Category Archives: Cookies

Butterscotch Cookies

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I’m more than a little obsessed with cookies. I rarely crave candy—when I want carbs, I want it to have flour and sugar and butter. I know, I know, you can’t stand what a health nut I am! Now is the time where I tell you what diet I’m on and how great it is. Well, if you must know, I’m on what could be called ‘The Inclusion Diet’, and like it’s moniker would suggest, it includes everything. These are the cookie version of my grandpa’s favorite Butterscotch Brownies that I blogged about a while ago and they are the new star item of my diet! If you want to join with me on this Eating Journey™, this is a good place to start.

Butterscotch Cookie Batter:

  • 1/4 cup browned butter
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown butter in small saucepan. Whisk the dry ingredients together; add eggs and vanilla to butter and whisk until combined. Mix butter mixture into dry ingredients until combined. Stir in butterscotch chips. Scoop onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes, let cool.

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine brown sugar and butter; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add milk and boil slowly for 3 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar until well-combined. Dip the top of the cooled cookies in frosting and place on parchment paper. Pro tip: if you happen to have these a day or two later, warm up in the microwave for 5 minutes so they are a little gooey again. You’re welcome!

Makes 24 cookies.

-CK 1.0

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

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This time of year we want ALL the spices. Cloves, allspice, cinnamon and—my personal favorite—ginger! And that’s not just because I get called “Ginger Lady” when I visit Turkey. I want all the ginger drinks and edibles! These cookies are the product of two recipes that I really, really like. So I thought they’d make the ultimate “power cookie”. They are super soft and chewy but you can bake them a little bit longer if you want more of a crisp cookie experience.  -CK 1.0

1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 egg

2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I use 70% cacao Lindt bars, but you could use chocolate chips in a pinch)
Sugar for rolling

  1. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat brown sugar, oil, ginger and egg, until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
  3. Slowly combine the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Mix in chocolate chunks; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until just before the surfaces crack, but not too doughy—about 7 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Striped Citrus Meringue Cookies

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Striped Citrus Meringue Cookies by twocarolines.com

While sitting with my 3 year old on the couch I did a quick browse on my Instagram and a video popped up on my Wilton feed with these beautiful little Meringue cookies – Millie excitedly said “Mom! They are like rainbow chocolate chips, we have to make them!” fullsizeoutput_657cObviously I am not capable of denying a face like this so we spent the afternoon making these beautiful cookies and then had a blast delivering them to friends.  Millie felt very strongly that they needed to be pink with stripes, so we put a touch of red food coloring in our stiff peaks, but you can do these so many ways.  They are the perfect cookie for any occasion that calls for “cute” such as a baby shower, childrens birthday or even a fun wedding.  I thought they were pretty but was not expecting them to taste too exciting, and I’m happy to report, they were just delicious!  Bright and sweet with a beautiful texture and nice vanilla lemon flavor.  They really are a joy to make and to eat! -CK 2.0

  • 6 large egg whites (fresh work best)img_4557
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • zest of 1 lemon, orange or lime (I used lemon and loved it!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
  • food dye of your choice
  1. Prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper.  I ended up having leftover even after filling 2 cookie sheets so you might need another or you can just discard or eat your leftover meringue.  Preheat oven to 200
  2. put your 6 egg whites in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer (you can use any heatproof bowl and a hand mixer too – but stand mixers are nice for meringue because stiff peaks take a while).  Add a pinch of salt and whisk it up a bit to break up your whites.  Next add your sugar and whisk all of that for a minute then put it over a pot of boiling water.  Continue whisking until your mixture is a little warm and the sugar granules are dissolved so you don’t feel them between your fingers.  Once the sugar is dissolved, take off the heat and add your 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar.  Set in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whip on a high setting until your get nice glossy stiff peaks. Once you have pretty stiff peaks add your citrus zest and vanilla.  We also added a touch of red coloring at this stage so our base color would be pink.
  3. Take a few dots of meringue and use it as glue between your parchment and cookie sheet so the parchment paper doesn’t try to come up while you pipe out your cookies.  To prepare your piping bag, find a tip that’s about 1/2 inch round – I used the Ateco 808 which worked perfectly.  I also used Wilton disposable piping bags, which are so handy, but you could fill any bag and I think it would work fine.  You could also use a star tip, but make it a large one.  Next, cut the hole in the bottom of your bag, make sure your tip is a tight fit, then paint with any paintbrush (or even your finger if you don’t have one) stripes down the sides of the bag of whatever color you want to pipe out.  We used blue and purple in ours which was really pretty, but suit yourself.  The color might not show up until you’ve piped out a few cookies FYI.  I put my bag into a tall vase and fold the top over all the way around.  This way I have a hard surface to scrape off and push down the meringue filling, but I can still get a clean twist at the top to squeeze with.  Piping out the cookies is easy, just apply a little pressure from the top with your tip close to the cookie sheet then stop pushing before you pull it up in a little twist.  There are lots of shapes you can do – have fun with it!
  4. Bake in a 200 degree oven for a good hour and a half.  Rotate somewhere in the middle of that and to let the cookies cool, just turn off the oven and let them cool in the oven.  They will be crisp, come off easily, but not brown.  I used tongs to put them on plates for friends because they did stick to my fingers a little.  Enjoy!

 

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striped lemon meringue cookies by twocarolines.com

Recipe adapted from Renee Conner – I got it from her youtube video that had some other fun videos too – check it out!

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies by twocarolines.com

It’s the last day of October and we have dedicated this month to ALL THINGS PUMPKIN! We have brought you Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Dulce de leche Pie, Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce, and the unforgettable Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese frosting that we featured on Elevate Everyday, but you can find it here too!  In order to properly round out our pumpkin dessert collection, we need to share with you a bomb pumpkin chocolate chip cookie.  This recipe is a family favorite from my friend Rachel who actually shared it with me years ago before I had a dessert blog and I’m so excited to finally drop this knowledge on all you lovely people.  What I really liked about her cookies is that they didn’t slime out as pumpkin cookies tend to do – and they have butter, because she’s a reasonable person, but they also have applesauce adding to the moisture and taking from the fat so they are for sure a lower calorie cookie option than their traditional CCC counterpart.  She insists on Guittard milk chocolate chips- which are so creamy and good, but I liked them a touch better with semi-sweet because I’m just drawn that way.  Use whatever you like and have a fantastic Halloween!

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin (don’t use more, it will make them sticky)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 of a bag (11.5 ounces) guittard milk chocolate chips
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  1. Preheat oven to 375 and either lay down a silpat, parchment or spray a few large cookie sheets.  My friend Rachel always doubles this recipe, so feel free to do that, but this makes loads of cookies, so only double if you’re baking for a crowd.  She suggests one and a half a bag of chocolate chips if you double.
  2. Cream the butter, applesauce, sugar, egg and vanilla.  Add the pumpkin to the wet ingredients.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and add chocolate chips.  My friend insists on the Guittard milk chocolate chips, which are super good, but I did a few with semi-sweet and liked them even more, use whichever you prefer, I think about 9 ounces or 1 3/4 cups was about right, but use as many as seems right to you!
  3. Either use a cookie scoop or just eyeball about 2 tablespoon sized cookies and space them on your prepared cookie sheet with some room to expand.  Bake for about 10 minutes until cookies are clearly golden brown around the bottom – these are not like normal chocolate chip cookies where you want to underbake them, make sure they are done.

    Recipe courtesy of Rachel Clark

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

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It’s hard to believe that I didn’t like coconut when I was younger. The Mounds bar was one of the most dreaded Halloween candies (besides Circus Peanuts, let’s be real). I hated the texture and couldn’t get past it. I’m not actually positive as to when I hit the turning point in my relationship with coconut, but I’m so glad I did! Now I’ll take it ALL. The more coconutty-the better. Maybe one could say, I’m nuts for coconuts? I’m so sorry—that was bad and you guys deserve better. To make up for it, here is the recipe for the goodness that is pictured above…

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

  • 3/4 cups egg whites (6-7 eggs)
  •  1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1-2 drops of butter flavoring (not necessary, but I think it adds a little something)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups sweetened flaked coconut

For the chocolate dipping sauce:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Directions

Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until just frothy. Add the sugar, almond extract, butter flavoring, and salt; mix well. Stir in the coconut, two cups at a time.

Use a small cookie scoop to form the macaroons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Use your hands to mold the cookies a bit and lightly press down the tops.

Bake for 13-17 minutes or until set and light golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes before removing. Cool completely before the next step. (and do some scientific taste testing, amiright?)

Prepare clean cookie sheets with was paper. Melt the chocolate and shortening and mix until smooth. Quickly, dip half the cookie (you only need to dip the top side of it) into the chocolate and place each one on wax paper to set. Set for at least two hours before ravenously consuming.

 

 

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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double chocolate chunk cookies by twocarolines.com

These came about when I wanted to bring a treat to my daughter’s soccer practice, but needed to mindful of a nut allergy and the fact that 7 year olds are kind of lame sometimes about awesome stuff like coconut and oatmeal.  These cookies were a huge hit with the Huntington Beach “Kickers” and it’s no wonder with their perfectly chewy texture, and loads of rich chocolate flavor.  I am continuing to fuel the team with baked sweets because it’s working, we are UNDEFEATED!  And I’m sure double chocolate chunk cookies have a lot to do with that, because practice etc. really pales in comparrison to the power of an epic dessert.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (you can also use natural Hershey’s or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate or dark/semi-sweet, 4 ounces coarsely chopped, 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks.  Chunks are delicious and add to the texture, but chocolate chips will work great too
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Melt coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.

  3. Scoop batter using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop; place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, you still want them looking shiny and undone in the middle, about 11-13 minutes. Transfer on parchment to wire racks. Let cool 5 minutes.

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Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Vanilla Peanut Butter French Macaroons

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vanilla peanut butter macaroons by twocarolines.com

French Macaroons have eluded me for years.  I enjoy these lovely little cookies, but they are a challenge to perfect because there is that tricky step where you need to make your meringue not too deflated, but just deflated enough, there’s an art to it that I haven’t quite figured out.  But these, although not perfect, were so delicious I just had to share them.  They are not going to be on the cover of a magazine, but I felt they were cute enough, and as usual, my readers will probably do even better than me in making them get that smooth dome and perfect little ridge of lift that every macaroon needs to be tip top.  In the flavor department they were a knockout.  I love using buttercream in the center, and peanut butter with the vanilla cookie was such a magical treat.  I made a few with other fillings, but this was by far my favorite.  This is a super versatile macaroon recipe so fill them with whatever sounds good to you – the peanut butter frosting I used is below for your reference.

For the macaroons:
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 large egg whites
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract

For the frosting:
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

  1. To make the macaroons: Process the almond flour and the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor for 20-30 seconds. Sift to remove any large pieces and to aerate the mixture.
  2. Separate the eggs and put the whites in the bowl you’ll use to whip them. Don’t start whipping yet, but add a pinch each of salt and cream of tartar.
  3. Combine the water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a rapid boil.
  4. Boil for 2 minutes; the temperature of the syrup should reach between 235°F and 240°F. Take the syrup off the heat. Immediately start whipping the egg whites, using an electric mixer. When they hold a curved peak on the end of the beater, stop, grab the pan of hot syrup, resume beating, and pour the syrup steadily into the whites as you beat. Add the vanilla once the meringue is thick.  
  5. Continue beating until the meringue is smooth, glossy, and forms soft peaks.
  6. Fold in the almond flour/sugar until everything is evenly combined, then start stirring. This will thin the mixture. Stir until the batter runs in ribbons that disappear back into the mass in 10 to 20 seconds. Test frequently, and stop stirring when you reach this point. I think I often stop too soon which gives my cookies too much lift, they should pipe out pretty flat.  
  7. Use a pastry bag to deposit a generous teaspoon-sized round blob of batter onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. The cookie should flatten out, rather than remain in a tall blob. If it doesn’t spread, stir the batter some more; your goal is a disc-like, fairly flat cookie.
  8. Repeat with the remainder of the batter. Since the cookies won’t spread as they bake, you can position them fairly close together.
  9. Allow to rest in a dry place with good air circulation (a counter top is fine) until you can gently touch the tops and come away with a clean finger, about 2 hours. Now is a good time to make your frosting (see step 14 below).  Towards the end of the resting time, preheat the oven to 275°F.
  10. Bake the cookies for 25 to 30 minutes, till firm on the top.
  11. Remove them from the oven, and cool completely on sheet. Use a thin spatula to carefully separate them from the parchment or foil.IMG_2543
  12. Spread half the cookies with peanut butter frosting, or any combination of fillings your heart desires. Top with the remaining cookies.
  13. Yield: 20 to 22 filled cookies.
  14. To make the frosting: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Vanilla Macaroons adapted from King Arthur Flour basic macaroons.  Peanut butter frosting adapted from Smitten Kitchen Peanut Butter Frosting for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Italian Ricotta Cookies

My friend Lizzie is a full on Italian princess, you could drop her in the middle of any Italian town or city and with her long brown hair, incredible figure, awesome taste, and striking eyes she would fit right in.  She has 3 boys and recently found out she’s having a baby girl!  For her Italian themed baby shower she requested these special cookies that are made with Ricotta cheese, I had never heard of them, but was delighted to oblige her request.  They were a huge hit! My family loved them because I don’t often make cookies like this, it’s almost like a fancy and elegant sugar cookie, but the texture is a mix between a cookie and a pastry.  The cheese balances the flavor and adds some fun and interesting depth instead of just a boring sugar sweet cookie.  For the icing, I added some almond extract and sprinkled them with gold just to be extra bourguie.  Next time I make them I’m going to add about a tablespoon of orange zest because I think they would be brilliantly complimented by some citrus, but all who I served them to went crazy over them just the way they are, PERFECTO! (That’s Italian for perfect right?…)

(please note this makes a large quantity, but it’s handy because you use an entire package of ricotta, you could always half it and use the rest in your lasagna or other Italiano recipe)

1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
15 ounces ricotta cheese (my carton had 16 which worked out fine)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4-5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
decorative sprinkles of your choice

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (but you can place cookies directly on ungreased cookie sheets and they would be okay)
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract.  Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and blend into the creamed mixture, mixing in additional flour as necessary to form a workable dough.  You don’t want it too dry, but you need to be able to handle it enough to roll into balls.  I ended up wearing gloves and dipping them in flour a number of times just to make things less messy.
  3. Roll dough into teaspoon sized balls, I used my cookie scoop.  Arrange with a little room to expand on your baking sheet.
  4. Bake 9-11 minutes until lightly browned and nicely risen.
  5. For the glaze beat milk, confectioners sugar, and almond extract until smooth.  Spoon over cookies and before the glaze sets sprinkle with your decorative sugar or sprinkles.
  6. If you have loads more than you can eat or feed people over a few days freeze some before you glaze them to eat another time and just glaze them once defrosted.
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Italian Ricotta Cookies by twocarolines.com

Recipe adapted from all recipes Ricotta cookies II 

 

 

Chewy Crispy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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You guys, my mama is in town and it’s the best. I wanted to make a little treat for her arrival and I know that Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are her very favorite. I have been on the hunt for a recipe for a while, looking for something that would stand out and impress my mom’s superb palate. I wanted to have a hint of cinnamon, a chewy yet crispy (the most important part!) texture, and the right balance of ingredients. I adapted this recipe from Sarabeth’s Bakery and I’m so pleased with it! Most importantly though—my mom asked for the recipe—so I know this one is a winner!
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
1 1/2 cups seedless raisins
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and wheat germ into a bowl, then add the oats and stir well to combine.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add both sugars, then vanilla. Beat, occasionally scrapping the bottom and sides of the bowl, until the mixture is pale yellow and very light-textured, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In thirds, beat the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, beating just until each addition is incorporated. Mix in the raisins and slivered almonds. Do not over mix.

Using a 2-inch-diameter ice-cream scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared pans, placing the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake, switching the position of the pans from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking, until the cookies are light golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Cookies should be golden on the edges and slightly under-baked in the middle. Cool completely on the pans. (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days. They even get better with age!)

 

-CK 1.0

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

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chocolate dipped coconut macaroons by twocarolines.com

It’s possible there are an uneven number of coconut recipes on twocarolines.com – not sorry about that.  What makes these incredibly delicious cookies unique is that they don’t have any flour, I could FINALLY bring sweets to my gluten free neighbor!  And they are perfect for my passover peeps!  These elegant chocolate dipped coconut macaroons are so incredible tasting and they truly could not be easier to make – which is nice because I made about 100 of them on Friday as presentation desserts for an event – and if you must know, the recipients LOVED them!

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (1 bag)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
gold sprinkles (optional)

  1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  3. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  4. Drop batter onto your parchment lined sheet pans using a small ice cream scoop or two teaspoons.  Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and let cool.
  5. Put chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl over (but not in) a pot of simmering water and let your chocolate melt so it’s all smooth.  Dip cookies halfway into your chocolate and place back on the parchment.  They will cool at room temperature eventually, but I put them in the fridge where they get firm fast and they last at least a week.

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Coconut Macaroons