I love coconut! I love it in any form: flake, milk, cream or whole. I lived in the Philippines as a child and I remember fresh mango's and lots of coconuts. I have been collecting coconut recipes for a long time. I can't help myself. I love the coconut flavor in curries, cakes, drinks and cookies. So it was only a matter of time before I tackled a recipe that included coconut in it. I am sure this will not be my last one.
When I was diagnosed with Celiac disease I said goodbye to a lot of foods but mostly to cookies, cakes, bread and rolls. I was never a huge fan of sweet treats but every once in a while it was nice to have something sweet and yummy. When you have the option to chose, it sometimes gets taken for granted. I felt that way for a while until I realized that lots of people learn to cook, adapt and endure through the cravings. What helped me? Macaroons. It was the one thing I could find at the store or in a bakery that was gluten-free. I was grateful for this one treat and often when I eat them you will hear me "oohing" and "aahing" at the flavor and texture. Texture is a big deal in my world...LOL
I have read lots of recipes and they pretty much all have the same ingredients. With this said, there are lots of people to credit for the "macaroon" recipe. I decided to put a slight spin on mine to make it unique and different from "most". I hope you enjoy this yummy treat. It makes a beautiful dessert tray for a party or neighbor gift. ENJOY
Coconut Almond Macaroons
2 cups of coconut. I buy mine from Whole Foods and it is unsweetened and unsulphered.
1 cup of almonds, finely ground. I use my mini food processor to grind the nuts.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg whites (save the yolks for making home made noodles)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla. I use bourbon Vanilla from Trader's Joe
1/4 tsp almond extract. I would not recommend any extract that is not "pure".
6 0z Bittersweet chips. I use the Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet, so good!
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Combine the sugar, coconut, almonds and egg whites in large saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until the mixtures is sticky, about 8 minutes. You will notice that it gets creamy then sticky then dry. Don't let it get dry.
2. Remove from heat and spread mixture on cookie sheet lined with parchment and let cool in the fridge, about 30 minutes. While mixture is cooling, preheat oven to 300 degrees. I used a cookie scoop to form my macaroons into rounded forms with flat bottoms. You can use any form or shape that you want. I like easy and the scoop is easy and they are all uniform in size.
3. Take cookie sheet from fridge and start making your shapes. I found that it is better if the scoop is packed tight. They leave the scoop better and don't fall apart when you lift them to dip them into the chocolate. My batch, with the scoop, made 30. I was able to fit them all on one sheet.
4. Bake the macaroons for 30 minutes. They should look toasted. If after 30 minutes they are not, then increase your stove to 325 and set the timer for another 15 minutes. Every stove is different.
5. Once cooked, they need to cool completely. They should be firm on the outside and soft in the middle. Make the chocolate dip by warming the cream on the stove top until just steaming, not boiling. Finely chop the chips and add to cream. Using a spoon, stir until all chips are melted.
6. When the macaroons are cool, dip the bottoms into the chocolate and put onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I added some chocolate to a baggie, cut a small hole and topped each macaroon with chocolate and a Maraschino Cherry. Return to the refrigerate and let chocolate become cooled and solid. You will have to peel the bottoms off of the parchment paper, it's pretty easy to do. ENJOY!