In Search of the Perfect Coconut Macaroon

macaroonA couple of months ago, we were in Des Plaines, IL with some time on our hands and found a great little bakery/coffee/tea shop called B’s Sweet Bites.  A bakery is not usually a hot spot for us paleoites, but they had some incredible coconut macaroons made with honey instead of sugar.  We enjoyed them with locally made fresh herb tea served in individual little teapots which kept the second cup as hot as the first.

I didn’t think too much about macaroons again until we happened to walk by the Alliance Patisserie in Chicago, pausing to gaze at the amazing decorated cakes in the window display.  I noticed the word Macarons advertised on the store window.  Fantastic! I thought, and we went inside.  That’s when we learned that Macarons and Macaroons are not the same thing!  Macarons are meringue cookies put together like a sandwich with ganache or buttercream filing and come in an amazing array of colors and flavors. Coconut macaroons, or congolais as they are called in France, are moist dense balls of egg whites, sugar and dried coconut, sometimes dipped in chocolate.

IMG_4259Well that entire episode left us hungering for coconut macaroons and I resolved to make some as soon as possible.  I checked out some online recipes and was inspired by Coconut Macaroons from Elena’s Pantry as well as Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons from a website called the roasted root.  I read some of the comments and wanted to make sure these would be moist and chewy and not overly sweet.  It took four attempts to discover the perfect texture and sweetness.  I shared some with friends who are not paleo to see if they passed muster and they did!  Demands for posting the recipe on the blog soon followed.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (I love Penzey’s Pure Vanilla Extract Double-Strength)
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 bar 85% dark chocolate (Green & Blacks Organic is my favorite)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat the egg whites with a handheld mixer until frothy.
  3. Fold in the remaining ingredients except the chocolate.
  4. Using a 2 teaspoon scoop, pack tightly with the mixture then deposit onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden brown (check after 10 min so they don’t burn).
  6. Cool completely.  Carefully lift them from the cookie sheet with a spatula.
  7. Break the chocolate bar into pieces, microwave on half power for a minute or two, stir until completely melted. If you prefer, melt in a small saucepan over very low heat until melted.
  8. Dip the bottom of each macaroon into the chocolate, place on wax paper in an airtight container and refrigerate, ideally overnight.
  9. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes about 18.

Feel no guilt as you enjoy a healthy treat packed full of good for you ingredients!

I am grateful each day for wellness, happiness and the opportunity to share with you.

 

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