Chinese New Year is as big to Chinese families as Thanksgiving or Christmas to American families. Extended families gather over a reunion dinner, a giant feast with lots of good food. Relatives and friends visit each other giving out red pockets stuffed with money to kids. And then more food and more catch-ups and more red pockets!
I grew up with tons of memories, anticipation and excitement in those weeks leading to this big festival. We would do a huge clean-up in the house before the new year to sweep away everything negative. My mother would prepare us the newest, bestest and most importantly reddest outfit because red means luck. Our house would blossom with traditional and colourful flowers and fruits.
Spending Chinese New Year in Vancouver is a different experience. The world goes on as it’s not a holiday and nothing seems to be different on the streets. Yet, Chinese families are celebrating this big festival at home. All low-key and quiet but still festive, heart-warming and of course food-filling.
I’ve made these coconut macaroons to sort of bring the memories of my Chinese New Year from my home town. These macaroons are not necessarily the same things that I used to have, but I have fond memories of having lots of Chinese desserts made of coconuts. And they were all my favourites because I genuinely love coconuts.
Coconut macaroons are very easy to make. You literally fold coconuts in the beaten egg whites, shape it into balls and bake! Crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Nothing is better than these for a true coconut fan!
Ingredients (about 24 cookies):
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk egg whites, sugar and vanilla until well combined and fluffy.
Fold in coconuts and salt.
With wet hands to shape the coconut mixture into small balls, about 1 tablespoon-sized, and place them on the prepare baking sheets, spacing an inch apart.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until golden. Let cool slightly before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.