Already I have forgotten where I learned this, but recently I discovered that the word "macaroon" in Italian refers to almond paste. The word macaroni is from the same root, something to do with paste. If you go to a French bakery and they have something called macaroons, they are some kind of sandwich cookie, sometimes they have all sorts of different flavors and colors, but they sure don't have coconut sticking out all over-they are strictly an almond based cookie. Just do a quick image search, you'll see what I mean.
The European macaroons are delicious, but I am obsessed with coconut, and I like my macaroons with toasty coconut and just a little almond. I like the coconut chopped finely, I think it makes a better textured cookie, and I don't get strings of coconut stuck in my teeth. These are pretty sweet cookies, so I started using unsweetened coconut, which I found from Bob's Red Mill at Whole Foods.
1 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut
1/2 c. almond pieces
1/2 c. sugar
2 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet. Chop up the coconut and almond finely - I do this in a spice grinder, but don't turn it into powder - place in a small bowl. Add sugar, mix in. Add egg whites, mix well. Scoop small balls of the mixture onto the cookie sheet, only about 2 tablespoons per cookie. Bake for about 10 minutes, let them set on the pan for a couple of minutes, then scoop them off and let them cool on a rack.
Note that these cookies will not spread out, you can place them very close together on the pan and they will not grow into each other.