When I'm upset I tend to bake. I've been doing quite a bit of baking this week...
The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster. We're all finally feeling healthy but it was a long road and on top of it, in the very midst of Lilly's stomach virus I discovered I was pregnant. Although we hadn't really been trying, we were thrilled with the news. In fact, I was more excited than I would have guessed I would be.
Unfortunately, the excitement didn't last. Four days and two very positive home tests later I'd booked a confirmation appointment with my doctor's office. But as I sat in their office bathroom, peeing in the cup I realized I'd gotten my period. The doctor went ahead with the test and confirmed that I was pregnant...but that I wouldn't be for much longer. I was in the process of losing it.
It was very early -- in fact if I'd not been curious and taken those early tests I never would have known. Even so, even after just four days, it was incredibly disappointing. All of those hopes and plans that race through your head just evaporate. And its like it never happened. Well, it should be like that. Its like that for everyone else. I had a good cry that first day, felt better, and hoped that would be it. JiT did a great job of keeping me busy over the weekend. But here I am almost a week later and these little waves of sadness still hit me. I guess its probably the hormones. I've been up and down and inside out all week. Who would guess that a four-day pregnancy could still result in night sweats and nausea and crazy mood swings? As much as I'd like to put the whole experience in a box on a shelf, right next to Lilly's baby clothes, I still have to go back to the doctor for another follow up on Friday. Until then, I'll probably be doing a lot more baking.
Which brings me to the macaroons. This month's Real Simple has a recipe for regular coconut macaroons and that provided the original inspiration. By since my heart was feeling heavy, something with chocolate seemed more appropriate. And speaking of hearts, since Valentine's day is right around the corner, heart shapes seemed just about perfect. I was able to achieve the shape using my Cuisipro Mini Ice Cream Sandwich Maker (a client). It works similarly to an ice cream scoop but leaves your cookie (or ice cream or whatever you're scooping) in a perfect heart shape. I've found a ton of uses for these so I think they're worth having around, but if you don't have one and you're note dead set on a heart shape, a regular trigger scoop ice cream scooper would work just as well.
Once the cookies were baked and cooled, I just drizzled them with melted dark chocolate. The resulting cookies provide the perfect balance of crisp and chewy, rich and light. Lilly loves them. And seeing her nibble on these little chocolate hearts has done wonders to fill a particularly empty spot in my own heart.
Dark Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons
Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies, depending on shape
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14-oz bag sweetened, shredded coconut
1 small bag dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a mixture and mix on medium speed until egg whites are have turned shiny white and have started to thicken and sugar in almost dissolved, about three minutes. Gently fold in coconut until evenly combined.
Using a heart-shaped Cuisipro Mini Ice Cream Sandwich Maker or a trigger ice cream scoop, scoop coconut mixture (about 2 Tablespoons per scoop) and gently place about 1 inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, for 20 minutes, until cookies are golden and crisp on the outside.
Cool cookies completely. Meanwhile, heat chocolate chips in a double broiler over medium heat, stirring continuously until chocolate is melted. Allow to cool slightly before pouring chocolate into a 1 Qt zip-top bag. Snip a tiny piece off of one corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate evenly over each cookie. Allow chocolate to dry completely.
Cookies may be stored for up to 5 days in an airtight container.