I have mentioned before how much I like JoyofBaking.com. So when it came time to find something fun to make with Cam for Halloween, that is where I turned. I needed something he could do the decorating himself, and I found their chocolate spiders – chocolate macaroons with chocolate-covered pretzels for legs. Perfect! He could roll pretzels in chocolate, stick them into the macaroons and even add the eyes.
Not only are these cute, they are yummy, the mix of the sweet macaroon with the richness of the dark chocolate and the saltiness of the pretzels – wow!
(slightly adapted from JoyofBaking.com)
4 ounces dark chocolate pieces
3 egg whites (from Farmer Kim)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut (shredded or flaked)
Thin stick pretzels
3 ounces semi sweet chocolate pieces
In a stainless steel bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.
Stir in the coconut and melted chocolate, making sure the coconut is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour, or until firm.
While the macaroon batter is chilling, melt 3 ounces (90 grams) of semi-sweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and dip stick pretzels into the chocolate and then place on a parchment-paper or wax-paper lined baking sheet. Let dry.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (my note – the nice thing about using the parchment paper is that I could simply slide the paper, with the macaroons on it, onto the cooling rack.) Remove the Chocolate Coconut Macaroon batter from the refrigerator and place small mounds (heaping tablespoons) of the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing several inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutesor just until the macaroons are shiny. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.
Chocolate Spiders: Take the warm Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and press two candy eyes and four chocolate pretzels into each side of the cookies for “legs”.
Makes about 20-24 chocolate spiders.