I kind of felt like a mad scientist working on this recipe. I really thought coconut, chocolate, and balsamic could be good together. I think I was right.
For this recipe, I used a bottled balsamic glaze that I was given as a gift. This product can be found in gourmet markets and some grocery stores, and I love having it in the fridge, because you can drizzle a little glaze on some roasted vegetables or meat whenever the fancy strikes you. However, if you don't have it, you can easily make your own -- just put 1 cup balsamic vinegar in a very small saucepot and cook it over medium heat until it becomes the consistency of syrup. The time will vary depending on your stove, but you'll need to watch it very carefully to make sure it doesn't burn (I know from experience how rough it is to scrub burned balsamic off your saucepot). You'll have your tablespoon of glaze needed for these cookies, plus some leftover glaze to keep in the fridge to jazz up an upcoming meal.
I love the way these macaroons came out -- using a large pinch of sea salt insured that they hit the right note of sweet and salty, and the balsamic adds a touch of acid that makes the flavor go crazy on your tongue. The chocolate and balsamic play so well off of each other, and the coconut just adds a little nuttiness. I hope everybody loves these as much as I do. —foxeslovelemons
Test Kitchen Notes
These macaroons are an updated take on the classic we remember from childhood. Each bite is a happy marriage of textures and flavors: spikes of crunchy, toasted coconut blanket a chewy core generously studded with semi-sweet chocolate and an unexpected hint of balsamic vinegar. The vinegar balances the sweetness and adds sophistication, as if grandma’s recipe took a turn through Tuscany. A batch can be pulled together in half an hour, ready to rescue you in a pinch with a sweet treat that appears far more complicated. You might even have most of the ingredients on the shelf. —Ann S
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, balsamic glaze, sugar, and salt until mixture is frothy. Fold in coconut and chocolate chips.
Drop mixture in 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using wet hands, gently form spoonfuls into small mounds if they don't come off the spoon that way already. I usually do this step near the kitchen sink so I can keep re-wetting my hands -- coconut doesn't stick to wet hands as much as it does to dry hands.
Bake 15 minutes or until dark golden brown. Transfer baking sheet to cooling rack and allow macaroons to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer macaroons from baking sheet to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.