Published April 1, 2016 - Last Updated March 15, 2021
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Macaroons with Rosewater and Sea Salt Flakes – Delicious Gluten Free Treat for Passover or Anytime of Year
There is something so special about pistachios. Growing up, I always felt like they were the “fancy nut.” Maybe it’s their distinctive green color or their utterly unique flavor that made me covet pistachios. With their royal history and their hefty price tag, it’s no wonder I sensed that pistachios were special. Little did I know just how many delectable treats can be made with these sweet green nuts. Macaroons, those ubiquitous haystacks of Passover sweetness, seem like a perfect vehicle to showcase the pistachio in all of its glory.
Macaroons originated in Italy in the 1700s, where they were first made with almond paste. Italian Jews began making their own versions of the recipe during that same century. Jews 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. But there is no law that says we can’t use pistachios! American macaroons are more often made with coconut, which provides a nice, chewy base. After experimenting a bit, I found the rich combination of pistachio and coconut to be utterly irresistible. I added rosewater to the mix, inspired by the classic Persian pistachio/rosewater flavor combination. Then (because why stop now?) I dipped them in dark chocolate and sprinkled them with sea salt flakes. Whoa. Be still my heart!
Skinning the pistachios takes some time, but for a special occasion like Passover these are well worth the effort. Technically you don’t have to skin them, but your macaroons will be a bit less light/fluffy and the color won’t be as bright a green. If you plan a bit in advance, you can skin the nuts a day prior while binging Netflix. A little extra effort goes a long way here. These macaroons are worth the time, they are truly special. Enjoy!
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Beauty shots and styling by Bethany Nauert.
Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...