But I actually don't think it's the slightest exaggeration to call these The Best Macaroons Ever. I planned to whip up a batch of the flourless wonders for our Passover feast, but we made such decadent dinner foods, we decided to table any thoughts of dessert. So, when our family paddle boat picnic finally presented the perfect excuse for cookies, I'd had an extra week or two to dream about what might make one of my very favorites even better. I pulled out the classic recipe and turned the volume WAY up. Generally, I shun anything that requires more than one bowl, (whoever heard of two-bowl cookies?! How pretentious. Sheesh...). But the payoff for beating those egg whites is a fluffy, crunchy, gooey piece of awesome, studded with tart cherries, dark chocolate, and salty Spanish almonds. What can I say? I'm a believer.

Recipe after the jump!

Best Ever Macaroons

In a large bowl, stir together:
-a 14 oz bag of sweetened coconut
-a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
-a healthy splash of vanilla
-1/2 cup or so of dried Montmorency cherries (or another very tart variety)
-a generous handful of toasted, salted Marcona almonds
-half a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips (like Ghirardelli 65% cocoa)

Set aside your bejeweled coconut goo, and whip to stiff peaks:
-2 large egg whites
-1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Very gently, fold the two concoctions together. Drop heaping tablespoons of the batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, and pop them in the oven at 325* for about 20 minutes, until the tips of stray coconut curls just turn gold.

Given the size of our picnic party, I made a double recipe and left some of them naked. The plain ones were really good, but, compared to their loaded compatriots... plain. I'll definitely double the batch again, but next time, I'll make them all crazy.