“Blonde Macaroon” sounds like it would be the name of an exotic bird, doesn’t it? Maybe it would hang out with the Red-Billed Macaroon or something. That would be a fun aviary, although there would probably be coconut shavings everywhere. But that’s just what you have to deal with if you want to have pets. Made of cookies. I’ve apparently wandered off into my own bizarre little fantasy world here, hope you don’t mind.
I first heard about this recipe on Oh She Glows, who got it from Healthy Hoggin. I’m not going to even try to tell you these are low-calorie (or low-fat) because, well, they aren’t. If you get 20 macaroons out of the recipe they are roughly 150 calories and 13 grams of fat apiece, so they should definitely fall into the occasional treat category. But they are very tasty, and the ingredients are basically coconut, maple syrup, and vanilla, all of which have pretty decent nutritional value, so it’s still a lot better than a cookie made with white flour, white sugar, butter or margarine. Or most macaroon recipes, which call for sweetened coconut and often condensed milk or a bunch of egg yolks.
The only tricky part to this recipe is making the coconut butter, and that’s not even tricky so much as it just involves blending the heck out of some coconut – took me about 10 minutes or so with my food processor. But it is fun to watch a few cups of regular raw, unsweetened shredded coconut go into the processor and come out looking like this:
Whee, I made butter! Well, a semi-grainy coconut butter. You can also buy coconut butter in jars but it costs quite a bit more so if you have a food processor or good blender I recommend just making it yourself. Once you’ve got your coconut butter you just mix it with another 2 cups of shredded coconut, some maple syrup, salt, and vanilla. (The recipes I referenced called for almond extract and a vanilla bean, but I don’t keep either of those in the house and didn’t want to buy them just for this, so I simply added a little extra vanilla and it worked out great.)
Mix it all together and you’ll have a nice thick dough:
It tastes really good just like that, by the way. But I’ve always enjoyed cookie dough as much if not more than the cookies. And now I don’t even have to worry about salmonella! (If I’m honest, I didn’t worry about it when I ate eggs, either. Mostly I just contemplated how much cookie dough I could eat without anyone noticing there were only 3 baked cookies from a batch.)
Form the dough into 1-2 tablespoon sized balls and place on a cookie sheet (they don’t spread so you can squeeze them fairly close together). Bake for about 25 minutes at 300 degrees – you’ll know they are done because they will turn a light golden brown on the bottoms.
Then let them sit and cool for another 25 minutes. The letting them sit part is in fact important because that’s when they set – before that they just sort of fall apart if you try to pick them up. So make sure you actually let them cool for a bit.
Once they’ve set, you can eat them or keep them in the fridge for about 5 days, or the freezer for a couple months. Assuming you don’t eat them all within the first 12 hours or so. Not that that ever happens around here.
Blonde Macaroons (Vegan, Soy free, gluten free)
- 2 2/3 cups raw, unsweetened, shredded coconut (to make the coconut butter – you could also just use 1 cup of store-bought coconut butter)
- An additional 2 cups shredded coconut
- 3/4 c. pure maple syrup (I used grade B, and I don’t feel like you really taste the maple syrup flavor very much)
- 1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Blend 2 2/3 cups shredded coconut in a blender or food processor until it turns buttery and smooth – this may take about 10 minutes and you’ll want to keep scraping the sides of the bowl. Once you’ve got your coconut butter, add it into a large bowl along with the additional shredded coconut, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Scoop 1-2 tablespoon sized balls onto a nonstick or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 25-28 minutes until the bottoms are a nice golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 25 minutes to allow the cookies to set. Serve or refrigerate for up to 5 days.