I’ve never been a big fan of the traditional Passover macaroon, and perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I am not a big fan of coconut–just don’t like the stringiness. (Or maybe it relates back to the little dried-up nubbins that come out of a can that’s been sitting on the supermarket shelves for weeks before the holiday even begins.)
But, Passover is a lot like Thanksgiving in that some people just need and expect to see certain things at the traditional dinner year after year, so the presence of macaroons is often non-negotiable. The coconut in the macaroons below is combined with almond flour, thus producing a texture that is more cookie-like in the center. When I bite into one, I get creamy coconut flavor rather than a mouthful of fibrous strands. Baking them until they’re golden brown produces a sweet, crackly surface. Dipping the bottoms in dark chocolate offsets the sweetness and adds another dimension to the flavor. These Macs are more than good enough to maintain their yearly place at my Seder table, without any grumbling on my part.
By the way, those canned macaroons that I mentioned earlier have some purpose too. They can be pulverized in a food processor and combined with softened butter to be used as a crust for a Passover Pie. (But that’s another story.)
(adapted from Oh Nuts!)
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/4c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. honey
2 1/2c. shredded coconut
1/4c. almond meal
1/2 Tbsp. matzoh cake meal
1 tsp. kosher for Passover vanilla extract
8 oz. dark (60-64%) chocolate, melted (opt.)
Combine the almond meal, egg whites, granulated sugar, salt, honey, coconut, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized saucepan.
Stir the mixture over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved and egg whites turn milky–between 5 to 7 minutes. Continue stirring until all is incorporated and mixture thickens.Once mixture holds together, remove pan from heat and stir in the matzoh cake meal. Scrape mixture into a bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. (The bowl can also be covered with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator for later use.)
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, measure out 12 to 18 mounds of mixture.
With moistened hands, pinch and press each cookie into a triangular, pyramid shape, being careful not to make the tops too pointy. Bake the macaroons in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, rotating them halfway during the baking process.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, you can dip the bottoms into the melted dark chocolate. Place them back on the cooled baking sheet to set. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or (without the chocolate) in a well-sealed container in the freezer for up to a month.