Chocolate Macaroons (with a surprise twist!)

When I heard it was Chocolate Macaroon Day, I knew I needed to make some, but I wanted to add a fun twist. I managed to find two different ways to make my macaroons stand out. The first surprise? BACON! I’m sorry, I know the whole “bacon in dessert” trend is mostly over, but I love the addition of bacon for two reasons. It adds a different texture. I think these chewy cookies benefit from the addition of crisp bacon. And second, bacon adds a much needed (often overlooked in baking) salt factor. I can’t tell you how many recipes I come across that omit salt from sweets, and that’s a huge mistake. This is how you end up with cloyingly sweet, one-note desserts. So, in this case, bacon was a win for me. I just didn’t add the usual salt I would have added to these macaroons. If you absolutely 100% cannot do the bacon, make sure to add 1 tsp of salt to make up for that.

The second surprise ingredient – chocolate-sweetened condensed milk. Whaaaat? Yep, I found both chocolate and caramel condensed milks. I bought them not knowing what I wanted to do with either of them…I just knew they would result in something amazing.

Ingredients

Ingredients:
5 cups coconut
1 can chocolate-sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites
Bacon
Brown sugar (as needed – I used less than 1/2 cup)
1 – 1 1/2 cups chocolate to melt (chocolate chips with a tbs of oil works well here)

First up, the bacon. I sprinkled a generous amount of brown sugar on mine to give it a yummy sweetness. It helps cut down the overly smoky flavor of the bacon. Bake on a foil lined tray at 450° until crisp.

Bacon1

 

Combine the coconut, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.

CondensedMilk

Once the bacon is done, crumble it up. Reserve some to place on top. I only used 7 slices of bacon. So I put about 5 slices into the macaroons and kept 2 to crumble on top.

Bacon2

Add the crumbled bacon to the coconut mixture.

BaconPieces

Set this aside and whip the egg whites. Start on low speed to unwind the proteins in the eggs for about 1 minute, then turn up to high speed. You’re looking to get quite a bit of volume out of these, maybe 3-4x their original volume. When ready, it will hold a loose peak. But since we didn’t add any sugar, they will be very soft and break back down easily.

Fold the egg whites into the rest of the mixture. I worked mine into the mixture a few scoops at a time.

Combining1

The mixture is fairly wet, so I used my handy dandy cookie scoop to get perfectly even and rounded mounds of batter. If you don’t have a cookie scoop (go get one, really!), use two spoons to scoop and then scrape off.

BakingPan1

Line them up on two trays and bake at 325° or 25 minutes. You want the tops and edges to be crisp, but you want the centers to be chewy.

BakingPan2

Once they are finished baking and cooled, I dipped the tops of mine in chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate (I think it stands up to the coconut and bacon flavors well), but you could use a milk chocolate if you prefer.

Chocolate

Top with the reserved bacon and allow the chocolate to set (use the fridge or freezer to speed this up if you’re impatient like I am).

MacaroonFinish2

These treats are perfect for picnics or lunch boxes or just sitting on the counter for a grab-and-go snack.

treatsie

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