I was looking for something just a little different to make as an after-dinner bite/evening snack. Since any time I ask "What would you like for a sweet?" the invariable response is "peanut butter cookies!" or "brownies!". And I love both of them - I really do - but I also like the chance to try something a little new once in awhile. Especially since I've collected an entire box and binder full of recipes I want to try, and the pile is only getting bigger, not smaller. So PBCs and brownies got vetoed last night, and I decided to make some of the Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons that I had stumbled across over at Brown Eyed Baker.
Not only are these fairly easy to make, the vote handed down was that they are tasted something like a grilled Almond Joy candy bar, which basically is saying "two thumbs up" (anything hailing from or reminiscent of the Hershey family scores highly around here).
The ones I made are tasty, but not overly beautiful, I will admit. I'm chalking it up to the fact that they were my initial attempt at homemade macaroons. The next time around, I will probably make them a little smaller; I think that will help with the over-all shape, as well as how they look after they've been dipped.
All you need to do is mix the sweetened condensed milk, salt, egg white, and vanilla together in a bowl. Once blended, stir in the coconut until well-combined.
Next, you will want to line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon or small scoop, drop the batter in small mounds about 2" apart on the baking sheet. Wet your fingers, and use your fingertips to loosely form the mounds into haystacks or volcanoes. Wet your fingers as necessary if they start to get sticky or hard to shape.
After they come out of the oven, they need to briefly cool on the pan, then finish cooling on a wire rack. Once cooled, they can be dipped in chocolate. Of course, waiting for them to cool before the dipping was proving to be a long wait, so one may have been sampled naked. And may have been really, really good.
After they were cooled, they got the dip. And they were really good, too. You can never go wrong adding chocolate. I bet they would also be good dipped in dark chocolate (or even tinted white chocolate, but I will have to try that out to see if it would also be visually appealing).
Here's the recipe, again from originally found on Brown Eyed Baker:
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 lg. egg white
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1) Preheat oven to 325; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) In large bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla and salt. Stir in the coconut until well-combined.
3) Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. Space the macaroons about 2" apart. With wet fingers, shape the dough into haystacks. Continue to wet fingers as necessary if they start to get sticky or hard to shape.
4) Bake one sheet at a time for 15-20 minutes, until they turn a light golden brown.
5) Cool on cookie sheet for about 2 minutes, until starting to set. Use a metal spatula to move the macaroons to a wire cooling rack. Cool for an additional 30 minutes, until they reach room temperature.
6) Melt 8 ounces of the chopped semi-sweet chocolate. I did mine in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between. You can also melt it in a heat-proof bowl set over a bowl of barely-simmering water. Once melted and smooth, add in the remaining 2 ounces of chopped chocolate, and stir until smooth.
7) Holding the tips of the macaroons, dip the bottoms and 1/2" up the sides of the macaroons. Scrape off excess chocolate, and set back on the parchment-lined baking sheets to set.Makes 24-36, depending on how big you make them.