Though these are a Passover dessert, I can't imagine anyone who would not like them. Unlike the packaged Manischewitz macaroons of my youth, these are decadently sweet, full of texture and color.
I first made them last year, when I was living in Montreal. The first batch was devoured so avidly - by Passover-observers and coconut lovers alike - that I was compelled to whip out another for my family before heading back to New Jersey for the holiday.
These may be perfect for Passover, but I'd gladly eat them year-round.
1/4 c white sugar
3/4 c egg whites (5 - 6 eggs)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
4 c tightly packed coconut, a mixture of unsweetened and sweetened, and of flakes and shreds (this year I went with more flakes and more unsweetened)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 c dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 c dried apricots, chopped
1/2 c finely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the sugar and egg whites in a large saucepan. Whisk to combine. Over very low heat constantly whisk the mixture until the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers.
When the sugar is resolved, remove the pot from the stove. Add the vanilla, zest, salt, coconut, dried fruits, and nuts, mixing well until they are well-coated with the sugar-egg mixture has coated the stove and add the vanilla, salt, coconut, dried fruit and nuts. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and scoop the mixture on. An ice cream scoop would probably work well, but I use a 1 1/2 tbs. Tightly pack the mixture and plop it onto the baking sheet, scooping out extra with your fingers. Once on the sheet you can pack it together with your fingers if necessary.
Bake for 18 - 20 minutes on a middle rack until the cookie edges are golden. Let cool completely before removing. Layer between wax paper for storage. These keep for a long time in an air-tight container.
makes about 30