Months ago I bought some unsweetened shredded coconut at our neighborhood health food store in order to make weelicious Date Nut Bites. To say the least, I was shocked when I discovered that Kenya had eaten over HALF of the bag while I was organizing the kitchen, so I couldn't even make the recipe. When I looked at him with a shocked expression on my face, he said "mommy, I love coco-noot!"
We all know that when kids get their hands on a food they love, they will gobble it up in no time. While thinking of holiday cookie ideas that feature Kenya's beloved "coco-noot" but DON'T use refined sugar, the idea for making macaroons came to mind. I love macaroons, but most of the ones I find in stores are LOADED with sugar and other nasty ingredients. Just for kicks, I decided to replace the cup (or more) of white sugar found in most macaroon recipes with agave nectar and I'm happy to report it was a total success! In order to make the macaroons even more appropriate for the holidays, weelicious test number two was to place some of the cookie mixture in cookie cutters, pat them down to keep them flat and remove the mold before baking -- they turned out looking amazing! Finally, so I could have variety without much more effort, weelicious test number three was to see if I could make a delicious chocolate version without major changes to the original recipe. To my surprise, the new macaroons came out perfectly by adding just a tablespoon of cocoa powder. I love it when I'm testing a new recipe and all my little experiments actually work out so well!
I think you'll find this recipe to be versatile without added effort and a real treat for anyone that loves coconut as much as my little guy. Happy holidays!
Coconut Macaroons (makes 16 cookies)
- 2 Cups Unsweetened Coconut, shredded
- 1/4 Tsp Salt (I used kosher)
- 4 Egg Whites
- 1/4 Cup agave nectar
- 1 Tsp vanilla
Preparation1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl (preferably a metal bowl) beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes or until they have stiff peaks.
3. Fold in the remaining ingredients until incorporated (the egg whites will deflate quite a bit).
4. Place 2 tbsps of the batter on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet (you can also place cookie cutters on the baking sheet and place the batter inside patting it down with a spoon to even it out. Remove the cookie cutter before baking).
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
*If you want to make 1/2 the batter chocolate macaroons, add 1 tbsp cocoa powder. If you want to make all of the macaroons chocolate, use 2 tbsps.