Friday, October 24, 2014

Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons

When life gives you lots of egg whites, make macaroons!  That's what I decided, anyway.  You may wonder when life gives you lots of egg whites.  In my life, it happens when I make ice cream.  Ice cream recipes tend to call for lots of egg yolks, and then you have whites left over.  So I suggest making good use of those whites and making macaroons!  (You can also freeze egg whites, I have read, but I haven't actually done that before.... great idea though!)

These are actually really easy to make.  And yet they look as though you did something very complicated!  First, you gently cook some egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, coconut and flour in a large skillet, add some vanilla, and then let it cool.  I plopped mine in the refrigerator and finished up another day.  When you are ready to bake, moisten your hands with water and roll the coconut mixture into balls, place them on a baking sheet, and slide them into the oven.  If you want to dip them in chocolate (why wouldn't you want to do that??) melt the chocolate in a double boiler, dip each macaroon in the melted chocolate, and place on a baking sheet covered in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until set.  DONE.  It really is that easy. 

You have to try this!

Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons
adapted from David Lebovitz, Ready for Dessert
makes approximately 30 cookies
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 TB honey
2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces (or amount of your choosing) bittersweet (or semi-sweet) chocolate, chopped

Mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, coconut and flour in a large skillet.  Heat over low to medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to scorch on the bottom.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.  Place mixture in a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.  You can now refrigerate the mixture for up to a week, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Moisten your hands with water (this is important - it helps the coconut mixture stick to itself and not to you!).  Make mounds that are approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place them evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool completely.

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler set over simmering water.  Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap.  Dip each cookie into the chocolate and place on the baking sheet.  Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate it set.
NOTE:  You should be able to find unsweetened flaked coconut in the baking aisle of a large grocery store.  I think mine was "Bob's Red Mill" brand.  It tends to come in tinier flakes than your typical sweetened coconut, and the bag is more rectangular instead of flat.  If you can't find it there, check your local natural foods store or Whole Foods type market.
Printable Recipe

These were a HUGE hit in my house.  Mr. Clever Mom thought the kids must have done something very special to warrant macaroons.  He wanted to know what the special occasion might be.  I just let him guess.....

Baby in a trance of coconut/chocolate bliss....

They are messy if you eat them before the chocolate sets! 

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