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 medi­um bowl, beat the egg whites until medi­um peaks form. 

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.

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