Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Birdnests

image

Chocolate coconut macaroon bird nest by twocarolines.com

Coconut Macaroons are the little bit messy fun and tasty sister of the French Macaroon.  The French version is always put together with expensive accessories and fancy words but the coconut macaroon is more fun and tasty, a beautiful mess of chewy goodness which makes for an ideal bird nest to hold everyones favorite seasonal candy, Cadbury mini eggs.  I was inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe that used shredded wheat and melted chocolate for nests, which was cute, but a macaroon nest is yummier and more fun.  In my first batch I baked the eggs which made them really melty and good but they cracked so in my second I put the eggs into the nests when they were right out of the oven which worked perfectly because the hot cookies still made the eggs nice and creamy and with the chewy chocolatey cookie it’s like a little Easter miracle!

4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sweetened dried coconut shredded or flaked.
Cadbury Mini Eggs

  1.  In a heatproof bowl melt your chocolate.  I do this in a pyrex using the microwave on defrost until the chocolate looses it’s shape and I can whisk it smooth.  If you don’t have defrost only melt in 20 second increments or you will burn your chocolate.  You can also use a double boiler if you prefer.  Set aside to cool some while you assemble the rest of your cookie ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites.  Add cocoa powder, sugar, salt and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.  Stir in the coconut and melted chocolate, making sure the coconut is completely coated with the chocolate mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for about an hour or until firm (doesn’t have to be completely firm, but at least firmed up enough to handle and shape).
  3. Preheat oven to 325.  Line 2 baking sheets with sil-pats or parchment paper.
  4. Place small mounds – I used a cookie scoop – on to your lined baking sheet spacing about 2 inches apart.  Once they are on, shape them into nests using hands or dipping a spoon into the center.  I wore some gloves and shaped them by hand.
  5. Bake 13-15 minutes or until macaroons are shiny and just set.  Remove from oven then put your eggs in while the macaroons are still hot.  Wait about 15 minutes to serve and keep leftover cookies covered.

Macaroon recipe adapted from Joyofbaking.com 

 

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

IMG_2040

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