Well, I spoke too soon! All it took was being snowed in on one Saturday afternoon, and I desperately needed something sweet. Why did I give away all those Holiday treats? I looked everywhere in my kitchen, hoping against hope that I’d find something that I’d hidden in an attempt to put it “out of sight, out of mind.” Nothing!! I’d done a very thorough job of my sugar cleanup. Darn!
So in desperation, I started rummaging through my cookie and cake recipes. It’s only natural to want to bake when the snow is falling outside, right? My guilt was diminishing, and in a matter of minutes, I found the recipe that was going to satisfy my desire. Chocolate bottom macaroons. I looked over the ingredients, and knew I had everything I needed in the pantry. I also convinced myself that this was a healthy treat. After all, isn’t coconut the new avocado? It’s touted as a “healthy fat.” These cookies would be delicious and healthy.
My love affair with coconut began long ago when I was 8 years old. My first bite into a coconut macaroon was at a Passover dinner I’d been invited to at a girlfriend’s house. I’ll never forget that very sweet, chewy texture that, at the time, was foreign to me. This love of coconut only grew over time with Almond Joys, Mounds bars, and Toasted Coconut Good Humor ice cream bars. Many years later, I carried this love affair over to the Pina Colada. Oh and I can’t forget coconut cream pie! I’ve tried to keep this passion for coconut under control, for as you can see, it’s a very caloric obsession.
I decided to try to alter this cookie recipe a bit in an effort to try to reduce the sugar, and perhaps make it a bit healthier. It is the New Year after all, and I did make some resolutions. I didn’t want to throw all caution to the wind. What if I used half unsweetened coconut instead of all sweetened? Surely this would cut down on the sugar. Actually, sweetened coconut doesn’t have much added sugar anyway, but what the heck, I’ll make these even better for you. I used dark chocolate, just to make it even healthier.
I felt good about this treat, and I felt even better once I bit into one. These cookies are absolutely delicious, somewhat healthy (whom I kidding?) and taste like a Mounds bar! Honest! Oh, and they’re gluten free.
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
1 (14 ounce) bag of shredded sweetened coconut OR 7 ounces sweetened and 7 ounces unsweetened, OR any ration of sweetened to unsweetened that you desire.
1 cup coconut milk (not lite), stirred well
1 TBSP flour or gluten free flour blend of choice
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. of salt
2 large egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
2 TBSP sugar or 1 TBSP Stevia
12 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate. You can use dark or milk chocolate, and you can use chips.
1 TBSP canola oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine coconut, coconut milk, flour, vanilla and salt.
- In a very clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed until cream of tartar dissolves and mixture is foamy. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar and continue to whisk until sugar is dissolved, at least 1 minute.
- With a clean rubber spatular, gently fold half the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Using a 1/4 cup scoop (or a heaping Tablespoon), drop mounds of batter onto prepared baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until bottoms are light brown and tips of coconut shreds on top are lightly toasted.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
- To make chocolate coating, heat chocolate and oil in a double boiler until melted and smooth. OR melt chocolate and oil in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring each time. Set microwave at 50 percent power.
- Dip bottoms of cooled macaroons in melted chocolate. Place on parchment paper to let chocolate dry.