Kokosmarkonen are a classic and beloved Christmas cookie in Germany. Not only because they are delicious, moist, and chewy, but also because they are very easy and quick to make.
Traditionally baked on Oblaten or wafers, Markonen date back to the 17th century in Italy. The name originated from the greek word ‘makarios,’ meaning delightful. The base recipe for macaroons is always the same – egg whites and sugar. However, several other ingredients can be added to the dough to change the flavor and the texture of the cookie. In Germany, there are several types of macaroons during Christmas, like Kokosmarkonen or coconut macaroons, Haselnussmarkonen or hazelnut macaroons, Mandelmakronen or almond macaroons, and Nussmarkonen or nut macaroons. Fun fact: Almond macaroons made with ground almonds and almond extract actually originated in Italy and are also called ‘amaretti.’ Kokosmarkonen are by far however the front runner under all the macaroons in Germany. And when it comes to our household chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons are a must during the holiday time!
- 200 grams or 2 cups of unsweetened, desiccated shredded coconut
- 4 medium egg whites
- 200 grams or 1 cup white sugar
- 1 packet of vanilla sugar
- 1 Messerspitze or pinch cinnamon
- melted semisweet chocolate for dipping
- Place the shredded coconut in a coated frying pan without any oil or butter and toast until golden.
- Transfer to a plate for cooling.
- Preheat oven to 140 Celcius or roughly 280 Fahrenheit.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
- Place the egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat on the highest setting until stiff.
- Add the sugar, vanilla sugar and pinch of cinnamon bit by bit and continue beating until the peak stands straight up when the beaters are lifted from the mixture.
- Very carefully combine the shredded coconut with the egg white mixture by ‘lifting’ it under, DO NOT STIR.
- Using either a ice cream scoop or two teaspoons, create little balls and place on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet. Leave at least an inch between cookies to keep them baking together.
- Back for about 20 minutes or until the edges and tops begin to brown.
- Dip bottom of each cookie in chocolate; chill until chocolate sets.
Making a quick batch of macaroons is a great way to use up some left-over egg whites, especially after baking other Christmas cookies that only use egg yolks. Other ingredients which can be added to the dough include marzipan, dried fruit, lemon, lime or orange zest, spices like nutmeg or all spice, almond extract, and even cocoa powder or espresso powder.
Tips For Working with Egg Whites:
Always use fresh egg whites. Keep all the utensils and bowls grease- and butter-free, since fat prevents the egg whites from becoming stiff. Sometimes a little pinch of salt added to the egg whites will help them become stiff. Watch what kind of sugar you use.