Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Peppermint Dark Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons





Would you be surprised if I told you that I have played in the snow here in Hawaii?  And no, it wasn't one of those promotional events planned by a local supermarket, where they fly in a container of snow for the kids to have a snow day.  This is honest to goodness real snow that can require a vehicle to use snow chains. It doesn't snow on the island I live on, but it does snow on the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island, which is a dormant volcano standing almost 14,000 feet above sea level (and if they measured it from the ocean base it would be 33,100 feet!). We haven't had snow as yet this year, so I decided to make some cookies that look like snowballs.

This idea fitted in perfectly with the theme for the Creative Cookie Exchange this month - Peppermint! I decided to make coconut macaroons, and drizzle them with a dark chocolate that had been flavored with peppermint essence.







This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Simply Sensational Cookies by Nancy Baggett. Her recipe suggests toasting the coconut because it beings out the "flavor and aroma" and she is right - it definitely adds a little something special to the cookies. When you are toasting the coconut make sure you keep an eye on it because it can go from lightly golden to lightly charred in a very short amount of time. I found that a cookie scoop was the perfect size and shape for these cookies, although you could make them any shape that you wanted.

These cookies are light and airy, but loaded with pieces of toasted coconut inside.  They were delicious without the drizzle, but the peppermint flavored dark chocolate pushed them into a new realm of yumminess. If you are looking for a gluten-free cookie, then these would be perfect.





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Peppermint Dark Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Ingredients
  • 1 14-ounce package of flaked or shredded coconut
  • ⅔ cup egg white (I used 4 large), at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon coconut extract, optional
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint essence
  • 1/4 cup cream

Preparation
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat it to 325℉.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toast coconut for 10 to 14 minutes, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes to redistribute, until just pale golden brown all over. Let cool.
  4. In a large grease-free bowl with mixer on low speed, beat together the egg whites and the cream of tartar until frothy, then raise the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is opaque and forms soft peaks (about 1½ minutes).
  5. Gradually raise the speed to high and, 2 tablespoons at a time, add the sugar; beat for 20 seconds after each addition.
  6. Add the vanilla, coconut extract (if using), and salt and beat until the mixture stands in glossy peaks (about 1 minute longer).
  7. Fold in the coconut until evenly incorporated.
  8. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop spoonfuls into 2-inch mounds, spacing about 2½ inches apart on the baking sheets.
  9. Bake on the middle rack for 14 to 18 minutes, until lightly tinged with brown on top and barely firm when lightly pressed at the edges.
  10. Set aside to firm up slightly.  Then using a spatula gently transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  11. While cookies are cooling, make the chocolate drizzle by placing  the chocolate chips, peppermint essence and cream in a saucepan and placing it over a medium-low heat. Gently heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture comes together.
  12. Place chocolate in a piping bag with a small tip attached and drizzle it over the cookies, or you could just use a spoon (or just dip the top or the bottom of the cookie in the chocolate mixture).
Recipe from Simply Sensational Cookies by Nancy Baggett.





7 comments:

  1. Spectuacular idea, Felice! Undoubtedly the sweet coconut provides a perfect contrast to the bitter peppermint =) Bravo!

    And thank you for sharing interesting features about Hawaii.

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  2. Very unique idea! I looove coconut macaroons, and adding peppermint! Definitely a tasty idea I'll have to try! :)

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  3. They look and sound so good, great idea.

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  4. I never made it to the snow in Hawaii when we lived there but smile each time I think of that-- can you imagine surfing and skiing all in one day? Your cookies are pretty and so festive!

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  5. Love these "snowballs," Felice! What a great Christmas cookies, especially with the minty chocolate drizzle. I had no idea it would snow in Hawaii, even up, up high!

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  6. I did a Nancy Baggett cookie too! Love these, and I have been to the volcano park on the big island. Stunning. Great cookies too!

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  7. Unfortunately Sammy dislikes coconut and has a coconut detector like you would not believe, so I rarely make coconut goodies. But these look wonderful! So perfectly round! And I am intrigued by peppermint with coconut.... And no I would NOT have guessed it ever snows in Hawaii, even at the top of a mountain!

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