When you are a new baker there are nuances to baking that you just don't get from a recipe. Like when you are supposed to beat egg whites until stiff but not dry....How stiff is too stiff?
I used to have a hard time with macaroons in general until I realized I was so worried about beating the egg whites dry that I wasn't beating them enough.
In fact I would try over and over again to make my boss (at the time I worked at a Bed and Breakfast) the perfect coconut macaroon. I never achieved it while I was there. It was only until a couple of years ago that I mastered it.
Better late then never...
Coconut Macaroons (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
12 ounces unsweetened coconut
14 ounces condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
Beat egg whites won high when they start to get frothy add salt and sugar. Continue to beat until stiff but not dry (they will look like the inside of a foam pillow when ready) In a large bowl combine coconut with condensed milk and vanilla. The mixture will be sticky but make sure its well incorporated. Fold in the egg whites completely into the mixture. You'll see that when its well combined the mixture will be less dense then when you started.
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes until lightly browned on the top.