Parisian Passover Coconut Macarons

 (From “1,000 Jewish Recipes” by Faye Levy)

The secret to keeping these moist and light is to make them with Italian meringue, a mixture of beaten egg whites beaten with boiling sugar syrup. Use finely grated unsweetened coconut, which is available at natural foods stores, fine supermarkets and some ethnic markets. Can be served plain or filled with a high-quality jam or a buttercream frosting.

1 4 cups sugar
w cups water
3 egg whites
3 cups (8 ounces) unsweetened
grated coconut

Position two racks in oven and preheat oven to 325F. Grease two or three baking sheets and sprinkle on matzah meal or potato flour, shaking off excess.

Prepare Italian meringue: Combine sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Boil without stirring for three minutes. Begin whipping egg whites at low speed and continue whipping until stiff.

Meanwhile, boil syrup until it reaches the softball stage (238F on a candy thermometer). Gradually pour hot syrup onto stiff egg whites, beating constantly at high speed. Continue beating mixture until cooled to room temperature. Stir in coconut.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (about half-inch diameter, No. 4), pipe mixture onto prepared baking sheets in rosettes or peaked mounds of about one-inch diameter, spacing them about one inch apart. Alternatively, moisten your fingers and shape the mixture in peaked mounds of about one-inch diameter.

Bake until ridges or peaks of macaroons turn light brown, but rest of surface remains pale in color, 12-13 minutes; they should be just firm enough so they can be removed from baking sheet without losing their shape. Halfway through baking time, switch positions of baking sheets from lower to upper racks so all bake evenly.

Using a metal spatula, very carefully remove macaroons from baking sheet and transfer to a rack to cool.

Makes 50 to 60 macarons