Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

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Pesach, or Passover, is the Jewish Feast of Freedom that takes place over seven days in early spring. The holiday commemorates the freeing of the Jews who were slaves in Egypt. Led by Moses, they fled to the Promised Land. They were in such a hurry that they had no time to allow the bread to rise. What nourished them during their journey was matzoh, unrisen bread that was hard and flat once baked. Rather than attend synagogue during Passover, the holiday is more of a home and table celebration. Passover is initiated with two Seder meals. During the holiday, leavened baked goods are not allowed.

For those of you celebrating Passover but unwilling to go a week without baking, here are some chewy chocolate macaroons. They have a tender centre and deep chocolate flavour. As a finishing touch, dust the macaroons with confectioners’ sugar. My taste-testers really liked these. Personally, the texture of the coconut threw me off a bit, but then again coconut isn’t a favourite ingredient of mine.

For another Passover friendly recipe, check out the flourless chocolate cake, so decadent!

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Recipe Source: Smitten Kitchen

Yields 48 macaroons (I didn’t make as many)

Ingredients:
4 ounces (115 grams or about 1/3 cup) unsweetened chocolate
14 ounces (400 grams) sweetened, flaked coconut
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
6 tablespoons (30 grams) cocoa powder
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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Instructions:
1) Preheat the oven to 325F.
2) Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mats.
3) Melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Set aside.
4) Blend the coconut for 1 minute in the food processor.
5) Add the sugar and cocoa powder, and blend for 1 minute.
6) Add the egg whites, salt and vanilla, blending until incorporated.
7) Pour the melted chocolate into the food processor and blend until smooth.
8) Use a tablespoon to scoop the batter onto the prepared baking trays. The macaroons should be 1-inch mounds. Deb from Smitten Kitchen used a scoop #70, but I don’t have one. The macaroons won’t spread, only puff up slightly, so you can space them closely on the trays.
9) Bake the macaroons for 15 minutes, until the macaroons are shiny and just set.
10) Transfer the tray to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. They firm up as they cool.

Store in an airtight container for one week.

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