Have you ever been to Cape May, NJ? It’s the best. Amazing restaurants, beautiful beaches, fun shops, and quaint horse and carriages all over the place. Fun fact, I was a horse and carriage driver and tour guide one summer. It’s true, and I still have the vest.
We’d start each day around 2 by fetching our horse from the pasture, grooming him (braiding manes and tails), tacking up, hitching to the carriage, and walking into town. We’d then do 8 half hour tours, back to back. It was HARD. The tours would end by ten, but after walking to the barn, untacking, storing the carriage, spraying down the horses and cleaning up, I’d get home around 11:30. I don’t mind a little hard work, but the WORST part was that there was no time to eat (maybe this wouldn’t be the worst part for you, but it was for me – I like to eat every two hours). Occasionally a friend would watch my horse and I would sneak into Laura’s Fudge with my tip money. My treat of choice were the chocolate-dipped macaroons. To. Die. For. The coconut that was stuck in my teeth during the next tour was the “happy thought” that kept me going.
Traditionally macaroons consist of coconut, egg whites, and sugar. I found and adapted a recipe that involved butter, but the reviews were so good I had to try it. REALLY easy to make and they kept beautifully, but it was the taste that really did me in. A slight crunch on the outside with a chewy inside and a perfectly balanced flavor. The bittersweet chocolate keeps it from getting too sweet – a definite make again for me as I loved and devoured every last speck.
Lastly – follow this recipe as written and you won’t be sorry – DO NOT take them off the cookie sheets until they’re totally cooled. And use the parchment! If you have a baby, buy some for the entertainment value alone. My daughter loves to play with paper, but she tries to eat it. Parchment is impervious to baby spit! It holds its shape and makes LOTS of noise when crinkled. See?
Bittersweet Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons
Makes about 40
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
24 oz. sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, 1-2 minutes.
2. Add sugar and salt until and beat until smooth and light, about 2-3 minutes on medium speed.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined. Add vanilla with second egg.
4. Stir in coconut with a rubber spatula until evenly combined.
5. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop batter onto cookie sheets (no need to space them very far apart as they do not spread) in 1 tbsp. mounds.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until slightly golden.
7. LET COOL COMPLETELY ON COOKIE SHEET.
8. Microwave chocolate in small glass bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Using a fork, drizzle chocolate over macaroons. Let cool until chocolate is hardened and store at room temperature (in a mostly air tight container – set lid slightly open to let some air circulate) for up to three days.