Mix first the coconut, sugar, and eg whites together in a heavy, large saucepan. Cook them over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens and appears somewhat pasty, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and, optionally, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. (The almond extract can be omitted, but I think it adds a great complimentary flavor to the coconut.)
The speed down the cooling process, spread out the coconut mixture on a large baking sheet. Refrigerate until cold, about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 330°F. Line another baking sheet with parchment. Use a cookie scoop to scoop up generous tablespoonfuls of coconut mixture. Dampen your hands and gently roll the ball between your hands to make it round. Place the cookie on the baking sheet, and repeat with remaining coconut mixture.
Bake for 25-30 minutes the cookies until they're golden brown, rotating the tray halfway through so they bake evenly. Cool them completely.
If you want to add the optional chocolate coating, melt the chips in the microwave. Dip the macaroons in the chocolate: either dip the bottoms, dip them halfway, or use forks or dipping tools to dunk them completely. Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate, for about 15 minutes.