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Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

Butter for greasing
6 squares (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/3 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly rub two cookie sheets with butter or use nonstick baking sheets. Set aside.

Melt the two chocolates in a heavy frying pan over very low heat, stirring constantly. When the chocolate is almost melted, turn off the heat and set aside to cool. The heat of the pan will melt the remaining chocolate.

Put the egg whites in a large mixing bowl with no traces of grease. Beat with an electric mixer until the whites are foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating just until they form stiff peaks. Do not overbeat. Gently beat in the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until all the sugar has been absorbed and the peaks have slightly softened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix gently with a rubber spatula until no white streaks show. (Do mix gently, but make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl -- the chocolate will have sunk to the bottom of the mixture.) Then stir in the coconut, making sure it is completely incorporated, but take care not to deflate the batter by overmixing. Drop 18 teaspoonfuls of dough onto each cookie sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between each cookie. Bake each batch, one cookie sheet at a time, for about 11 minutes. The cookies will be firm to the touch and just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the sheet for about 3 minutes. Then transfer them with a spatula to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container. Makes 36 cookies.

Tester's note: These cookies are best if eaten within a few days.

"Chocolate on the Brain,"
by Kevin Mills and Nancy Mills
Tested by Rebecca Sodergren

Thursday, December 07, 2000

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