This recipe is featured in Tina Wasserman's newest book, Entree to Judaism for Families, filled with tools to help children learn to cook with confidence, with clear, step-by-step instructions for every recipe and tips for adults to make the experience safe and rewarding.
Macaroons - cookies generally made from ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites - are popular for Passover because the recipe doesn’t use flour. But did you know that coconut macaroons only became popular about 100 years ago? Coconuts had to be peeled and grated at home; you couldn’t buy grated coconut in packages like today. However, that all changed in 1897 when Mr. Franklin Baker of Philadelphia discovered how to grate coconuts by machine instead of by hand.
- Place the almonds in a processor workbowl, and pulse the machine on and off until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the sugar and coconut, and pulse once or twice to combine.
- If not using chips, break the chocolate into pieces before melting. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute at 80 percent power and then 45 seconds at 50 percent. (This time is approximate and will vary based on your microwave oven. It might take less time. Watch carefully and stir the chocolate after the first 45 seconds to check on the melting time.)
- In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, combine the egg whites, coconut milk, and almond extract. Set aside.
- Add the melted chocolate to the nut mixture in the processor workbowl.
- With the motor running, pour the egg white mixture into the workbowl and process until the dough comes together and is well combined. Place the dough in the freezer for 5 minutes or until it is firm enough to handle.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Wet your hands or lightly coat them with oil. (The dough is very sticky.)
- Scoop up 1 tablespoon of the dough, and shape into a ball the size of a small walnut. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake the macaroons for 12–15 minutes. (Convection ovens only need about 10–12 minutes at 350°F.) Do not overbake, as the cookie will harden more when the chocolate solidifies at room temperature.
- Cool completely and then store at room temperature in an airtight container or freeze until needed.
- Most coconut milk is just coconut and water and comes from Thailand. There is no Hecksher on it, but I treat it as an unprocessed canned fruit for Passover. If that does not conform to your observance, combine 1 cup of coconut and ½ cup water in a blender (NOT processor) and blend until coconut is fairly pulverized. Strain mixture, pressing hard on the coconut solids to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the solids and use liquid in the recipe.
- Coconut milk isn’t milk at all (see note under Tina’s Tidbits, above) and is in fact pareve, meaning it is vegetable-based and nondairy, and so can be eaten with either meat or dairyaccording to the laws of kashrut.
- What are some of your favorite pareve foods?