Lately I have found myself perusing cookbooks, blogs, and food sites in search of the perfect dessert for two people. There are endless recipes out there for decadent chocolate cakes, coconut cream tarts, and seasonal fruit pies. As much as I would enjoy a slice of one (or each) of these desserts, my husband and I don’t necessarily need an entire cake or pie sitting around the house for the two of us. Thus, I discovered and fell in love with coconut macaroons.
Coconut macaroons meet all of my preferred criteria when it comes to baking: 1) a short, accessible list of ingredients; 2) fantastic flavor without the help of refined sugars and heavily processed ingredients; and 3) as few dirty bowls and utensils as possible. This macaroon recipe fits the bill perfectly.
Coconut Macaroons (serves 12)
2 ½ cups shredded dried coconut (I would recommend using unsweetened coconut, which can be found in many grocery and natural food stores)
½ cup flour (spelt flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and almond meal/flour work well)
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
¼ cup brown rice syrup (alternatively, add additional agave or maple syrup)
1/3 cup light coconut milk
1 tsp. almond extract
¼ tsp coconut or vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.
Combine coconut, flour, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and gently stir to combine.
Use a small scoop (cookie dough scoop, ice cream scoop, or large spoon) to create 12 rounded mounds of dough Place them at least two inches apart on the cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.
Chocolate lovers need not worry! This recipe can easily be adapted to meet your needs. Add a handful of chocolate chips (1/2-2/3 cup) to the dough, replace up to 3 tablespoons of flour with cocoa powder, or dip the baked macaroons in melted dark chocolate.
The combination of coconut milk, whole grain or almond flour, and shredded coconut creates a rich and satisfying afternoon snack or dessert. Freeze the leftover cookies in individual freezer bags so that you can grab a cookie when your next dessert craving hits. The cookies also make an easy, thoughtful, and delicious housewarming or hostess gift, or a romantic treat for two. Enjoy!