Coconut Macaroons

Looking for a quick and easy treat to make with kids this summer? Look no further! Coconut macaroons are just about the easiest cookies to make. And you can play with their flavours are much as you'd like. They're essentially blank slates. I used to make them plain with a bit of almond extract, and they are practically perfect that way, but then I read an issue of Fine Cooking that had an article, and recipes, by Dan Cohen, aka Danny Macaroons. He had one variation that used cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and chocolate... I was instantly sold! I no longer make macaroons any other way. Once you try them, you won't go back either!

Best Spicy Macaroons (from Dan Cohen via Fine Cooking)

1 C sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 1/2 C sweetened shredded coconut
2 lg. egg whites
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 oz dark chocolate
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

In a large bowl combine condensed milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Stir in the coconut until well mixed.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the egg whites and salt on medium-high until you get stiff peaks (roughly 4mins). Carefully fold into the coconut mixture. Press into a tight mound.

Using two spoons, or 1 1.5 tbsp ice cream scoop, drop mounds onto a lined baking sheet 2" apart and bake at 350F for 25 mins or until bottoms are nicely browned.

Cool briefly on baking sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile melt the chocolate over a double boiler, or using the microwave in 30 sec intervals (stirring between). Stir in the cayenne pepper and drizzle over the macaroons. Allow chocolate to set.