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Coconut Double-Dip: Raspberry-Vanilla & Dark Chocolate Macaroons

Passover Macaroons - 1

Are you mindlessly gnawing on your umpteenth Manischewitz coconut macaroon during this Passover week? It’s okay– we’ve all been there. Take a breath and slowly put down the can. You can and will get through this, and you’ll see that very soon you’ll be in a better place: making your own macaroons. Maybe you’ve been in that place before, and you’re just tired and vulnerable after rolling so many matzo balls; or maybe that place seemed mystical and unattainable, and you thought you were doomed to a life of mass-produced, prepackaged Passover desserts. Regardless of what brought you to this crucial point, it doesn’t have to be this way. Please let me assure you that making your own macaroons is about the easiest and quickest dessert you can make– in well under an hour, by the way. Last year I fell in love with Salted Sesame Caramel Macaroons and I knew I could never, ever go back to the pre-made ones; homemade macaroons are vastly superior in both taste and texture. And then when you bring Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen into the picture, it’s like, GAME OVER. I found two recipes on her blog this year that I simply couldn’t choose between, and since they were both so quick and easy, I decided to make them both.

Raspberry Macaroons - 14

Raspberry-Vanilla Coconut Macaroons are beautifully marbled with visible chunks of raspberry, and I substituted vanilla bean paste for Deb’s almond extract, so my version is also flecked with vanilla seeds. You will definitely taste the coconut, but the tart, zingy raspberries add so much flavor, and of course vanilla ties everything together.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are decadent chunks of heaven that feel just a little too good to be true considering how little effort goes into making them. The high chocolate:coconut ratio means that the chocolate flavor dominates– they are literally fudgy in the middle! I couldn’t believe how delicious both flavors were, and how soft and velvety the texture was. Together on one plate, these morsels will please everyone at the Passover table when you’re bursting from matzo ball soup, brisket, kugel, and all the other fixins.

Chocolate Macaroons - 12

As much as I loved last year’s macaroons, I may never go back to another method ever again. I never thought of macaroons as scratchy per se (dry at times, sure), but Deb has an aversion to the typical texture of macaroons, so she blends the coconut, sugar, and egg whites in the food processor, which is not only easy, but also renders a soft, finely blended paste mixture. At first I wondered if these would collapse in the oven, but let me tell you, there was not one single iota of leaked egg white, or any sort of misshapen shenanigans. Every single macaroon mound came out of the oven as a perfect “scoop” shape, the way they went in. (Incidentally, I highly recommend reading both of her original blog posts, linked below, not only for the recipe info, but for sheer macaroon humor.) The macaroons are softer and more moist inside than most macaroons you’ve ever had!

Raspberry Macaroons - 11

I also love that this recipe doesn’t use sweetened condensed milk, like most others do. I don’t know if it’s actually less healthy than regular sugar, but I perceive it to be a worse (i.e. less natural) substance, so in addition to a nicer aesthetic (no pool of baked milk at the base of each cookie!), I also feel like these are just a wee bit, um, healthier. I have no idea if this opinion is based in any sort of actual reality, but I’m sticking with it. 😉

I considered swapping black cocoa for half or all of the cocoa powder in the chocolate macaroons, but I decided not to, as I wanted to see how chocolatey these would be without modification. Now that I know they are deep and fudgy, I will try that next time, because ohmygod Oreo macaroons!

Chocolate Macaroons - 11

The method for these is identical: you will blend the flaked coconut in the food processor, add the sugar and blend again, and add the egg whites and blend a third time– that’s the base upon which you can layer flavors. For the chocolate macs, you’ll also add cocoa power and melted chocolate to the processor and blend it fully. (Incidentally, you could also probably pulse in a cup or so of micro chocolate chips at the end…) For the raspberry-vanilla ones, you pulse in the raspberries at the end, but you don’t want to blend them in completely. They are very pretty with the marbled effect, plus you get little punches of tart flavor, rather than a uniform raspberry flavor. This also helps keep the coconut flavor from getting lost. However, while you want to leave some raspberry bits intact, make sure not to leave pieces that are too big, as they will be soggy once baked.

Happy Passover!

Raspberry Macaroons - 12

Raspberry-Vanilla Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yields about 30 – 1½” cookies

  • 14 ounces (400 grams) sweetened, flaked coconut
  • ⅔ cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon flaked sea salt or level ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • ½ pint (6 ounces, 170 grams or 1¼ cups) fresh raspberries (if washed, patted very dry)

Preheat the oven to 325°F and position a rack in the center. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.

Pour the flaked coconut into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade; process for 1 full minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar and blend for 1 minute. Add the egg whites, salt, and vanilla paste/extract and process for another minute. The mixture will be the consistency of a chunky paste.

Raspberry Macaroons -15

Add the raspberries to the bowl and pulse the mixture in short bursts until the berries are mostly, but not completely, broken down– you ideally want some small chunks of berry and a few patches of white. Don’t mix them together! (BOCD, aka Baking OCD, is SO hard…)

Raspberry Macaroons -16

With a medium spring-loaded ice cream scoop or a tablespoon measure, scoop the batter into 1″ mounds directly onto the prepared cookie sheets. The cookies can be placed about 1-2″ apart since they don’t really spread– they just puff a little. Scoop together a bit of the pink batter and a bit of the white batter for maximum marbling.

Bake the macaroons for about 25-32 minutes, or until they take on a bit of golden, toasty color. Transfer the sheet to a wire cooling rack and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes undisturbed, as they will be too fragile to move right out of the oven. You can then transfer them directly to the rack, or just leave them on the sheet to cool completely.

The macaroons will keep for about a week stored in an airtight container at room temperature. (Mine got soggy from being in the freezer, so I do not recommend freezing these.)

Chocolate Macaroons - 13

Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yields about 30 – 1½” cookies

  • 4 ounces (115 grams or about ⅓ cup) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 14 ounces (400 grams) sweetened, flaked coconut
  • ⅔ cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (30 grams) dark cocoa powder, such as Valrhona
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Heaped ¼ teaspoon flaked sea salt or level ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325°F and position a rack in the center. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.

Pour the flaked coconut into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade; process for 1 full minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and blend for 1 minute; it will look like a stiff chocolate paste. Add the egg whites, salt, and vanilla paste/extract and process until combined. Finally, add the melted chocolate and blend until the mixture is homogenous. The mixture will be thick and shiny.

Chocolate Macaroons -14

With a medium spring-loaded ice cream scoop or a tablespoon measure, scoop the batter into 1″ mounds directly onto the prepared cookie sheets. The cookies can be placed about 1-2″ apart since they don’t really spread– they just puff a little.

Bake the macaroons for about 15-17 minutes, until they are shiny and just set. Transfer the sheet to a wire cooling rack and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes undisturbed, as they will be too fragile to move right out of the oven. You can then transfer them directly to the rack, or just leave them on the sheet to cool completely.

Chocolate Macaroons - 10

Sift confectioners’ sugar over the macaroons, if desired, once they have cooled completely. They will keep for about a week stored in an airtight container at room temperature, and they freeze well.

Passover Macaroons - 2

Raspberry Macaroons - 6

Chocolate Macaroons - 1

© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2016.

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© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. This includes recipes, photos, and all other original content. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dafna Adler and Stellina Sweets with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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