Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chocolate Covered Caramel Macaroons

Coconut macaroons!  The perfect spring cookies.  Except you know, I live in California and it's halfway into May which pretty much means it's summer.  Oops?

I wanted to make and post these in February.  I had really cute Valentines Day ideas for them.  And then Spring happened.  Which meant February, March and April was spent going on lovely hikes with the puppies,  baseball games(go giants!) and enjoying the pretty view the outdoors had to offer.  And then it was May, which meant more baseball, rodeos, and trying to steal red pandas from the zoo.

So yes, I definitely made them too late to be springy.  No problem.  Let's cover them in chocolate and caramel and they are perfect for any time of the year!!!

Chocolate Covered Caramel Macaroons
Makes 30, bake at 325* for aprox 14 minutes

4 egg whites
Dash cream of tartar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
20 oz (1.5 large bags)  sweetened, shredded coconut

1/2 c. dark chocolate, melted for decorating

Caramel Filling
1/2 lb (8 oz) caramel candies
2 tbs. heavy cream

Directions for Caramel Filling
1. Place unwrapped caramels and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl.
2. Microwave on high for 1 minute and stir.  Continue to microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time.  Do not let caramels scorch.

Directions for Cookies:
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar on high until stiff peaks form.
2. Add in salt and vanilla while mixer is still on, after peaks have formed and then immediately turn off.  Don't over beat your eggs.
3. Fold in coconut flakes into egg whites.
4. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Using your thumb, make an indentation in each cookie ball.
6. Bake for about 14 minutes, or until the edges start to darken and the coconut no longer appears wet.
7. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
8. When completely cooled, fill indentation with 1/2 a tablespoon of caramel.
9. Drizzle melted chocolate (with a spoon or using a piping bag) over entire cookie.
10. Let chocolate and caramel dry a room temp for 1-3 hours and enjoy!

Now, I know I went a little crazy with covering these sweet coconut confections with more sweet things...  But you don't have to be as enthusiastic about sugar as I am.  You don't have to put caramel in them.  You are free to eat them plain.  Or covered in a lot of chocolate.  Or a little chocolate.  Make them your own. They taste delicious any way you make them.

But I suggest you make just a few with the caramel. Just because you want to take a bite of them now, don't you?

I will mostly likely be quiet the next few weeks.  Well, I HOPEFULLY will.   Mostly because I need to somehow find a way to get Shakira's abs in exactly 4 weeks. (Does anyone know how to do that, by the way?)  I am going to Colombia with the boyfriend in June (omg, so excited!!!) and i'm pretty sure positive that my baking is not even a little conducive to that goal...

Good thing you can make other sweet things in the oven.  Like oven-roasted plantains.  And I may try granola soon?  We'll see.   I won't stray too far though, and i'll be back soon enough.  Just wait 'till you see what I am cooking up for Pammy's bachelorette party favor!