The popular Coconut Macaroon just got a whole lot better – with lemon! Fresh lemon juice and zest gives this classic dessert a brand new taste and vibe; a perfect afternoon pick-me-up!
My mom used to make coconut macaroons all the time, but never with lemon. She often would top them with a maraschino cherry, which I would always pick off and discard. I thought it was weird to place a sweet maraschino cherry on top of an already sweet dessert. And, in addition, I hated those cherries; I still do!
I have found though, that topping a macaroon with a cherry is more in line with tradition than not. According to the internet, macaroons made from coconut instead of almonds are most commonly found in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States, and a few other countries.
Coconut macaroons may include almond slivers, (I’ve made them this way and they were delicious!) or occasionally pecans, cashews, or other nuts. In Australia, a dollop of raspberry jam or glace cherries are often concealed in the center of the macaroon. Coconut macaroons are often topped with a glace cherry, and/or dipped in chocolate. So, you see, Dear Reader, my mom’s recipe was among the norm. I’m going to rebel though and leave the cherry in the jar at the store.
Back in 2015, during my early days of blogging about food, I posted a recipe for Coconut Pecan Mounds. These were so delicious, and like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, they were more the norm and contained pecans and milk chocolate. In fact, I liked that original recipe so much, I used the same recipe for this version with a few minor changes. If you prefer the pecan and chocolate version over the lemon version, you can click on the recipe title to be swept away back to 2015.
The addition of the lemon zest and lemon juice helps to cut back on the sweetness. First of all, we all know how sweet canned condensed milk can be. Add to that the sweetened shredded coconut, and the sweet factor is in high gear. The lemon brings the sweetness down a notch and adds a wonderful summer-like, refreshing flavour.
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Lemon Coconut Macaroons
- 20 ounces sweetened coconut, shredded
- 2 egg whites
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner (or parchment paper) and set aside.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir well to combine.
- Using a large cookie-scoop, place each mound onto the lined baking sheet. Don't worry about leaving a large space in between because these will not spread.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
- Allow macaroons to cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
- To serve, sprinkle with a little fresh lemon zest. (Optional)
“I happen to love coconut, particularly for that sweet and crunchy texture it adds to any dish.” – Marcus Samuelsson