Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroon Thumbprints

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroon Thumbprints are perfectly sweet and chewy, dipped in chocolate, and filled with dark chocolate M&M’s.  They’re a coconut lover’s dream, and you can make them gluten-free, too!

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Growing up, coconut was always one of my favorite things.  Many of my family members shared that love, so there were always coconut-based desserts around for holidays and special occasions.  The coconut macaroon was definitely one of them, and my mom baked them every year for Christmas.  I’d never had a chocolate dipped coconut macaroon until I got older, and I was hooked instantly.  There’s just something about chocolate and coconut that’s irresistible to me, and these cookies are a huge weakness of mine. 🙂

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I’ve gone through many coconut macaroon recipes, but this one?  It’s the real deal.  Not that the others aren’t good, because they are.  This one is just special. The cookies are thick, sweet, and chewy, and they have just a bit of honey in them, which adds a noticeable touch of flavor.  This recipe came from school, and they’ve been baked several times.  Each time, they’re gone in a flash, and have become a favorite among my classmates and everyone else that tries them. 🙂

These macaroons are made a little differently — the egg whites, sugar, and honey are cooked over moderate heat until just warm to the touch.  This warms the egg whites, and melts the sugar and honey.  The remaining ingredients are then added and cooked a bit longer.  Let the dough stand 30 minutes at room temperature to cool, and you’re ready to get baking.  Now, I’ve never made a macaroon recipe that required cooking the ingredients before, so I’m guessing that must have something to do with these cookies being so unique.

There’s only 1/2 cup of flour in this recipe, and I’ve been told that they’re great made with rice flour as well, which means gluten-free coconut macaroons for those that need or prefer a gluten-free option.  It’s so nice to have options. 🙂

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The type of coconut you use in this recipe is important as well.  Be sure to use unsweetened finely shredded coconut, which is found in the health food section of the supermarket, or you can find it at Whole Foods as well.  It’s the coconut that I use the most to add to my oatmeal, granola, cookies, etc.  I love that there aren’t huge strands of coconut hanging out when I add it to something, but bits of it all throughout.  There’s a time and place for shredded, and it’s not here in these cookies. 😉

I knew I wanted to make a thumbprint out of these when I tried them.  They’re the perfect cookie for it as they really stand up and hold their shape.  I couldn’t resist the dark chocolate M&M’s in pastel colors for Valentine’s Day, but of course, you can fill them with whatever you like.  You can make Almond Joy Macaroons, or use your favorite candy.  Now, the chocolate dipping is completely optional,  but the chocolate is that extra touch that makes these really special.  And you always need a little chocolate for Valentine’s Day, right?  These aren’t just for Valentine’s Day, obviously, and I can guarantee that I’ll be making these all year round.  If you’re a coconut lover, you owe it to yourself to try these.  There’s just no going back — this recipe is a keeper. 🙂

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Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroon Thumbprints
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroon Thumbprints are thick, sweet, and chewy cookies dipped in chocolate, and filled with dark chocolate M&M's. They're a coconut lover's dream, and they can be made gluten-free as well!
Serves: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup all purpose flour (use rice flour for gluten-free)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces melted chocolate for dipping*
  • dark chocolate M&M's or other candies for filling
Instructions
  1. Place the egg whites, sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan or stainless steel bowl and cook over medium low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is just warm to the touch. Add the coconut, flour, and vanilla, and stir till combined. Continue to stir until the mixture just begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Once the mixture has cooled, using a cookie scoop, scoop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets in little mounds. Press down into the center of each cookie gently with your thumb, and fill with two M&M's, or the filling of your choice. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown and firm. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Place 8 ounces of chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Fill a sauté pan 2 inches full of water, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat off, and place the bowl of chocolate into the water and melt the chocolate. Place a sheet of waxed paper over a baking sheet. When the chocolate is smooth, dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate evenly, and gently shake off the excess. Place on the waxed paper. Repeat until all of the cookies have been dipped, and allow the chocolate to set at room temperature. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days. Enjoy!
Notes
I used 1 cup of Guittard pure chocolate chips, ½ semi-sweet and ½ extra dark. I don't advise using regular chocolate chips as they've got additives. Guittard chips are great as there's no chopping chocolate, but you can also use baking bars such as Ghirardelli.

Total time above includes 30 minute cool down time for the cookie dough and 30 minute set time for the chocolate.

Recipe adapted from Tante Marie Cooking School, San Francisco, CA.