Are you in the market for a simple Passover dessert that actually tastes good?
I remember every Seder we went to when I was little served those ultra-dry, hard as a rock macaroons that come in a can. Those things are dry, lifeless and basically a total bummer. The adults at the table would always dunk them in coffee and proceed to chase each bite with even more coffee. Dessert shouldn’t ever be something that requires liquid courage and a chaser, friends.
The coconut macaroons we’d enjoy the rest of the year were always so much better. Crisp on the outside, light and chewy inside. Our family’s macaroon recipe is nothing short of perfect. They are everything a coconut macaroon should be. Unfortunately, they contain flour, which isn’t exactly kosher for Passover.
This year, I decided to try and make a batch of Passover macaroons that people might actually want to eat.
Hello, almond joy macaroons! You’re pretty.
I was originally going to enrobe each macaroon in chocolate completely, but I decided that was entirely too much work. Also, way too messy. As much as I love chocolate, coating these babies entirely would mask their beautiful flavor! And we don’t want that.
Plus this way when you enjoy these macaroons, you won’t end up completely covered in chocolate. And as fun as that may sound, I’m not sure you want to excuse yourself for a shower in the middle of a Seder.
As far as desserts and cookies go, these Almond Joy coconut macaroons err on the slightly healthy side. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s totes true. These macaroons are like their candy bar namesake’s slightly older, more well-read, sophisticated cousin.
I used unsweetened coconut, which you can find at health food stores, organic groceries ands sometimes even ethnic supermarkets. You can substitute the sweetened flaked coconut found ubiquitously at grocery stores everywhere, but I’d cut down the sugar in the recipe to 1/4 cup. Otherwise, these little guys will be so cloyingly sweet, you might feel a cavity starting to form after the first bite. Your dentist won’t like that.
The only other ingredients are a bit of sugar, some egg whites, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Kosher, naturally.
Mix ‘em up, drop them into round little mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place a whole raw almond right on top, smack dab in the center. The almond is like the star on top of a Christmas tree.
Oh dear. I’m getting my holidays all muddled. Oops.
Anyway, we bake everything until it’s lightly golden brown and super pretty. The smell of coconut and almonds toasting is downright heavenly, friends. It smells like a tropical vacation!
Damn. Now I’m craving a pina colada.
As soon as the macaroons have cooled to room temperature, I like to pop them in the freezer for about half an hour while I’m melting my chocolate. That way, as soon as I drizzle the warm chocolate over the cold macaroons, it will firm up right away. Instant gratification is a beautiful thing.
That’s it. Simple, right? Some years, I’m in the mood to fuss about and make a flourless chocolate orange torte. Don’t get me wrong, that torte is a winning Passover dessert, and if you’re looking for a rich, sumptuous, dreamy chocolate dessert, that’s the one.
But this year? I’m lazy. I’ve got a lot of crazy stuff going on, what with trying to finish my last semester of culinary school, find an internship, find a job and basically get my life together. I don’t have time for tortes.
These macaroons are the perfect bites to serve with post-seder coffee, and i guarantee no one’s going to be complaining about how dry and lifeless they are. Instead, they’re going to sing your praises and say things like, “These really taste like Almond Joys! They’re so delicious! You are the most amazing person alive!”
Then you get to smily coyly, shrug your shoulders and nonchalantly say, “Oh, it’s nothing. Just something I whipped up!”
You sly fox.
Almond Joy Coconut Macaroons
Yield: about 30 macaroons
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
For the Macaroons
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste (substitute pure vanilla extract, or almond extract if you like!)
14 ounces unsweetened dried coconut
30 whole raw almonds
For the Chocolate Drizzle
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons organic unrefined coconut oil (substitute vegetable oil)
For the Coconut Macaroons
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the center of the oven.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites, sugar, salt and vanilla bean paste. Whisk together until frothy.
With a silicone spatula, mix in the dried coconut until the mixture is thoroughly combined and moist throughout.
Using a medium cookie scoop (this holds about 1 1/2 tablespoons, so if you don't have a scoop just measure it out!), portion the macaroons onto the prepared baking sheet about an inch apart.
Place a whole almond on top of each macaroon, pressing the almond into the center so it stays put.
Bake the macaroons at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown.
When the macaroons are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire baking rack to cool completely.
The macaroons can be made up to two days ahead of time before drizzling with chocolate. Simply store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Before you drizzle the chocolate over top, place the macaroons in a single layer on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for about 30 minutes.
For the Chocolate Drizzle
Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a glass or metal bowl.
Place about 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan, and set over medium-high heat. Place the bowl of chocolate chips over top, creating a double boiler. Be sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water!
Stirring frequently, allow the chocolate to melt until smooth and shiny.
Turn the heat off and carefully transfer the melted chocolate to a squeeze bottle or piping bag. You may want to use oven mitts while handling the container, because it will get warm from the heat of the chocolate!
Assembling the Almond Joy Macaroons
Remove the macaroons from the freezer and drizzle the melted chocolate over top. How much or how little is up to you!
When the macaroons are covered to your liking, transfer to the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes before enjoying.
The almond joy macaroons will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. You can also transfer them to a freezer-safe zip top plastic bag and freeze them for up to three months.
To defrost, simply transfer the macaroons to the fridge to thaw overnight, leaving them in their freezer bag.
macaroon recipe adapted from Martha Stewart