Macaroon Melt-Aways

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup margarine, softened
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1-1/2 cups coconut
1/2 cup pecans
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 egg whites
One 6-ounce bag chocolate chips
1-1/3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Special utensil: Parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350F. In small saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water. Bring to boil over high heat. Cook to 235F or until syrup spins a 2 inch thread when dropped from a spoon. In small bowl, beat egg yolks to blend.

Slowly add hot syrup, beating constantly. When thick and cooled to room temperature, add margarine, on tablespoon at a time. Fold in cocoa powder and almond flavoring. Refrigerate while making cookie base. Process coconut in blender until flakes are fine. Add pecans and process with a few on-off turns. Transfer to a bowl; stir in powdered sugar. Beat egg whites to stiff, moist peaks. Fold in coconut mixture, one third at a time.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat in heavy saucepan. Transfer to small shallow bowl; cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Remove butter cream from refrigerator. Spread 1 tablespoon on bottom of each cookie. Place on cookie sheet, cream side up. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and dip butter cream side in melted chocolate. Return to refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 15 minutes. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Serves 20.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana