Don’t save coconut macaroons for a once-a-year treat during Passover. Coconut macaroons are a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free dessert that’s quick and portable. These macaroons taste nothing like the bland, dry canned varieties available at the store. A home-made version will make a convert of anyone who generally likes coconut, but doesn’t care for canned macaroons.
This recipe is a variation on a recipe from Cooks Illustrated.
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
14 oz sweetened coconut flakes
1 ½ C. granulated sugar
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. egg whites (use pourable egg whites or about 3 large eggs)
½ tps. almond extract (you can substitute vanilla but almond really makes these special)
½ C. dark chocolate chips or chunks (or more as needed, for dipping bottoms)
1. Place oven racks in upper-middle and lower-middle of oven; preheat 325 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats (reusable nonstick mats).
2. Chop coconut in food processor for 1 minute. Add sugar and process for an additional 20 seconds. Add egg whites and extract; process for 1 additional minute, until the mixture resembles a paste, like slushy snow. Scrape down sides of work bowl with a rubber spatula and process again, until stiff but malleable paste forms, about 5 seconds longer. If mixture is crumbly or dry, turn machine back on and add water by drops through feeder tube until mixture forms a paste.
3. Using a 1” spring-loaded scoop or 2 tablespoons, drop mounts of paste onto prepared cookies sheets, forming 12 mounts on each sheet (24 total), spacing the mounds about 1 ½ inches papart.
4. Bake macaroons for about 20-25 minutes or until slightly golden brown, switching cookie sheet positions midway through baking. Be careful not to overbake the macaroons or they will become dry when stored. Cool macaroons completely on cookies sheets (removing them when warm will cause them to break). Regular macaroons (without chocolate dipping) can be store in an airtight container for 5 days.
5. When macaroons are completely cool, carefully remove them from the sheets. Melt chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, at 30 second intervals, stirring rigorously between each interval to melt the chocolate. It will likely require 1 minute in the microwave total. Once melted chocolate is shiny and smooth, carefully hold each macaroon by its top and dip the bottom into the chocolate. Twist to cover the entire bottom of the macaroon and to get a bit of the chocolate up the sides. Place dipped macaroon on waxed paper and allow chocolate to harden. Chocolate-dipped macaroons can be store in an air-tight container for up to 2 days (after that the chocolate will look dry).