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    Posted January 22, 2012 by
    Buffalo, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Fair-trade chocolate challenge

    More from drodphd

    Comfort Foods - Chocolate and Coconut


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     drodphd, a homemaker in Buffalo, New York, asks: 'How can something that tastes so good ... originate from something so wrong? Participating in this assignment opened my eyes to child labor practices in the chocolate industry. It also gave me an opportunity to have a conversation with my 12-year old son about child labor in the cocoa fields in the Ivory coast and about fair trade practices (or lack of them) in the chocolate industry.' Larry Phillips, Executive Vice President at Log House Foods, which manufactures the Candiquik Chocolate that the iReporter used, says the cocoa is not fair-trade certified, but comes from suppliers that are part of the International Cocoa Initiative to end child labor in the cocoa supply chain. Learn more about the chocolate industry's response here.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons


    Coconut and chocolate are two comfort foods that hold a lot of memories for me; coconut because it is an ingredient of many dishes of India, the country where I grew up. Coconut is used in curries, chutneys, cookies, barfis and much more. My earliest memory of chocolate however, is my dad’s sweet tooth. When I was a child he often bought slabs of Cadbury chocolate after dinner that we shared. Later when my older brothers worked abroad, they returned with boxes of chocolates from around the world and my dad enjoyed these as much, if not more than, the rest of us. I have a sneaking suspicion that my brothers bought the chocolates to impress dad and more for him than for the rest of us.

    Looking out for fair trade chocolate for this assignment was a challenge. I looked at chocolates from around the world at the store and did not find any chocolates with a fair trade practice label on it. I hope that the chocolate I bought to make these macaroons were made using fair trade practices and without using child labor in the cocoa fields. However, it was an opportunity to talk with my 12 year old son about cocoa and how chocolate is made while he assisted me to make the macaroons and dip them in the melted chocolate. Surprisingly, he was already aware of the controversy last year at a popular US chocolate factory involving alleged exploitation of foreign students. We spoke at length about the child labor used in the cocoa industry in the Ivory Coast.

    Recipe for the Macaroons
    1 package (14 OZ or 5 and 1/3 cup) coconut flakes (I used Baker’s angel flake coconut)
    2/3 cup sugar
    6 tbsp flour
    ¼ tsp salt
    4 egg whites
    1 tsp almond extract

    Mix coconut, sugar, flour, salt in a large bowl.
    Stir in beaten egg whites and almond extract and mix well.
    Drop rounded tablespoons of batter on a greased and floured cookie sheet.
    Bake 325 degree F (300 for convection oven) for 20 minutes.
    Remove immediately from cookie sheet and cool on parchment paper.
    Makes around 24-26 macaroons
    When cooled dip in melted-chocolate and let it dry on wax paper.


    The macaroons turned out crunchy on the outside and sweet and moist on the inside. The chocolate gave them added texture and taste.

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