Cliff and Buster Coconut Macaroons copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Cliff and Buster Coconut Macaroons

Score: 5.00. Votes: 2
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While passing these out to each giddy audience member on her 2003 "Favorite Things" show, Oprah gushed, "Isn't that the best macaroon you've ever had?" The recipe for these delicious yet easy-to-clone coconut macaroons was passed down to Cliff Barsevich years ago from his grandmother, and they were served at the events serviced by Cliff and partner Ron Strles' catering business. When customers continued to rave about the cookies, the duo began selling the macaroons by the box in high-end stores such as Neiman Marcus. With a lot of help from The Oprah Winfrey Show, the cookies have become a huge success. Still, at 15 bucks a dozen, it's nice to have a clone Cliff and Buster coconut macaroons recipe that will satisfy your macaroon munchies at a fraction of the cost. It's the closest we'll ever get to a homemade version since Cliff says he's never sharing the recipe. He says when he dies he's taking the secret formula with him.

Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (about 8 ounces—see Tidbits)
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch salt
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Cliff & Buster
    • Instructions

      1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

      2. Dump the shredded coconut into a large bowl.

      3. Stir the vanilla, almond extract, and salt into the condensed milk.

      4. Drizzle the condensed milk over the coconut while tossing the coconut to coat it thoroughly.

      5. When the coconut and condensed milk are combined, use a 1 1/4-inch cookie scoop to mold the macaroons. Press the macaroon mixture firmly into the scoop, then turn it out onto a sheet pan. Bake the macaroons for 12 to 15 minutes or until you see the top of the macaroons beginning to turn light brown. Remove the macaroons from the oven and let them cool.

      6. As the macaroons cool, resist the temptation to eat them. Instead, prepare the chocolate ganache by combining the chocolate chips with the cream in a small glass or ceramic cup or bowl. Microwave this on 50 percent power for 1 minute, then gently stir the chocolate. If the chocolate is not completely melted after a couple minutes of stirring, microwave it again for another 30 seconds on half power and stir. Be careful not to overcook the chips or the chocolate will seize up and your ganache will be grainy instead of smooth.

      7. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, pour it into a squirt bottle and drizzle it in thin streams over each macaroon. Let the macaroons sit out for a few hours. At a room temperature of 72 degrees the chocolate should set in 3 or 4 hours. When the chocolate has set, store the macaroons in an airtight container for up to 14 days at room temperature or for up to 4 weeks in the fridge.

      Makes 20 macaroons.

      : The real Cliff & Buster's macaroons use a thinly shredded short flake unsweetened coconut, which can be found in specialty stores such as Trader Joe's. If you can't track down this type of coconut, using the more common sweetened stuff found in just about every supermarket will make a slightly sweeter, yet still delicious cookie.

Average rating:

Score: 5.00. Votes: 2
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oh you cook
Dec 7, 2014, 22:00

I usually make a macaroon recipe that uses egg whites, but decided to try this version for a holiday party. Wow is not an understatement! Made two batches, one with unsweetened coconut and one with the easier-to-get sweetened. Despite what you'd think, the sweetened was not that much sweeter. It also made it creamier. I'd definitely make them again. And again.

Dec 3, 2014, 22:00

A very simple and delicious cookie that's fun to make and eat. Made these with my granddaughters, 7 & 9- they had fun and said they were yummy!!!

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