Macaroons are said to have originated during the 9th century in an Italian monastery. Italian Jews adopted the recipe because it meets Passover conventions — having no flour or leavening. My version also eliminates eggs, making it vegan, and matzo meal, which makes it gluten-free. The result is a dessert that is chewy and moist, as well as rich and chocolaty.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Makes: 22 cookies
Note: For the almond meal, you can sub with almonds finely ground in a food processor. Look for kosher-for-Passover confectioners' sugar, made with potato starch instead of cornstarch, if making these cookies for the holiday.
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ½ cups cocoa powder
½ cup almond meal or ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Confectioners' sugar, optional
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pour coconut oil, maple syrup, almond extract, coconut, cocoa powder, almond meal and salt into a bowl; stir until well combined.
2. Using 2 tablespoons dough per cookie, shape into mounds, packing mixture firmly. (Or firmly pack the dough into a 2-tablespoon size scoop.) Distribute cookies onto a parchment-covered baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between them. Do not press down.
3. Bake, 15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes; transfer cookies to a cooling rack. When cool, dust with a little confectioners' sugar.
Per cookie: 129 calories, 8 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 37 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.