It’s almost midnight here on this winter solstice night, but in the words of Robert Frost “I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.” Okay, not really miles; I’m being dramatic. Just a couple quick paragraphs to introduce you to this recipe. I did make promises though, and if I don’t post it tonight, it’s not happening this very busy week before Christmas.
These macaroons are always on my list of things to do this time of year. They are a totally decadent treat and a favorite with certain family members. Sweet, chewy coconut cookies dipped in semi-sweet chocolate will be sure to please coconut and chocolate lovers on your guest or gift list.
You don’t need to get too serious about tempering the chocolate in this recipe, especially if you keep the macaroons refrigerated. I have included instructions for a basic tempering method and if you follow them, you will be in good shape. An instant-read thermometer is very helpful, but not absolutely necessary.
Coconut Macaroons Dipped in Dark Chocolate
(makes about 30 macaroons)
5 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 egg whites
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Line one or two cookie sheets (depending on size) with parchment paper. Use a little non-stick spray to adhere the paper to the pan.
Place the coconut, vanilla, salt, and condensed milk in a mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.
In a separate bowl, use electric beaters to whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut batter, be careful not to overmix.
Drop large spoonfuls of batter, about two inches in diameter, onto the lined cookie sheet (a mini cookie scoop works well). Leave one to two inches of space between each spoonful.
Bake in preheated 350º F oven for 10 – 12 minutes. The tops of the macaroons should be golden brown in color.
Allow the macaroons to cool completely before dipping them in chocolate.
Line another cookie sheet or sheet pan with parchment paper for the dipped macaroons.
Prepare a double boiler or fill a saucepan about one-third full of water and place it over medium-high heat on the stove. Place 8 ounces of the chocolate in the top of the double boiler or a heatproof bowl over the saucepan. It should be over the water not sitting in it. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Heat it to 120º F then remove it from the heat.
Place it on a dish towel to absorb the condensation.
~Be very careful to not allow any water to get in the chocolate or it will seize up and ruin the texture. ~
Stir in the remaining chocolate and allow it to cool to 88º – 90º F. Stir the chocolate as it cools to promote a shiny texture. You can add a little more chocolate to speed up the cooling process.
Once the chocolate is cooled, use the dish towel to tilt the bowl or pan for a deeper pool in which to dip the macaroons.
Dip each macaroon halfway into the chocolate and gently shake off excess chocolate. Place on parchment lined pan. Once all the macaroons have been dipped, refrigerate them to set the chocolate. I like to keep them refrigerated until I’m ready to serve them or box them for gifts, but they will be great at room temperature once set.
Happy winter solstice; I think we all welcome the return of the light and the days getting longer, if ever so slowly. I hope you enjoy the season, however you celebrate, with loved ones in a cozy space and lots of good food.
As the sun starts to grow warmer and brighter,
remember this time as a rebirth of your light.
The light is returning.
Shine bright.Kelly Martin