Two of my favorite Easter stories involve my golden retriever, Coquina, (the second little rascal of the family). One year my parents surprised my brother, Clay, and I, with the usual baskets full of candy and… carob bunnies (the trendy chocolate alternative of the year). When we returned home from brunch, we learned that it wasn’t such a good idea to leave our dog home alone with our baskets on the floor. Everything was gone except the carob bunnies – one small nibble and even the dog wouldn’t touch them! 🙂 Another Easter tradition of ours was to hollow-out eggs so we could paint the shells. One year I took the project into my own hands. However, my mom forgot to tell me to save the eggs and I decided it would be a good idea to feed them to the dog. Let’s just say that a dog and a dozen raw eggs do not make for a quiet night!
While I can’t eat eggs this year, we still like our chocolate and sweets. Here is an extra coconutty treat that even the Easter Bunny would like. Happy Easter!
3 cups (or one 8 oz. bag) shredded coconut
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup sugar
1-2″ vanilla bean, scraped
1 14 oz. can coconut milk (use the full-fat kind for this recipe)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3-4 oz. good dark chocolate (approximately 1 good-sized chocolate bar)
Preheat the oven to 375˚. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded coconut, almond meal and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut milk, vanilla extract and sugar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until evenly distributed. Using either a small ice cream scoop, a spoon or just your hands, form small, 1 1/2″ – 2″ diameter balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet (the bottoms burn easily, so the parchment is critical to preventing this). Bake for 10-12 minutes, carefully monitoring the tops so that they don’t burn. Carefully move the macaroons from the sheet pan to a cooling rack using a spatula, and let stand for at least 15 minutes.
Once the macaroons have cooled considerably (they can be warm to the touch, but definitely not hot), chop your chocolate into small pieces, place in a small, shallow, microwave-safe dish. Nuke the chocolate in 10-15 second increments, stirring after each increment, until it’s fully melted and smooth. Dip each macaroon into the melted chocolate, then place them onto a parchment-lined plate or flat surface to cool.