Chocolate Bottomed Macaroons

In the same vein as yesterday's posts, I wish all you fine Jewish friends a Happy Passover. It doesn't need to be Passover for you to enjoy macaroons, but it doesn't hurt. These fabulous little toasty coconutty beauties are enhanced by a chocolate bottom. My first experience with macaroons were ones with chocolate bottoms, and I swear to you, it is the best imaginable way to have them.

Chocolate Bottomed Macaroons (reprinted from The Naked Beet, who got it from the Joy of Baking)

-4 large eggs
-3/4 cup of sugar
-1/4 tsp. salt
-2 tsps of vanilla extract
-6 cups of shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes
-a small amount of chocolate ganache

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Whisk eggs with sugar, salt, and extract. Add in all the coconut and make sure the flakes are moistened entirely.

2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. Line a baking or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Once the mixture is cold, use a tablespoon or melon baller to scoop each macaroon into a round triangle. You can also shape them with slightly wet fingertips into your desired shape before putting them into the oven. Put them into the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Cool the macaroons on the cookie sheet before you remove them from the tray. Some of the edges will be very brown (almost burnt) but don’t worry about this, as the bottoms will be covered in chocolate!

3. Once the macaroons have cooled, dip each one into the ganache approximately an eighth of an inch from the bottom, making sure any excess drips come back to the ganache bowl before you place the macaroon sideways down on the plate. Continue with all the macaroons. You can store them in a metal canister, covered by wax paper at the top and bottom. They will keep for a week or so.

You know what works well for storing macaroons? An empty macaroon canister.

Yield: I think I got about 50 macaroons out of this recipe.
Calories: Don't know, but they're not great for you. On the plus side, they're little and extremely chewy, so it's easy to only eat one or two. Just don't overindulge (difficult as that may be).

Chocolate Ganache
-3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter (salted was also fine because you're using such small amounts per macaroon--I know because I ran out of unsalted. Whoops.)
-1 tablespoon brandy or cognac (All I had was orange curacao, and y'know what? It was great.)
-8 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped up finely

1. In a saucepan, bring cream and butter to a boil for a couple minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure it doesn't burn!

2. Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. Pour boiling cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until combined.

3. Ganache it up to your heart's desire.


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