Monday, December 11, 2006

A Tribute to my Granny

One of my favourite cookies are Kokosmakronen, not only because they taste good, but because they are quite easy to make. This is baking for the non-expert. For the sophisticated advises, I recommend Clifford's blog. For a recipe of a completely different kind see also: a paper recipe.


  • 6 egg whites
  • 400 g shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 300 g fine, white sugar
  • 1 pg vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. make sure oven works1
  2. cut finger nails
  3. download Bing Crosby's White Christmas
  4. turn on iPod player
  5. turn off BlackBerry

The Making Of:

Collect ingredients. While doing so, smash an egg and bump your head on the cabinet when wiping up the floor. Also, make sure the digital camera is farther away than the average interaction distance of cookie dough (some meters).
Separate eggs. It's not as difficult as they told you. And it's not a cheese cake, so it's not so crucial. If shell drops in, don't worry. For reasons I don't fully understand I always find the shell pieces on the bowl rim later and can pick them out.
Beat egg whites thoroughly and patiently, until inscribed Greek symbols remain clearly visible. Keep in mind what my Granny used to tell me: back then in 19 twenty-something, they had to beat roughly one hour by hand. Those were the days...
Fold in vanilla, salt, coconut and sugar. If the result looks suspiciously liquid, add some teaspoons of flour or so. While the sky over Waterloo is covering your car with several inches of white stuff you'll have to scrape off tomorrow, whistle with Bing Crosby to I'll be home for Christmas.
Preheat oven to something in the middle range, but not too hot. Try to get the stuff on a baking sheet in small lumps. I recommend using two teaspoons. Leave at least 1 inch to each side. Oops, forgot to mention, better use some non-stick spray or something.
Make sure to put the pan lid on the front right plate, because it isn't tight and the oven looses hot air. Open a bottle of wine2. Put cookies into oven. Go to answer some comments on your blog, let cookies burn, get drunk and repeat procedure the next day.
Baking time is roughly 20 minutes, depending on your stove, the eggs, and the fine-structure constant. Kokosmakronen aren't really baked, but rather dried. Result should be light gold brown on the outside. If they got too hard or dry, put them in a plastic bag for some days. If they burn, break off burnt rim and use plenty of chocolate coating.


This post is dedicated to my Granny who tought me how to separate eggs, and who died at age 95 six months ago. Reaching such high age is definitly due to eating excellent Kokosmakronen each Christmas.


The author of this blog is neither responsible for potential hangovers, nor damage of stoves, mixers, digital cameras or other kitchenware.

Footnote 1: But don't touch the buttons.
Footnote 2: The white wine was a VQA Jackson-Triggs, 2004 Grand Reserve Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula, which was fairly decent and recommendable.

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  1. Excellent post and recipe! Two things: (1) The cooking over at Asymptotia is for non-experts too! (2) Are the old-style Perimeter mugs now completely gone? They were all transparent glass. They were much more lovely than that new black ones, I think.


  2. Hi Clifford,

    I am honored :-) (1) I am just easily intimidated by people who know how to make apple pies! (2) I've never seen a transparent PI mug, so I guess they are all gone. I like the black ones. Though they aren't really suitable for wine, it's hard to tell whether the content is white or red. So, I guess, I'd prefer transparent ones as well ;-)

    Keep on cookin'



  3. Macaroons! Make them larger so the outside toasts like meringue while the inside stays moist. Macaroons are a deadly sin if both crisp and succulent. Consume in very small bites. (Copper bowl for quicker stiffer whipped egg whites.)

  4. Bee:- I popped a picture of the old-style mugs over here.


  5. love them macaroons
    them coconut macaroons
    Bee, You actually made those? -yum

    Here's a toast to you
    may you have longlife like Gran!

    PS - Bee, where do photons go?
    Can they be canned or put in a tin box? - and when you close the lid, to they cease to give off light?

  6. Hi Quasar,

    bless you :-) Photons don't give off light, they are light. If you have a perfectly reflecting tin box, you can store sunlight in there. I wish I had brought some from CA, here it's getting very dark and wintery. Best,


  7. You can have a solar cell, a rechargeable battery and a light. Works better than a perfectly-reflecting tin.

    Bee, the moon is on its waning phase, but 20th is the new moon, and after that, on clear nights, you may enjoy the moonlight on the snow.

  8. arun, thanks!
    photovoltaic cells are said to trap sunlight, but they really catch the energy from sun 'light'
    which can then be excited to create 'new' light or photons

    Bee, so where does the 'light' (photon) from my monitor go, when I switch it off - to sleep in nevernever land?

  9. Hi Arun,

    yes! And it's only one more week, then the days get longer again :-)

    Hi Quasar,

    the photon goes straight until it hits something, where it gets absorbed by an atom (i.e. an electron orbiting the nucleus) and probably eventually converted into heat (molecule motion). There is however always the tiny possibility that it leaves your room through the window and just keeps on traveling all through our milkyway and the rest of the universe.



  10. Hi Bee, Thanks!
    That's how spy satellites can see,
    not only see what I'm reading in my newspaper ...
    but also what I'm looking at on my computer ot tv screen

    So someone with a powerful telescope on another galaxy can see the photons that are emitted by me (the light I emit) except i am overshadowed by all the other lights (especially sunlight)- and on a dark night on earth I can be seen by those wearing night vision goggles

  11. Hi Quasar,

    during day, do you emit any photons not in the infrared? I'd think that would be kind of strange? Best,


  12. lol! Don't you Bee?

    There are bodies which emit light
    There are bodies which reflect light

    but we are all overshadowed in the day by sunlight (even the stars) - after all that street light doesn't shed much light in the day has to wait till night to glow really bright.

  13. I have my brighter days, and my darker days. Today started medium dim, but is getting better now that the sun has set :-)

  14. Any hint about beat speed and torque or power? I have a beater with a lot of speed and I never know what to choose for snowing eggs.

  15. Hey Leucipio,

    I'd say start slowly until the mess gets somewhat foamy, then speed up. If you start too fast, you'll just splash the whole clump to the next wall ;-) Have fun! I made some chocolate cookies this weekend. A nice Christmas time to you,


  16. You are funny! I like the way how you present your recipe : )

  17. Should they be chewy?


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