It’s time for Vegan Coconut Macaroons for Passover! Regardless of the chilly weather, the springtime holidays of Passover and Easter start soon, and I’ve got recipes to share. Since Passover is first, starting Monday April 10th, I’ll start with one of my favorite Passover desserts for that holiday, Coconut Macaroons. While I definitely stand behind the Chocolate Dipped Macaroons in Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy Free Desserts, I decided to play with the recipe this week. I divided the dough by eye, and added some matcha powder to the smallest portion, a mixture of ground almonds and ground chocolate to another, slightly larger portion, and I left the rest as it was. You can do same – adding ingredients to taste until that point where the dough looks to be getting too dry, as long as you can squeeze it into a ball that holds, you are good. My favorite was the almond chocolate macaroon, and while I am crazy for matcha, I didn’t like the flavor or color here.
Still, any which way you make them, these vegan coconut macaroons are are healthier than the egg-white and white-sugar based Pesach macaroons my grandma Ida made, and certainly more so than the or the ones my mom bought in a can. Plus, these are more compassionate, too. You can follow along what I did in the photos that follow. Please know that I am seriously going to try to up my photo game, but for now, you can see the process. Thank you for understanding – I hope.
This vegan version, which is gluten-free, has triple coconut goodness: unsweetened dried shredded coconut, coconut flour and coconut milk beverage, but this time I used almond milk, since it was what already was open in my kitchen. Chia seed gel replaces the egg whites. I used white chia to keep the color of the macaroons lighter. And by the way, this cookie is a no-oil added vegan treat.
The prettiest photo of the macaroons was taken by vegan superstar, Lisa Pitman, when she was testing recipes for Vegan Chocolate. Lisa is co-author of author of the gorgeous ebooks, Tiny Treats and Edible Gifts, as well as DIY Vegan with Nicole Axworthy.
Please make these Vegan Coconut Macaroons and send me your pictures and comments. I’m sending best wishes to all who celebrate Passover. I’ll be sitting down to the first night Seder meal with my daughter and her family. Yes, vegan matzoh balls will be in the vegan very dill enhanced soup. (I love dill!)
Vegan Coconut Macaroons for Passover
Passover, like all of my family’s gatherings, was food-centric, and dessert was no exception. After dinner, we always had two kinds of Passover macaroons on the table: a bakery version and a canned version. The ones from the bakery were certainly better than the canned, but I admit to favoring the latter as a child. Today, I make a delicious, preservative-free version of that canned cookie that appears on virtually every Seder table. But it wasn’t easy. Replacing the egg whites found in every macaroon recipe proved a tough puzzle to solve. Commercial egg replacer and starches made a cookie that tasted powdery with a texture not even close to what I was after. One afternoon, wondering what to do with the bowl of white chia gel I was whisking, I thought, “Egg white!” In short order, I had made a cookie too good to eat only on Passover, and one that you certainly don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy. I used Let's Do Organic's Shredded Coconut and Coconut Flour, and this time instead of So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, I used Almond Milk. If you are making these for Passover, use Kosher For Passover ingredients, including the vanilla extract.
- 7 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons / 99 grams organic granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon / 10 grams ground white chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons / 45 ml water, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup / 33 grams coconut flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 52 grams toasted shredded coconut, divided
- 3 tablespoons / 45 ml vanilla coconut milk beverage or almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Kosher For Passover
- 3 ounces / 85 gram s dark chocolate62 to 72%, melted and kept warm in a water bath, for dipping
- Matcha powder, chopped chocolate and or chopped almonds to taste. See intro
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F / 190°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Lightly grind 7 tablespoons / 91 grams of the sugar in a blender and set aside until needed.
- Put the ground chia in a small bowl. Pour the water over the chia. Set aside for 5 minutes undisturbed and then whisk hard. The chia gel will be lumpy at first but will smooth out as it hydrates. Whisk a few more times while you sift the dry ingredients. (You can make the gel ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Whisk vigorously before using.)
- Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the coconut flour and the 7 tablespoons of ground sugar to the strainer and stir with a whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. (If any small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the mixture in the bowl.) Stir 1/2 cup / 40 grams of the shredded coconut into the dry ingredients.
- Whisk in the chia gel. Use a silicone spatula or your hands, if necessary, to get the gel thoroughly mixed into the flour mixture. Add the coconut milk beverage and the vanilla extract and mix with a silicone spatula, pushing hard on the dough until it holds together when squeezed in your fingers.
- Add any addidtional ingredients now.
- Form the macaroons. Use a 1-teaspoon measure to scoop out rounded teaspoons of dough. Squeeze the dough hard in the palm of your hand so that it sticks together, and then roll into balls.
- Coat the macaroons. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons / 12 grams of coconut and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Roll the dough balls in the coconut-sugar mixture. Press each ball on the baking sheet to flatten the bottoms.
- Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350°F / 180°C. Bake for 14 minutes until the bottom of the macaroons are lightly browned.
- Set the baking sheet on a wire rack. After 3 to 4 minutes, lift the macaroons off the baking sheet onto the rack. Cool the macaroons to room temperature and then refrigerate until cold before dipping the bottoms.
- Dip the bottoms of the cold macaroons in the melted chocolate. Set the coated macaroons on an acetate sheet or parchment-lined tray and refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
- Freeze the macaroons in an airtight container for up to one month. These little cookies defrost fast.
Grind at least 3 tablespoons / 30 grams of chia at a time, in a small spice and nut grinder and store the ground chia in a small covered jar in the refrigerator or freezer for a couple of months. Recipe reprinted with permission from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by Fran Costigan, (Running Press 2013).