Mocha Macaroons

If you watch the Food Network or attend a culinary class, you’ll quickly learn that certain flavors enhance the tastes of others. Being a great cook or chef is learning how to use complementing and contrasting tastes to create an exciting yet balanced dish. A great starting point for learning these concepts is with chocolate. Vanilla, espresso (coffee), and orange all amplify the taste of chocolate. I might add orange zest to a chocolate torte not so much for the lasting effects of the orange, but for the subtle kick that makes you scream, “wow- this is chocolate heaven!”. If you make these macaroons and drink them with your evening coffee, you will likely say something similar.

In this coconut macaroon recipe, I have added ground coffee to unsweetened coconut flakes. Using unsweetened versus sweetened coconut cuts way back on the sugar content without losing flavor. The coconut oils give exactly the taste I was looking for. Melting the chocolate and the coffee together creates a mocha blanket to wrap it all together. Crispy on the outside, melty and rich chocolate on the inside… dip it in coffee or hot cocoa for the perfect bite-sized dessert.    

Makes: 24 macaroons
Prep Time: 25 minutes     Baking Time: 20 minutes     Total Time: 45 minutes

4 cups unsweetened coconut (flaked or shredded, I used Bob’s Red Mill flaked)
6 oz semisweet chocolate
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 tbs finely ground coffee beans
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.
  • Melt the two chocolates and coffee grinds in a microwave safe bowl or over a double boiler. If using the microwave, heat in 30 second increments, stirring between each round. Remove from the heat when completely melted.
  • Use a wire whisk attachment on a hand mixer to beat the egg whites until they start to form soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until they are stiff peaks. This means that when you turn the mixer off and pull it away, the whites will hold a conical shape.
  • Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium. Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla extract until just combined. You want the whites to remain as fluffy as possible.
  • Add the coconut and mix for just a few seconds to start to incorporate it. Use a rubber spatula to fold the batter together, again, keeping the egg whites as fluffy as possible. Don’t over mix!
  • Use a tablespoon or equivalent portion scoop to make 24 macaroons. Evenly space them on the two cookie sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the outsides begin to harden.
  • Remove from the oven and place on a cool countertop. Cool completely before serving. You can also store them in the sealed container for up to three days at room temperature or freeze.

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