I was inspired by something totally delicious-sounding that Marcela Valladolid made last weekend on Food Network's The Kitchen. They were cocadas, a Latin version of the macaroon, and hers required only two ingredients: shredded coconut and condensed milk. Now, as you may have noticed, I am a huge fan of simple recipes that only require a few ingredients. Just check out my list of recipes that use five ingredients or less. I was also intrigued by the health benefits of coconut milk (which are probably only partially cancelled out by the addition of condensed milk).
I just pulled these out of the oven. They are so delicious, with a nice contrast of textures going on: a crispy toasted coconut top, and a moist and chewy center, reminiscent of a Mounds bar.
I want to give Marcela Valladolid credit for her awesome recipe, so I'll direct you to the original recipe here. Because I'm me, I made some changes. I used unsweetened coconut, not sweetened, and my intuition was correct, because they turned out plenty sweet! I used the whole 12 oz can of condensed milk because I didn't want to have an awkward amount left over, and I love condensed milk. I stand by my decision, but I think a little bit less would also be fine if you want to save some condensed milk for your coffee. I would have used fat-free condensed milk, but the store I went to didn't carry it. I am skeptical that the paltry 1/2 cup that she called for would be enough if you use unsweetened coconut. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla, which, combined with the coconut, made the house smell like coconut cake. One thing that I was particularly excited about was that the whole batch fit into my small toaster oven pan, which meant I didn't have to heat up my whole house. I cooked it for 30 minutes, a bit longer than she directed, probably because of the added moisture.
My favorite part are the crunchy, caramelized edges, so next time I might roll these into balls like classic macaroons to maximize surface area crunchage. Other potential variations include mixing in several tablespoons of cocoa powder or adding chocolate chips for chocolate macaroons, or simple drizzling with melted chocolate to finish.