Every first Saturday in the beginning of December, my parents would host a "tree trimming party". Which meant they invited the entire church and all their family friends for an evening of putting ornaments on our newly chopped Christmas tree and indulging in more sweet treats than our stomachs could handle. I know what you're thinking, "A Christmas story in March?", but its the memory of the macaroons that brings this story to the surface.
You see, while my mother was bustling around trying to get all the decorations in order, tidying up the house and stressing over how quickly the time was going by, my father was in the kitchen preparing the goodies. Homemade thumb print cookies, gingerbread cookies, fresh whipped cream, chopped fruit and one of my favourites, coconut macaroons.
Christmas time was really the only time we had macaroons. Aside from the "tree trimming party", I do not recall eating them at any other time of the year. Fast forward quite a number of years to today and my children have yet to taste the soft, chewiness of my dad's macaroons. But... and there's always a but, I've tweaked a favourite recipe of mine from Raw Food Real World by Matthew Kenney that does not involve eggs, white sugar or the use of a dehydrator (as called for in the original recipe). Six simple ingredients, a food processor, a container and refrigerator are all you truly need to make these delicious and nutritious chocolate coconut macaroons.
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
makes about 20 macaroons
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup raw honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil (room temperature is fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
extra unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling
Pour in honey, vanilla extract, sea salt and coconut oil in a food processor. Pulse until all the chunks of coconut oil have melted into the honey.
Dump in the cocoa powder and give the mixture a few good pulses. Then add in the shredded coconut and give the pulse button a few more pushes until everything is pureed together in a glob of puree bliss.
Grab a baking tray/pyrex and a spare plate. Sprinkle some extra coconut on the plate.
Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture out at a time, roll in the coconut, then place on a lined baking sheet or pyrex. Once all the batter has been used, place in refrigerator to chill. I think you know where to take it from there ;)
For all those Canadians, my husband these look like Tim Bit's... aka donut holes from Tim Horton's. I can see where he would think that, they do look a little like chocolate donut holes covered in shredded coconut. But I think they taste much better and definitely are a better choice.
These macaroons are not super sticky and do not contain any nuts, making them a perfect little snack to pack in your child's lunch box. Or bring them on the road with you the next time you are making a long distance trip.
If you are trying to limit or reduce your caffeine consumption: replace cocoa powder with carob powder and add a touch of chocolate extract for that same great flavour without the caffeine kick.
Are you a chocolate lover? Or perhaps have a weakness for macaroons, like moi?