Coconut Lime Macaroons

Today I did my second batch of Christmas baking from a recipe out of Living at Home magazine – coconut lime macaroons.  When I set out the ingredients, I realised once again how much I love the smell of limes, especially grated lime zest.  I think it’s my all time favourite kitchen smell.

This is a very easy recipe, quickly done, and the results are usually very well appreciated, as it seems the coconut and lime combination is something you can’t really go wrong with, everyone seems to like it.

As for the visuals, what can I say – we’ve already established that I’m no wizard with a piping / decorating bag, although this year I did a bit better than the previous one.  I learned to handle the bags a bit better during my praliné workshop, but of course my macaroons still don’t look perfect, even though you have to simply pipe them out into one long sausage.  The taste, however, definitely makes up for that.

Coconut Lime Macaroons

2 limes
200 g desiccated coconut
180 g sugar
pinch of salt
4 egg whites
4 tbsp water
100 g icing sugar

Thoroughly wash limes, dry and grate zest.  Halve the limes and squeeze out juice.  Put both aside.

Heat desiccated coconut, sugar, salt, egg whites and water, stirring continually.  Mixture should not be warmed above 60ºC / 140ºF.

Heat oven to 190ºC / 375ºF, or 170ºC / 340ºF in a fan oven.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper.  Fill the mixture into a piping bag with a large nozzle and pipe ca. 30 cm / 12 in long sticks onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes on the second from bottom shelf.  Let cool on the baking sheet.

Mix together icing sugar and 3 – 4 tbsp lime juice.  Cut the coconut lime sticks into 5 cm / 2 in long pieces.  Dip both ends into the icing and leave them on a wire rack to dry.

According to the recipe, this should make about 30 pieces.  It depends on how long or short you want to cut the sticks, really.  I never manage to get all pieces to have the same size, due to my shortcomings with regards to piping bags.  Another problem deriving from this is that my pieces are usually too structurally challenged to be dipped into the icing mixture, so I just spoon the icing over the whole top of the macaroons.

The original recipe says to use 3 – 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, which is definitely not sufficient.   I used 4 tbsp, and it made the consistency of the icing perfect.

I had no means of measuring the temperature when I heated the ingredients, so I used my finger to check it, and from experience I knew it should be taken off the heat once you can smell the coconut.  Experience also tought me to use a non-stick pan…

These macaroons will keep for about 4 weeks in a cookie tin.  Although nothing I ever baked lasted for 4 weeks…