''Chocolate is the answer - who really cares what the question is?''
Temptation comes in so many ways - quick, easy, chocolaty, fudgy just to name a few. And when you put all of these together, temptation is irresistible! All the more so when you are just recovering from the languor of having shopped and traveled for a family wedding and there is a sudden need to bake something quick, easy and good. Alice's Merdich's Chocolate Latkes aka Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are as easy and quick as macaroons can get . If I have understood this right, latkes are basically pancakes which are mostly (but not necessarily) made with shredded potatoes, traditionally eaten during the Jewish festival Hanukkah. Fear not, the latkes here are in no way related to the potato latkes, except in their appearance.
I admit, my latkes here don't look like latkes - with the long, thin shreds of potato (coconut in this case) making them look so very appealing. Blame it on shredding coconut at home with the safest (and most easily accessible) grater you can lay your hands on. But these are indeed tasty, quite chocolaty, go from your pantry to the oven in no time at all! Crisp-ish exteriors, chewy within, coconut and chocolate flavors in each bite. A burst of dark chocolate here and there add to the chocolatey-ness. Perfect to bake for that emergency need for a chocolaty something!
Chocolate answers and cures for winter, spring, summer and fall, some of the very tempting recipes include Chocolate Hazelnut Roulade, Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles, Irish Coffee Chocolate Mousse, The Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Pound Cake, Broadwalk Bananas, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Chocolate Cream Puffs With Spun Sugar and more!
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Makes about 40 2-inch cookies( I have halved the below recipe)
- Egg whites - 4 / 120 grams
- Sweetened shredded coconut - 3 cups, ( I have used used unsweetened coconut, weight approximately 180 grams, pls read note)
- Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate - 98 grams / 3 ½ oz , finely chopped ( I have used Morde, dark)
- Sugar, fine - 12 tbsp / 180 grams approximately - (Recipe uses 6 tablespoons, have added more as the coconut is unsweetened)
- Pure vanilla extract - 2 tsp
- Scant ¼ tsp salt
- Bittersweet chocolate - chopped coarsely - about 1/4 cup (my addition)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large heatproof mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel (make sure it has high sides to prevent water from the skillet spilling into it). The mixture will just come together and look like wet coconut. Set the bowl in a skillet of barely simmering water, the heat on low, and stir the mixture, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, until it is sticky and hot to the touch. This will take about 2 minutes or so depending on the kind of bowl you use and the quantity you are making. Just be sure to keep stirring constantly and touch the mixture often.
- Scoop rounded tablespoons of the mixture about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly with a damp finger to resemble miniature potato pancakes. Stick some chopped chocolate bits here and there. Bake, in batches, until the cookies feel dry on the surface and the protruding coconut shreds are dark golden brown (this is difficult to make out really!) and the interior still looks like melted chocolate, about 14 minutes ( I baked for 16 minutes ). Bake a tiny test batch to determine the right baking time in your oven.
- Slide the parchment onto a cooling rack and cool the cookies completely before removing them from the parchment. Or, if using the silicone mats, cool the cookies on the sheets on the rack, and then, using an offset spatula, transfer the cookies from the mats onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
The cookies are most delicious, crisp-ish on the day they are baked. They do taste good later too, but more chewier. These can be stored in an airtight container, for 4 to 5 days.
Please note : I have grated the outer darker layer of dried coconut (copra) first, discarded it and then grated the rest before measuring. I find the darker portion makes cookies even chewier. If you find ready shredded dried coconut, use it. Do not reduce the quantity of sugar as the taste of the chocolate and coconut will come through only with enough sugar. Quarter the recipe and see how sweet you would like them. And absolutely, better chocolate will give you better taste!