Easy Lemon Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate

This recipe is based on one I came across online for easy coconut macaroons.  I found the simplicity of the ingredient list intriguing.  It required just three ingredients.  Two cups of unsweetened coconut, one can of sweetened condensed milk and one teaspoon of vanilla.  While the short list had its appeal, I knew these would be much too sweet for our tastes so I modified it for a more balanced profile.  To counteract the sweetness I added lemon in three forms beginning with the zest from a large lemon then adding the juice from half of that lemon.  Using the juice from the whole lemon would have added too much liquid but I still wanted a bit more lemoniness so I added two envelopes of True Lemon.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cookies use a spoon to stir together the following ingredients in a bowl.

2 cups Unsweetened coconut
1 can   Sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp.   Vanilla
Grated zest of 1 lg. lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 packets True Lemon

Drop, in tablespoon-sized lumps, onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with extra coconut.  Bake for 12 minutes or until they start to brown.

Remove cookies to a rack immediately after baking.

For the finishing touch, and a note of bitter chocolate, I coated the underside of each cookie then drizzled the tops.  For this you will need both chocolate chips and unsweetened baker's chocolate or you can substitute a bitter chocolate bar in the range of 70% cacao.

Combine 1.5 oz. each (I measured the chocolate by weight.  To measure by volume 1.5 oz. is about 3 Tbsp.) of the chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate in a small, flat-bottomed bowl. Microwave at short intervals (30 sec.) stirring between until the chocolate is melted.

Place a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Dip the underside of each cookie in the melted chocolate.  You only want a thin layer so if your chocolate is thick use an icing spatula to sweep away excess.  Place the dipped cookie on the wax paper.

Melt .5 oz. of each chocolate and place in a plastic bag.  Snip the point off the corner of the bag to
create a tiny hole.  Gently squeeze the bag to create a thin stream of chocolate as you travel to and fro over the cookies.  Refrigerate to harden the chocolate.

These were a hit and immediately deemed "blog worthy" by my tasters.  Enjoy!

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