, Easter eggs, pastels, rainbows, etc.
I'm always trying to come up with something new or different, and coconut is a definite staple used for Easter baking! ( Whether it be coconut cakes, or making "grass" for bunny, lamb cakes, or cupcakes!)
Coconut Macaroons are such a simple and easy treat to make, and they're not heavy or overly sweet like a lot of other foods or sweets this time of year. There is no fat in these treats- just coconut, sugar, and egg whites! These are sweet, chewy, and just a bit toasty on the outside. Yumlicious!!
Since I love rainbows and color so much, I thought the kids would get a kick out of these rainbow or "confetti" treats! This is also a great recipe to get your kids to help you with, because the more hands, the faster it is to color the coconut! Simply divide the bag of coconut between ziploc bags for your colors, put a small drop or two of color in, seal it, and let the kids do their magic! (My 7 yr. old son Rodney had fun with this one!)
Both liquid or gel food coloring can be used, and you can flavor these with virtually any extract or flavored oil you wish. (I flavored mine "pina colada"- using Lou Ann flavored candy oil.)
I was going to call these "Rainbow" coconut macaroons, but after the coconut was all colored, it really resembled shreds of confetti, so these treats would also be perfect for birthday parties, baby showers, etc. Super easy, inexpensive, low in fat, what more can I say?!! Dip the bottoms in chocolate? Yes! Any color you wish-
**Some important things to remember:
After whipping up the egg whites, CAREFULLY fold in your coconut in stages. You don't want to lose the air whipped up into the whites!
Also, be careful when baking these, as you don't want to brown them! You want all that pretty color to pop!
Yield: 2 dozen
Prep time: 10-25min.
1- 14oz bag of Sweetened coconut
2 egg whites (room temp.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
liquid or gel food coloring (I used 1-2 drops of: pink, yellow, orange, green, blue, & purple)
6 ziploc sandwich baggies
flavored candy oil or extract (vanilla, almond, lemon, cherry, etc.)
Optional for finishing: dark, milk, white, or colored chocolate wafers
Preheat oven to 325F & line 2 sheet trays with silpats or parchment paper.
1) Divide the 14oz bag of coconut as evenly as possible between the 6 ziploc bags. In each one, drop 1-2 drops of food coloring, (or a small amount of gel), seal the bags, and manipulate the coconut until the color is even throughout. Do this for all 6 colors, (or however many you choose to do.)
2) Either by hand or machine, whip your egg whites. Slowly begin to add the sugar in stages after it becomes "frothy". Whip until stiff peaks. Add a drop or 2 of flavored oil, or about a 1/2 tsp of extract at the very end of whipping.
Carefully, (and in stages), add the colored coconut by folding in with a rubber spatula.
3) Scoop coconut onto sheet trays- 12 mounds per tray. Using clean, wet hands, go back and form each mound into a more uniform ball shape. (You don't need to roll in your hands, but just shape while on the tray.)
4) Bake at 325F for about 15-20min. Remove from oven, and allow to cool.
Optional: Melt some chocolate in a double boiler or microwave, and carefully dip the bottom of each macaroon, placing onto a parchment or silpat lined tray. When done, you can place the tray in the refrigerator for about 5-10min to set the chocolate. Remove, transfer treats to a lined storage container or platter, and cover well.
Store in a cool dry place for 5-10 days.