4ozchocolateoptional, semisweet or dark baking bar (chopped, melting wafers, or chocolate chips will work here) (113g)
Preheat oven to 325F (160C)
Pour coconut in the basin of a food processor (see note if you do not have a food processor) and pulse until finely shredded (I do 15 one-second pulses).
Pour coconut into a large mixing bowl and add condensed milk, extracts, and salt and stir until well-combined,
Place egg whites in a separate clean, dry, grease-free bowl and beat with an electric mixer, starting on low-speed and gradually increasing to high-speed until stiff peaks form, meaning the mixture is thick and voluminous and if you lift the beaters out of the mixture the peak that forms on the beater and in the bowl holds its shape firmly and does not fold over or dissolve in on itself (this method is shown in the photos in the post and demonstrated in the video, if you’re a visual learner).
Use a spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture until completely combined.
Drop by 1 ½ Tablespoon-sized mounds onto prepared baking sheet (if any shreds of coconut are poking out I like to use my fingers to gently press them back into the mound), spacing cookies 1” apart.
Transfer to 325F (160C) preheated oven and bake for 20-23 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn light golden brown.
Allow to cool completely on baking sheet before enjoying or dipping in chocolate (if using).
Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second intervals (stirring in between) until completely smooth and melted. Drizzle melted chocolate over cooled macaroons or dip the bottoms in chocolate and transfer to a wax paper lined baking sheet to allow chocolate to solidify before enjoying.
Briefly processing the coconut in the food processor yields a better, finer texture for the macaroons, but this step is not necessary. If you do not have a food processor, you can skip this step and use the shredded coconut directly from the bag.
Be sure to break your eggs into a completely clean, dry, and grease-free bowl and make sure not even a drop of egg yolk gets in with the whites! Any of these things can keep your eggs from properly whipping to stiff peaks. I recommend using fresh egg whites and not egg whites from a carton, which do not always whip properly.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. Macaroons may also be tightly wrapped and frozen, they will keep for several months this way.