Simone Miller is the founder of Zenbelly and, together with Jennifer Robins, co-author of The New Yiddish Kitchen: Gluten-Free and Paleo Kosher Recipes for the Holidays and Every Day. Jennifer and Simone are guest blogging here all week as part of the Visiting Scribe series on The ProsenPeople.
In my family, macaroons are just as much of a requirement at the Passover seder as matzo. There may be less ceremony around the humble coconut cookie, but it’s a staple nonetheless.
The classic version — a sweet coconut cookie dipped in dark chocolate — is always a favorite. For a little variety, though, we love making this version: sweet coconut spiked with orange zest and vanilla extract. The result is a perfect macaroon — chewy in the center, crisp on the edges — that tastes strikingly close to a Creamsicle.
When adapting baked goods to be compliant with a grain-free, dairy-free lifestyle, there is often quite a lot of trial and error. Grain-free flours can’t be used 1:1 for wheat flour, so it often takes many, many attempts to get the recipe just right. But macaroons are another story: they’ll practically work exactly as written in out grandmother’s recipe book!
Macaroons are naturally grain-free, since they’re essentially a coconut meringue. The adaptations we made were more along the lines of the sugar, since classic macaroons are very sweet. This fresh update is lightly sweetened with honey, natural orange juice, and unsweetened coconut. The result is a cookie that’s just the perfect amount of sweetness to end your holiday meal. (And to keep them dairy-free, coconut milk is the perfect stand-in for sweetened condensed milk: it only adds more delightful coconut flavor and richness!)
Macaroons that taste like Creamsicles? What could be bad?
Recipe: Creamsicle Macaroons
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 – 30 minutes
Makes 18 cookies
2 egg whites
12 ounces (340g) unsweetened shredded coconut
1 (14-ounce or 414 mL) can of full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup (60ml) honey
Zest of one orange (about ½ tablespoon, or 7mL)
1 tablespoon (15mL) orange juice
2 teaspoons (10mL) vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the shredded coconut, coconut milk, honey, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla and salt.
Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Using a small ice cream scoop with a lever, or two spoons, drop the mixture onto a cookie sheet, about 2 tablespoons (30mL) per cookie.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges. Allow them to cool before removing from the pan.
After battling with a variety of health problems, Simone Miller discovered she had food allergies, specifically a very serious sensitivity to gluten, prompting her to transform Zenbelly into one of the most respected gluten-free, paleo-style catering companies in the Bay-area.