Chocolate Crispy Toasted Coconut Macaroons

Quite the name, I know.  But these cookies are the dark chocolate love child of the coconut macaroon and the rice krispies treat, and as such, they deserve an equally complex title.

C and I were talking about our favorite childhood candy bars today.  We don't really eat candy bars these days, so I really had no idea which ones he liked.  I discovered that his old favorites were Nestle Crunch Bars and Kit-Kats, whereas mine were more of the Mounds or Hershey's Dark Chocolate with Almonds variety.  He liked the crispy milk chocolate taste, and I preferred something darker with lots of nuts and texture.  These cookies are the ultimate compromise and will please all the Cs and Ks of the world.

Could I have made these cookies a little healthier?  Sure, I probably could have.  But these were made for friends, and so I know that I won't end up eating the whole batch myself (and they're still only 71 calories a cookie).  The recipe I started with is from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts, but I made some changes along the way (as I generally do), including toasting the coconut to bring out its nutty flavor, using crispy brown rice cereal instead of the standard Rice Krispies, adding some instant coffee to the chocolate to bring out the flavor, and cutting the sugar by 1/3.  The result is a rich dark chocolate cookie with lots of flavor and texture.

Chocolate Crispy Toasted Coconut Macaroons (Makes 20-24 cookies)
1 ½ cups unsweetened grated coconut, toasted*
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped**
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
½ tsp instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar in the raw (turbinado sugar)

*Toast the coconut for about 4 minutes while the oven is preheating, and just keep an eye on it to ensure that it turns a golden brown color, rather than burning. 

**I used a block of chocolate rather than chocolate chips, but you could always use chocolate chips if that's what you have.  In fact, to be completely honest, I used the remains of the chocolate Easter bunny that my mom gives me every year.  

He looked pretty pathetic just sitting there in the fridge with his head and upper body cut off (those limbs were used in some other dessert along the way).  So I decided to put him out of his misery.
It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare to baking pans with parchment paper.

2.  Melt the chocolate.  For this task you can use a double boiler, or the microwave like I did.  For the microwave option, you just need to heat it for 20 seconds at a time and stir thoroughly in between.  When the chocolate is smooth, it's done.  Set it aside to cool a bit.
3.  Beat the egg whites with the salt using a mixer (or a whisk if you're hardcore) until they form soft peaks.  Gradually add the sugar to the eggs as you're mixing, and mix until the sugar is completely incorporated and the mixture looks glossy.
You might be able to see from the picture that there are specks of raw sugar in the egg whites.  If this bothers you, you can use regular cane sugar, or throw your raw sugar in the food processor to create finer granules.  It really doesn't hurt the cookie to have the larger granules (and raw sugar has so much more flavor than white sugar), so I say, why bother?

4. Add the instant coffee, vanilla, coconut, and crispy brown rice cereal to the melted (and cooled) chocolate.  Mix to combine.
5.  Pour the egg white mixture over the top and begin to gently fold in the egg whites to the mixture.
Be gentle with it so that you avoid completely deflating the egg whites.  You're finished mixing when the mixture is all the same color.

6.  Drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the parchment-covered baking sheets, leaving about an each between each cookie.  The size of the cookie is up to you, but just try to make them all even so that they cook evenly.

7.  Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees until the macaroons are firm and dry on the surface. Since you're using 2 pans on two different racks of your oven, I recommend switching the pans from the top to the bottom rack and vice versa to ensure even cooking.  But if you forget, they'll be fine.

Remove the baking pans from the oven and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

When the cookies have cooled completely, transfer them to an airtight container to store.

I got about 22 cookies out of this recipe, but depending on the size of your cookies, that number could vary.  Here are the nutrition facts for each cookie if you end up with 22 cookies like I did.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 17 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Saturated Fat 
Trans Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%Iron 1%

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