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Coconut Macaroons

April 18, 2011

Passover comes and goes each year and I usually don’t pay much attention. We would have our own, eager version of Pesach every year growing up – passing the book around the table, dutifully serving matzoh, finding the afikoman. Even though we were never the family to keep kosher or even pretend to care, I never really liked the traditional food.

Besides the canedelach (matzoh ball soup), nothing was really worth getting excited for. (When chicken soup with matzoh-flour dumplings are the most exciting thing on the table, things aren’t looking good.) The haroset, a mixture of grated apples, nuts and spices, sounds delicious but really isn’t. And don’t even get me started on the bitter herbs.

So imagine my delight when I was asked to supply dessert for a seder we’ve been invited to this year. First of all, this will be my first Passover seder at someone else’s house and Francesco’s first Passover ever. And I’m a little nervous for the both of us. I’m not sure he even knows what Passover is all about. I should probably warn him that he’ll have to wait in between each glass of wine. If left to our own devices, Francesco and I would skip Passover altogether and continue to plan our epic Easter feast. (Sorry, mom.) Once tapeworm arrives, things may change. But for now, I will avoid maztoh for as long as I can.

As my roots are more or less not Eastern European, and my mother is adamantly opposed to anything even resembling reconstituted fish, I’ve been spared Passover staples like gefilte fish and maztoh brei. To their credit, my parents always tried their hardest to make Passover palatable. This was usually achieved by lots of wine, some homemade liver pate to liven up the maztoh, and a very colorful reading of the Passover book. (Sorry again, mom, I don’t know what it’s called.) This year, they tell me they’re planning to stuff a leg of lamb with squash puree and sauteed spinach. They’re just trying to up the ante and give my relatives no excuse (gefilte fish) to not show up. As far as dessert was concerned, when the kids turned their noses up at the haroset, my parents would send us off to the ice cream shop with money in our pockets and tell us to bring something back for everyone.

As my acquaintance with specifically kosher-for-passover desserts is pretty much non-existent, my mind flitted to that beast of a flourless chocolate cake I made a few months ago. But I decided against using up the entire supply of chocolate in the Southern Hemisphere. So I asked my mother what I should make. She suggested macaroons, which is exactly what I thought she’d say. That woman will eat anything even resembling a macaroon, especially if it’s dipped in chocolate.

So macaroons it would be. They’re traditional, don’t require any yeast or grains or leavening or dairy, are a cinch to make and a delight to eat. I finally settled on a recipe that looked too good not to try  (I already had all the ingredients in the pantry), and, just a little while later, I was biting into what is probably the best macaroon I’ve ever had.

I should say that my macaroons looked almost nothing like the pictures on the wonderful website I followed (which, should you be in need, has lots more Passover-friendly desserts). Her macaroons were pale and pyramid shaped, with just a glow of baked goodness. Mine look more like little balls of hay, dirt and mud all mixed together then dipped in chocolate. But while the aesthetics may be lacking, what matters – the taste – is all there. They are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and not too sweet. The only change I made was swapping maple extract for the vanilla. I think it gives them a nice, nutty flavor.

Now that I know what we’ll be having for dessert on Passover, now I just need to psyche myself up for the rest of the meal. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be seeing a recipe for gefilte fish up here soon. Then again, probably not.

COCONUT MACAROONS

The best macaroons ever? Judge for yourself. Definitely a fine way to end any Passover seder. Adapted from this recipe from Pamela Salzman at pamelasalzman.com, which she adapted from David Lebovitz. Makes about 36 cookies and can be made up to a week ahead if stored in the fridge.

2 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup

¼ cup almond meal (or, if Kosher is not your thing, flour)

½ teaspoon salt

4 egg whites

½ teaspoon vanilla (or maple or almond) extract

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (optional, this is for dipping)

In a large bowl, combine coconut, sugar, honey, almond meal, salt, egg whites and extract (all the ingredients except the chocolate) and mix well with a wooden spoon. Take a large skillet and pour the mixture in. Place over medium-low heat on the stove, and stir constantly for about 5 minutes. When the mixture just begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, almost about to scorch, remove from the heat.  The mixture should be sticky, not dry and pasty.

Transfer back to the bowl you used to mix everything and let cool to room temperature.  You can refrigerate the dough for up to one week or freeze up to one month.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small ice cream scoop or your hands, form the dough into little mounds and space them evenly on the prepared pans.  Shape them into little pyramids, if desired. (Mine were far too sticky for this.) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

If you’re like my mother and can’t resist anything dipped in chocolate, melt some chocolate in a heat -proof (metal) bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, aka a double boiler.  Dip the cooled macaroons in chocolate (wherever you like — tops, bottoms, sides) and allow to cool completely on cooling rack or on a parchment-lined baking sheet if you dipped the bottoms.

To store, put in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to a week or freezer for I don’t know how long. Probably not very long once you taste one. They’ll be gone before you have time to pack up and head for the dessert. (Ha. I know, not funny.)

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69 Comments leave one →
  1. Jacki permalink
    April 18, 2011 8:49 pm

    Yum yum yum, lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time and score a taste. Really delicious and now kicking myself for not taking up the offer of a take home pack. Gobbled it down there and then…….hmmmm I’ve got the recipe now

    • April 19, 2011 7:35 am

      Wow, these look amazing.. the chocolate makes them look like a little piece of heaven!

  2. April 19, 2011 12:09 am

    hehe i think you know what i love to eat!

  3. April 19, 2011 12:14 am

    Holy Schmoly. These look simply amazing I wish I had them in front of me right now. AHHHH.

  4. April 19, 2011 12:29 am

    I LOVE coconut, in food, in cakes, in chocolate in shower gels…lol…love this recipe!

  5. April 19, 2011 12:43 am

    Great post, I did these for a Book Club since one of my friends has Celiac’s, I never knew how easy they were! =)

  6. April 19, 2011 12:52 am

    The macaroons look amazing! Congrats on being FP-ed, and hang on for the ride!
    Kathy

  7. April 19, 2011 12:53 am

    Those look wonderful Nothing beats coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate.:)

  8. April 19, 2011 1:06 am

    yum. I want the recipe. Can you add a share button? I have a share button on my website and I think that there might be” an add one” option from there.

  9. April 19, 2011 1:08 am

    I’m sending this to my daughter who spoils me from her kitchen. I think she’ll know what mama’s hungry for after this. Thank you!

  10. nesha permalink
    April 19, 2011 1:09 am

    Wow, these look way beyond delicious. There actually far more than words could ever explain, But I know that by eating these my tummy will surely dance in delight. Let’s say that someone like me was on a diet ( which I’m), but I’m just wondering as to how many calories are in these,and if this recipe is safe for diabetics to eat ? Overall wonderful post and thanks for sharing ! 🙂

    http://anubianqueen.wordpress.com

  11. Joshua permalink
    April 19, 2011 1:15 am

    wow!! i want to try baking this.. thanks for sharing..

    fitness first janitor

  12. April 19, 2011 1:51 am

    the chocolate adds a great touch to it!!! yum..congrats on pf’ed!

  13. April 19, 2011 2:17 am

    Absolutely perfect. Love the golden brown tops. These look fantastic. I once tried to make macaroons and they lost their shape, coming out like flat pancakes. I Never tried again, but you’ve inspired me!!
    Cheers,
    modest.cupboard
    http://www.modestcupboard.wordpress.com

  14. marukochan168 permalink
    April 19, 2011 3:03 am

    wow, I really like!

  15. TheMaleBaker permalink
    April 19, 2011 3:05 am

    Holy cowwww! These look so good. I like the addition of some good ol’ Maple Syrup.

  16. April 19, 2011 3:38 am

    Those look scrumpdillyicious! MJ

  17. April 19, 2011 3:57 am

    Nice! I just got some fresh coconuts today.

  18. April 19, 2011 4:03 am

    these look great, thanks for sharing the recipe

  19. April 19, 2011 4:05 am

    I made macaroons a couple years ago for Passover but I didn’t think to dip them in chocolate. Great idea! Looks delicious!

  20. April 19, 2011 4:12 am

    Oh my god, those look so awesome! I guess the slightly brownish color comes from the maple syrup?
    In Germany Macaroons are traditional Christmas cookies and I have made them quite a few times but they never got that tasty caramelized hue… gotta try your recipe this year…

  21. April 19, 2011 4:45 am

    These look delicious! I am definitely going to have to try these.

  22. April 19, 2011 5:03 am

    OMG those look devine, think I might pretned I’m Jewish for the day!

  23. April 19, 2011 5:57 am

    Those look fantastic and I love that they can be stored for awhile in the fridge (as if I could resist eating every last morsel of everything dipped in chocolate). Thanks for the photos and the recipe! I think I’ll make them for a little post easter egg hunt treat.

  24. April 19, 2011 6:23 am

    These look really good and not too hard to make. I have to give it a go. Very nice.

  25. crazylovescompany permalink
    April 19, 2011 7:01 am

    This is awesome. Will be making them. Thanks!

  26. April 19, 2011 7:08 am

    they looked very nice!!

  27. Char.L.Ton permalink
    April 19, 2011 7:15 am

    Looks good. Check out these burger themed ones too: http://everythingburger.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/great-macaron-cookie-burgers/

  28. April 19, 2011 7:15 am

    These look divine! I can’t wait to try them! Love love love!

  29. April 19, 2011 7:52 am

    Looks yummy! And I love your family story behind it all. Very entertaining…and funny!

  30. Rob permalink
    April 19, 2011 9:31 am

    Yum.

  31. April 19, 2011 9:32 am

    Macaroons are a definite favorite in this gluten-free household. Yours look gorgeous and I love the hint of maple syrup in the recipe. Plus, I’m particularly fond of anyone who bakes their macaroons to golden brown….none of those pale, anemic looking things for me!

  32. April 19, 2011 10:01 am

    These look amazing – thanks for sharing!

  33. Abigail permalink
    April 19, 2011 10:48 am

    You sound like my sister. She was telling me that she was happy she made it through last year with only eating two matzahs. Me, I love Passover, especially the food. 🙂

  34. April 19, 2011 11:00 am

    My son’s girlfriend made some very similar this weekend. Fabulous!

  35. April 19, 2011 11:48 am

    Coconut Macaroons are probably one of the sweetest cookies. Love them!

  36. April 19, 2011 1:09 pm

    Looks good. Any recommendations for a vegan version?

  37. April 19, 2011 2:18 pm

    I wish I had read this sooner. We had no dessert for our dinner tonight being that I am new to the seder dinner. We are invited over to a friends tomorrow night, maybe I will have time to make a quick batch. Thanks for sharing.

  38. April 19, 2011 2:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing.i love the Coconut Macaroons.maybe i will try to make it. ^Q^

  39. mannwhy permalink
    April 19, 2011 3:11 pm

    yum! this looks great

  40. April 19, 2011 3:16 pm

    I, myself, am making coconut macaroons for a passover party at work tomorrow night for 165 people. Bake on! ~Liz

  41. April 19, 2011 4:04 pm

    Kudos on getting Freshly Pressed like cakes from the Easy Bake oven, however I can surely pass over this dessert as I am allergic to Coconut…OMG!

  42. April 19, 2011 4:38 pm

    Wow, I like it

  43. April 19, 2011 4:44 pm

    That’s is wonderful, I want to eating right now: D

  44. April 19, 2011 6:15 pm

    YUM!!

  45. April 19, 2011 6:39 pm

    i love anything with coconut. my wife enjoys those good macaroons specially dipped on chocolate.

  46. saltybi11 permalink
    April 19, 2011 6:49 pm

    Those look awesome!

  47. April 19, 2011 7:29 pm

    They look yummy

  48. April 19, 2011 9:05 pm

    hm hm hm,… yummii,.. i just ate donuts a few minutes ago.
    when i saw your macarons i feel hungry again.
    damn!! 😀
    …. thanks for recipe sharing
    sharing unique luxury drink please visit my blog:
    http://luwakcoffe.wordpress.com/luwak-coffee-unique-history/

  49. April 19, 2011 9:14 pm

    This looks yummy… i will surely try this.

  50. Nadir Rutte permalink
    April 19, 2011 9:39 pm

    yours look better than hers . . .

  51. custompaperpoint permalink
    April 19, 2011 9:47 pm

    Coconut is my favourite and that look yummy

  52. April 19, 2011 11:41 pm

    Wow a blog about food that is fun to read! Those look so good I might have to make them. Your post made me think of my visit to CVS yesterday – as I stood at the checkout line there was a display of Passover delights…but the macaroons were right next to the bottled fish. Not exactly mouth watering. 😉

  53. April 19, 2011 11:55 pm

    I’m salivating. I must make these tonight…and I’ll likely eat an entire batch in less than 24 hours. Wish me luck.

  54. April 20, 2011 12:06 am

    Looks great! And thanks for including alternatives- I would like to try this with almond meal, but I’m broke so flour it is. Can’t wait to try this recipe and see what you post next!

  55. April 20, 2011 12:37 am

    These look totally yummy and are Matt’s favorite! I will be making them soon.

  56. Brenna permalink
    April 20, 2011 12:45 am

    WOAH

  57. April 20, 2011 4:00 am

    Omg. Free delivery? Lol. Looks great!

  58. beckyspringer permalink
    April 20, 2011 5:38 am

    Oh my gosh, those look beyond delicious!!

  59. Thomas Claridge permalink
    April 20, 2011 11:11 am

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    Thomas

  60. April 22, 2011 5:56 pm

    ahhhhhh,great

  61. May 26, 2011 5:27 pm

    i love anything with coconut. my wife enjoys those good macaroons specially dipped on chocolate.

  62. May 30, 2011 9:47 am

    Sounds and looks delicious. Just one thing, how long do they bake in the oven? Thanks.

Trackbacks

  1. Coconut Macaroons (via The Shortlists) | Windy City Wilderness
  2. Coconut Macaroons Exposed « Office Oddities

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