Chocolate macaroons are a childhood cookie. Moms around the world make this easy cookie, and they’re all different. Here’s how to make chocolate macaroons like mom used to make (we start with the basic recipe), and how to take it to the next level for a signature cookie that wows the crowd.
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Chocolate Macaroons are a cookie that’s more like a candy bar.
Chocolate macaroons are light and sweet with different heavenly textures. They are more of a confection than a cookie. They taste great warm straight from the oven, room temperature or even cold from the refrigerator.
They are the perfect dessert to make if you want something sweet but don’t have any flour in the house.
There are several varieties of Chocolate macaroons, some are even no-bake.
- most recipes contain coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- some use oatmeal (my mother made these & we called them cow plops but they’re also called haystacks)
- then there are recipes with both oatmeal & coconut (called frogs)
- crunchy ones use fried chow mein noodles
- even crunchier ones use Corn Flakes dried cereal
- “gourmet” macaroons can include coffee, Hershey Kisses, nuts, dried fruit
Step 1: Decide on the base for your signature chocolate macaroon cookies
First, you have to decide on your base. There’s a huge difference between coconut, oatmeal, fried chow mein noodles, and Corn Flakes.
- For whom are you making them? Adults, kids, guests to impress?
- What texture are you wanting? Smooth, use flaked coconut or oatmeal. Crunchy, use fried chow mein noodles or Corn Flakes.
- How sweet do you want them? For adults, coconut. For kids, the other ingredients.
- Are you going for the nostalgia? Use the base that everyone knows and loves. Maybe even combine oatmeal & coconut.
Step 2: How to make chocolate macaroons your signature cookie by presentation and flavor.
This is where it gets exciting! Do you want a casual grab-one-and-run chocolate macaroon cookie like mom used to make? Then read no further. But if you want to make your chocolate macaroons something more, something everyone will know is yours when they see it, here are some suggestions.
- Blossom Cookie: with a Hershey Kiss on top. (See our recipe.)
- Thumbprint Cookie: with a chocolate or caramel center. (Like Lindt did)
- Black Forest: with a maraschino cherry on top or as a thumbprint.
- Chocolate Dipped: bottoms, tops or half of cookie.
- Triple Chocolate: stir in mini chocolate chips or put a Hershey Kiss or Lindor Lindt chocolate in the center of the coconut, and drizzle chocolate on top.
- German Chocolate: stir in mini chocolate chips and/or Skor baking bits or toffee bits, and/or drizzle with caramel sauce and then chocolate.
- Mocha: stir in 2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
- Chocolate Hazelnut: add 1 Tbsp Nutella & top/thumbprint with one roasted hazelnut.
- Fruit: blend coconut with 1 cup of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or canned & drained mandarin oranges in a blender. Wrap around a piece of fruit, optional. Drizzle with chocolate or dip bottom or half of cookie in chocolate.
- Mint Chocolate: add 1 tsp mint extract to coconut in reusable bag and shake. Dip or drizzle with chocolate.
- Peanut Butter & Chocolate: add 1 Tbsp peanut butter. Top with roasted peanut, optional.
- Nutty: add 1/2 c of your favorite chopped nuts (usually pecans or walnuts)
- Almond: substitute almond extract for vanilla and add 1/4 c slivered almonds.
- White: substitute with white baking chocolate, add mini white chocolate chips and drizzle or dip with white chocolate.
- Festive: add a couple drops of food coloring to the coconut; do not mix in baking chocolate, just dip all sides so you can see the color when you take a bite. (Put it in a reusable bag and shake.) Red for Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Orange for Halloween. Green for St Patrick’s Day. Pastel Pink for Easter or Mother’s Day. Or whatever color matches your party theme.
Chocolate Macaroon Cookies
This is the basic chocolate macaroon cookie, just like mom used to bake.
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk ((not evaporated milk))
- 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
- 2 c flaked or shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened (or oatmeal, fried chow mein noodles or Corn Flakes)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Microwave unsweetened chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in large bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir by hand until chocolate is melted and well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Drop rounded teaspoon of mixture (about 1″ around) 2″ apart on baking sheets. Bake for 10 -12 minutes, or until tops are set (not glossy).
Transfer cookies to a wire rack by sliding the parchment paper with cookies still on it. Let them completely cool, about 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Want more signature recipe suggestions?
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