Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Holiday Crap: Chewy Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

I've been really good lately in the avoidance-of-too-many-treats department. Got back on track for a good couple weeks after Thanksgiving. Alas, when one has a dinner party to go to...what is one to do?? Bring gnarly desserts of course! I like to tell myself that it's the LEAST I can do. ;-)
All of these suckers are getting left behind after we walk out the door.
These puppies are in the oven right now and I'll I can say is it's a good thing my Pop isn't here to smell them baking. They'd never get a chance to cool down before he wolfed 'em all up!
I used 2 baking sheets placed on 2 different racks to cook as many as possible in one go. But, I think they'd have fared much better all cooking on the same rack. When I baked a third sheet to use up the batter, the finished macaroon looked more like the Cooking Light photo, having spread a bit more than the first ones that went in.

The Verdict:
I could have eaten the whole bowl of batter before cooking these. The end result after baking, good, but not completely swoon worthy. I'll bet if I added some booze (rum? creme de cacao?) that would do the trick!
Oh and that dinner party got cancelled, but I got to leave most of these with my skinny friends anyway...whew! :-)

Chewy Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons:
(Cooking Light) recipe makes about 3 dozen

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sifted cake flour (I subbed 7 Tbs unbleached flour + 1 Tbs cornstarch and I might use a bit less flour if I make these again)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups lightly packed flaked sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I'd try adding the same amount of a complimentary liquor next time too)
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk (couldn't find the fat-free stuff)

Preheat oven to 250º.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and secure with masking tape.

Place unsweetened chocolate in a medium sized microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high for 1 minute or until almost melted. Remove from microwave; stir until chocolate is completely melted. Mix in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, stirring to combine.

Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine cake flour, unsweetened cocoa, and salt in a large bowl. Add coconut, and toss well.

Stir melted chocolate mixture into the coconut mixture (the mixture will be stiff).

Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart (I think you could put them closer together more like an inch apart) onto prepared baking sheet. Using a 1 Tb cookie scoop makes this go so much more easily). Bake at 250º for 45 minutes or until edges of cookies are firm and center of cookies are soft, rotating baking sheet once during baking time. Remove from oven, and cool 10 minutes on pan on a wire rack. Remove the cookies from the parchment paper, and cool completely on rack. Store in an airtight container.

(If you manage to find the fat-free sweetened condensed milk each cookie will be ~84 calories)

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