Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Coconut Macaroon Recipe



Although I grew up in Muslim household, I have been celebrating Passover for the last six years. The first three were with my friend Karen. We used to have vegetarian (or vegan) Sephardic seders in her intimate Cambridge apartment. We used a liberation haggadah that Karen compiled, drawing on the best leftist traditions of her childhood. We celebrated and hoped for liberation for all people – Jews, African Americans, gays, Afghanis, Palestinians, etc. It was an evening of re-making traditions with an educational and political bent.

For the last three years I have celebrated Passover with my boyfriend and members of his family. These seders are larger and more formal. They are about family and reunion, celebrating history and culture, and food and more food. His mom makes a fantastic matzoh ball soup and killer brownies that are even more outrageous than Ina Gartner’s.

This year I wanted to contribute to the bounty, so I made coconut macaroons and caramel matzoh crunch (separately posted earlier today).

I won’t rehearse the history of Passover, but many goyim (Gentiles) don’t know the story. It is really a wonderful and powerful tale and I urge you to click on one of these links: Wikipedia or Judaism 101.

What you probably know is that Jews do not eat leavened bread for the week of Passover. During this time, some people follow stringent dietary restrictions and will only eat foods that are certified (by a Rabbi) to be kosher for Passover.
Macaroons are a traditional treat during Passover since they don’t contain restricted ingredients. Most people buy the Manischewitz brand that comes in a can, but these homemade ones are simple to make, especially for those who like to get their hands dirty.

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites or 1 cup pasteurized egg white product
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 to 2/3 cup semi-sweet or white chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. In a large bowl mix sugar and salt. Add egg whites and hand whisk until slightly frothy (do not use an electric mixer).
3. Add vanilla and mix again.
4. Add coconut (and chocolate chips, if desired) and mix thoroughly using a fork. Best results if you use your hands to mix.
5. On a parchment-lined baking tray, make heaps one-inch apart using 2 tablespoons of mixture.
6. Wet hands and shape each heap so that it is 1 1/2 inches high.
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown. Macaroons will continue to bake and brown once they are removed from the oven.
8. Let cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container, ideally separating layers with wax paper. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. Bring to room temperature to serve.

If you prefer lighter-colored macaroons, used pasteurized egg whites and bake for 10-12 minutes. You can also half-dip or fully-dip these macaroons in melted bittersweet chocolate and cool on wax paper.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

yummie - I could get fat just watching this. What an outstanding blog. Each edition really is a little weekly treat, unexpected and lightens up the day!

Brian

Ivonne said...

These are absolutely gorgeous! i just adore coconut!

david said...

painfully easy to prep and assemble, and incredibly tastey. i baked mine for 18 mins and they probably could have used another 2.