Many of you are familiar with the coconut macaroons available in the Jewish section of the grocery store during Passover. These sweet coconut gobs, housed in a canister and preserved for who knows how long, cannot compare to homemade. A good homemade macaroon is crisp and light on the outside, soft and moist within– a perfect blend of sweet, crunchy, coconutty goodness. Macaroons are actually very easy to make. Once you try them, you’ll never go back to store-bought. Need a good recipe? I’m here to help!
Macaroons originated in Italy in the 1700’s, where they were first made with almond paste. The recipe was adopted by Italian Jews, who appreciated that the chewy cookies contained no grains or leavening, and thus could be enjoyed during Passover. In Mediterranean Sephardic Jewish communities, macaroons are usually made with almonds, like they originally were in Italy. American macaroons are more often made with coconut, like the recipe I am sharing with you today.
To add a bit of decadence to the standard macaroon, I’ve dipped and drizzled them in dark chocolate. The combination of rich dark chocolate and sweet, chewy macaroon is impossible to resist. To make these macaroons pareve (dairy free), make sure you use a dairy free dark chocolate. There are many kosher varieties. Alprose makes a lovely Passover-approved pareve dark chocolate. Or, if you’re not worried about keeping things kosher, use any chocolate you like. Did I mention they’re gluten free?
I promise, once you try these macaroons, you’ll never buy another canister from the market again. Enjoy!
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- 2 1/2 cups dried unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 tbsp potato starch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 13 oz dark chocolate, divided
- In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the shredded coconut, potato starch, sugar and salt till well blended. Break up any chunks of potato starch with the fork.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg whites and vanilla till frothy.
- Pour the egg white mixture into the dried coconut mixture. Use the fork to stir the batter together, making sure the coconut is fully and evenly moistened by the egg whites. Let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes while the coconut rehydrates.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir the batter again with a fork. Line a baking sheet with parchment or with a Silpat. Scoop up the batter in tablespoonfuls and drop them onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced. They won’t spread, so you can bake them fairly close together.The batter will be delicate… it won’t “hold” together the way a cookie dough does, but as they bake they’ll stick together and solidify. When you’ve dropped all of the batter onto your baking sheets, use wet fingers to gently shape the macaroons into rough domes or haystacks. Don’t worry, they’re not supposed to be perfect.
- Bake the macaroons for 20-25 minutes till the bottom edges turn golden and the tips of the coconut shreds start to brown. Remove from the oven. Don’t over-bake or they will become dry.
- Let the macaroons cool directly on the baking sheet before moving them. Trying to move them too soon will cause them to crumble.
- When the macaroons have cooled completely, you can dip and decorate them. First, place them on a flat surface lined with parchment paper. Melt 9 oz dark chocolate, either in the microwave or in a double boiler. I melt mine in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute, stir, then continue to melt in 15 second bursts at 50% power till the chocolate becomes smooth.Grasp each macaroon at the top and dip the wider base into the melted chocolate, twisting it into the chocolate and coating it about 1/4 inch up the sides.
- Pull macaroon up and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl (you may need to "help" the excess off with your finger), then place the dipped macaroon onto the flat parchment. Repeat for remaining macaroons.
- When all the macaroons have been dipped, melt the remaining 4 oz dark chocolate and scoop it into a plastic zipper bag (Ziploc). Gently squeeze all of the chocolate to one lower corner of the bag, then close the top of the bag, leaving a small gap so it's not completely sealed shut and air can escape. In the corner where you've pushed the melted chocolate, use scissors to snip a very small corner off of the bag. You'll be able to squeeze a small, thin stream of chocolate through this whole. Drizzle the tops of the macaroons with the chocolate, making a zig-zag motion to decorate.
- Once the macaroons have been decorated, allow them to dry. Depending on the weather or temperature in your home, this can take several hours up to overnight. To speed the process, decorate macaroons on a parchment-lined tray and place them in the refrigerator; the chocolate will firm up faster that way.
- Once the macaroons are completely dry, store them in a sealed Tupperware container in single layers divided by parchment or wax paper. A sealed container is very important, it will keep the macaroons moist and stop them from drying out. Store at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the refrigerator for 7 days or longer.
Other Great Recipe Ideas
Tasty Kitchen Blog – Strawberry Coconut Macaroons
Two Peas and Their Pod – Coconut Lime Macaroons with White Chocolate
Gluten Free Canteen – Oatmeal Coconut Maple Macaroons, Gluten Free