Are you guys ready for the slew of Christmas recipes I am about to throw your way? It’s going to be one crazy, Polish time, I promise. And since I’m guessing fish in gelatin (my dad’s favorite Christmas Eve dish) may frighten you a touch, I’m starting things off easy this year, with kokosanki, or as you may know them, coconut macaroons.
These coconut macaroons are light, moist, and citrusy, and couldn’t be farther from the lumps of dried coconut you can buy at the store. They are also just about the easiest dessert to make, and require a total of about five minutes of prep time. Good thing, since my mom has more than enough on her plate with all of the fish gutting for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, but some guests (cough, Agatha, cough) have a habit of emptily threatening not to show up if there are no kokosanki.
Kokosanki (Coconut Macaroons)
From Mommy’s Kitchen
Makes 50-60 kokosanki
7 egg whites
3/4 tablespoon vanilla sugar (This can be purchased in Eastern European groceries or specialty stores.)
1 cup sugar (Confectioner’s sugar is best, but regular sugar will do)
Zest of 1 1/2 lemons
10 1/2 cups moist shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place egg whites and vanilla sugar in a bowl. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, beat these on medium speed for about 30 seconds, and then on high speed until the mixture is white. Slowly add the sugar to the mixture, while continuously beating. The mixture is done when soft white peaks begin to form. If you are using regular sugar, your mixture may not form soft peaks. In this case, just make sure the sugar has been adequately incorporated, and don’t worry about the peaks.
Add the zest and the coconut to the mixture. Use a spatula to fold the ingredients together. The mixture is ready when all of the coconut has been coated with the egg mixture and it looks uniform.
Place lumps the size of ping pong balls on a baking sheet. These macaroons do not grow in the oven, so you don’t have to space them too far apart.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until they have reached the level of browning you like. I am torn on whether I prefer the moist, undercooked kind, or the burnt to a crisp kind (which are somehow still moist).
Coming up next: goat cheese and pepper stuffed mushrooms, red wine chocolate cake, and mini shortbread tarts. And maybe, just maybe, fish in gelatin.