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{Friends of Bren Guest Post} Salted Chocolate-Drizzled Coconut Macaroons {Gluten-Free}

Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Happy Holidays, sweet friends! What a season to celebrate life and all things delicious, especially when it involves sharing beautiful creations by our friends. In the midst of an epically busy work season, I asked my dear friend Faith from the crazy pretty and prolific blog, An Edible Mosaic, to help me cheers to another year of friendship and success we’ve both enjoyed this year, to share some of her delectables. She agreed and sent me these delicate cookies we can all appreciate. I’ll let her tell you all about them with the intention of inspiring you to make them for your loved ones as a token of your love. Because everyones loves a good cookie.  In the meantime, please visit her blog and get to know her culinary exploits around the world. 

I’m Faith and I blog over at An Edible Mosaic where I share my favorite international recipes (heavy on the Middle Eastern flair, but from all over) and updated American classics. Bren is such an inspiration (life goals, really) in so many ways and I’m honored to be guest posting here today!

We all know that food that comes with a story is always the best food. The story behind this one is pretty simple; my husband is ridiculously crazy about chocolate-covered coconut candy bars. Now, I know (probably as well as you do) that there’s absolutely nothing special about chocolate coconut candy bars, but he will seek them out and absolutely has to get one (or three) anytime he sees a Bounty or Almond Joy at the grocery store (good thing for his diet that he very rarely does the grocery shopping!).

During our first Christmas together when I was asking him about his favorite type of cookie, he kept insisting that he doesn’t like cookies so there was no need for me to do any baking. As anyone who bakes at Christmastime knows, eating the cookies is only part of the fun! The actual ritual of making them is what’s festive, and there was no way I was passing that up. Knowing his love for these candy bars, I decided to make chocolate-drizzled coconut macaroons; since then, these cookies have been his favorite.

chocolate macaroon cookie dough

There are literally hundreds of coconut macaroon recipes out there and I know I’m a little biased when I say this, but this version is extraordinarily delicious. So much so, that my husband told me they’re even better than Bounty (big words, coming from him). My recipe is a little different from the tons of other recipes out there, and that’s why I think you should give them a go.

For starters, I skip the sweetened condensed milk for a couple reasons: a) it’s not a staple in my pantry (and I hate having to run to the store if I don’t have to), and b) I think it makes the cookies too sweet. I use unsweetened coconut instead of sweetened, again because of the too sweet thing. I don’t use any kind of flour; not all-purpose, not almond, not coconut, nothing. Simply because these cookies don’t need it (bonus, these are naturally gluten-free!).

Another thing that sets this recipe apart is my use of mahlab. If you’re not familiar with this spice, it’s the ground seed kernel from St Lucie cherry pits and its heady aroma smells like a cross between cherries and almonds. It’s commonly used in recipes for Middle Eastern sweets, and I like to add just a pinch (because a little goes a long way with mahlab) to a lot of my baked goods recipes. Here it definitely adds that je ne sais quoi that people won’t be able to put their finger on.

And the proverbial icing on the cake (or cookies, rather), is that I add a sprinkling of flaky sea salt on top. It offsets the other flavors and literally makes the coconut flavor pop in your mouth. Make these and see for yourself; I’m telling you, you’re a better woman than I if you’re able to stop after just one cookie! They might just become a new family tradition.

 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Enjoy

Salted Chocolate-Drizzled Coconut Macaroons {Gluten-Free}

Yields 2 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (227 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mahlab (optional)
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 oz (170 g) good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping

Preheat oven to 325F; line a large baking sheet (I use a half-sheet pan) with parchment paper or a silpat liner.

Stir together the coconut, sugar, salt, and mahlab in a large bowl. Whisk the egg whites until foamy in a medium bowl, and then whisk in the vanilla. Stir the egg white mixture into the coconut mixture.

Use a 1 tablespoon-sized scoop to measure out the mixture, packing the coconut into the scoop and then firmly pressing it with your hands to compact it into a ball. (I find it helpful to do this with slightly wet hands to prevent sticking, so I keep a small bowl of water nearby.) Arrange the balls about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet (they should all fit on 1 large baking sheet).

Bake until the cookies are golden on the bottom and starting to turn light golden on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on the tray before removing with a thin metal spatula.

Once the cookies are cooled, melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler. Dip the bottom of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place it on a wire rack so the excess chocolate can drip off. Drizzle the remaining chocolate on top and sprinkle on a little sea salt.

Let the chocolate set before serving, and store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

If you like this recipe then you'll love the ones in my debut cookbook!

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