- 5 large egg whites
- 1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 4 cups long-shred unsweetened coconut lightly toasted (can be found at natural foods stores)
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds toasted, cooled, and ground
- 12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate finely chopped (do not use unsweetened)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place egg whites in large bowl; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until meringue is very thick (similar to marshmallow creme), about 5 minutes. Fold in coconut, then almonds. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing mounds 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake macaroons until pale beige outside and dry-looking (insides will still be soft), about 25 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to racks; cool macaroons completely. Transfer macaroons to work surface; re-line pans with clean parchment.
Place chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water. Stir chocolate until smooth; remove from over water. Dip bottom of 1 macaroon into melted chocolate to depth of 1/4 inch. Place on prepared sheet, chocolate-side down. Repeat dipping with remaining macaroons. Chill until chocolate is firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated. Let macaroons stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)
This recipe yields 5 dozen.