Penguin coconut macaroons

So a couple years ago, I made a penguin-themed haupia pie using yuzu, coconut, and these coconut macaroons I shaped to resemble little penguins. I was somehow able to get the actual body of the macaroon to resemble a penguin, dying half of it black with activated charcoal, and using almonds to resemble the beaks. However, the eyes gave me trouble. At first, I tried using black sesame seeds. But doing that gave me hand cramps. You try putting little black sesame seeds on a macaroon and hoping that they stay on during their time in the oven. So rummaging through my pantry, I found chocolate chips. Unfortunately, they were giant, but they were round, and I was desperate since the sesame seeds just fell off, so I wedged them onto the penguins and called it a day. However, while I was personally okay with how the macaroons looked, I got a lot of people who felt not-so-much the same way. So I figured, let’s try making them with smaller chips. Smaller chips means smaller eyes. Smaller eyes means my penguins don’t look like they have been scarred for life. Sounds good? I think so. With this recipe, one main difference is the proportion of coconut flakes to egg white. I use more coconut and less egg white as it creates a more stable body for the macaroon to bake. This results in less flowing and spreading, so the penguins for the most part look the same going into the oven as they do coming out of it. These macaroons are relatively easy to make, and come out looking quite cute. You can eat them on their own or use them as toppers on cakes or tarts, and they are just fun to look at!

Makes 8 macaroons:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp activated charcoal powder
whole or flaked almonds
mini dark chocolate chips

In a bowl, mix together your sugar, egg whites, and salt. In another bowl, toss the coconut with flour. Mix the two together to form your macaroon batter. Take out 1/3 of the batter. Dye that 1/3 naturally black using your activated charcoal powder. You can use ground black sesame as well(3 tbsp will do the trick). Scoop 8 2 tbsp-sized balls of the white batter and place them on a lined sheet tray. Place in the almonds to form your beaks. Pat your hands with some water, as it will help the dough not stick to your hands. Place 1 tbsp-sized balls of the black mixture into your hand and shape them into half moons. Place on the white balls to form the top halves of the penguins. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Take out of the oven, and while still warm, press in two dark chocolate chips to form your eyes. Allow the penguins to cool down before removing from the sheet tray. Store in an airtight container before serving.

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