Coconut has always been one of my favorite foods. I love it in savory dishes and in the endless number of sweets that are made with it. When it’s combined with chocolate it’s just about perfect. My favorite macaroon recipes is one I found at How to Cook a Wolf, my friend Linda’s blog that I have followed from almost my first day of blogging. This macaroon recipe contains sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) that keeps the cookies moist and chewy and insanely good. I put them into the freezer to try to stop myself from eating every single cookie, but they are delicious frozen as well so that didn’t deter me for a minute. These are good any time of year, but I always think of them at Easter, probably because of the big coconut cake my mom always used to make for Easter dinner.
Easter is a special day for me that has many happy memories attached to it. It was my mother’s favorite holiday and she always set her holiday table with all her good things…the same china and silver I use today. My china is an old pattern by Lenox, designed by Frank Holmes for the company in 1922. The pattern was discontinued in 1946. It is classic cream colored china with a gold band and hand painted embellishments. The silver is Grande Baroque, released by Wallace Silversmiths in 1941. According to the company Grande Baroque “reflected the very essence of merriment and an adventure of artistic progress.” The “essence of merriment” makes me laugh but we have set many tables with these beautiful things so I guess it’s true. After 75 years this is still one of their most popular silver patterns. I’m the third generation of my family to set the table with these china, silver and goldware patterns which were purchased around 1945. There is a lot of history and many memories in all this. I have never posted tablescapes but I may do a post now and then so I can share some of the family treasures that I have.
I used a 1-1/2 inch diameter ice cream scoop to form the mounds of dough. The cookies hold their shape better than if they are scooped with a tablespoon, but either way is fine. Remove the cookies from the oven when they are a nice light golden brown. You want them to be soft and chewy so it’s important not to over bake them. When the cookies have cooled dip the bottoms into melted chocolate, remove extra chocolate with a little spreader or knife and let dry on sheets of waxed paper or parchment. This way they will have a nice flat bottom. Drizzle any leftover chocolate over the tops of the cookies. They keep well if stored in an airtight container.
If you have some good bittersweet chocolate now is the time to use it. It’s perfect with the sweetness of the coconut. I’m a dark chocolate person and 70% is what I usually buy for recipes like this.
- 1 14 ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. In a medium bowl combine coconut, with the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg white with the salt until firm peaks form. Fold the beaten whites into the coconut mixture.
- Scoop tablespoon size mounds of the mixture onto the baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. (I used a 1-1/2 inch diameter ice cream scoop that made a perfect size) Bake in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 25 minutes, until golden. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies cool completely.
- Dip the bottoms of the macaroons into the melted chocolate and place on sheets of waxed paper or parchment to set. Drizzle any remaining chocolate on top.Store in an airtight container.