Something I've always loved, the coconut macaroon. It is amazing how simple it is, yet how much flavor it has. Plus the flavor possibilities are endless.
These are a little something I included in my Secret Baker box along with a few other treats.
I had never made macaroons, though I had made macaroon topped brownies many times, so I knew how easy they were. Nevertheless, I had a hard time finding a recipe that didn't include sweetened condensed milk. Then I remembered that The Sweet Melissa Baking Book had one! I looked at it, and simplified it a bit, as it called for zest and I had no citrus, and it has chunks of chocolate in the macaroon, and I wanted to dip mine.
Okay, truth time: I'm not entirely sure I'm in love with these. I think the ratio of egg white to coconut is a little off, as the outside of them got crunchier than I typically like in a macaroon. I thought the flavor was great, and I loved the combination of the coconut with the semisweet chocolate I dipped them in, but the texture could use a tad bit of improvement. Maybe it is just that my expectation of them was that they would be very moist, and maybe that is hard to achieve in a macaroon without the sweetened condensed milk. When I knew I would be biting into something with a crunchy exterior and chewy interior, I actually did love them, though I probably shouldn't have to psych myself up for each bite of a sweet treat...
I almost didn't include them in the box, because I didn't want to send a bum treat, but everyone has different tastes, so I'll let my Secret Bakee tell me what she thought of them and report back.
Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
adapted liberally from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
14 oz unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
5 ounces of semisweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 325. Combine coconut, sugar and egg whites in a bowl and mix with your hands until all of the coconut feels moist. Firmly pack mixture into a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. While cookies are cooling, melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate is melted and cookies are completely cool, hold the rounded part of the cookie and dip it into the melted chocolate, coating the bottom and coming about 1/4 of the way up the side. Place cookie chocolate side down on parchment, and let the chocolate harden. Makes about 40 macaroons.