Coconut Macaroons Two Ways

Everyone with a Paleo food blog seems to have a version of coconut macaroons in their arsenal…after all, they are relatively simple to make and aside from a small amount of honey or sweetener, they are pretty innocuous. I’m definitely not a big fan of Paleo-ifying every dessert known to mankind, and gluten-free (but grain-containing) recipes have their own issues.  Sometimes though, you’ve got to have a little fun.

As I was macs4contemplating how to spice these macaroons up, I just couldn’t make up my mind between a cocoa-infused cookie and something that had a vanilla base, so I divided the batter in half and made both (I just cut the spice quantities in half). If you want to make only Cardamom-Cinnamon or only Mexican Chocolate, follow the individual recipes. I wanted something different than just a spiced option, so adding cardamom (a completely underutilized spice, in my opinion) added a great dimension of flavor (for a description of cardamom’s flavor, check here. It’s one of the predominant flavors in chai tea). For the chocolate, I blended cocoa powder with a hint of chili powder to give a slightly smoky depth.

I’ll admit to being less than stoked with the incredibly fine flake of the only unsweetened coconut I could find at the market. It made the texture less chewy than I’d like. and my disher / scoop got all gummed up when I tried to portion it out. Regular shredded coconut is my preference.

Ingredients

Cardamom-Cinnamon Macaroons

2 egg whites

1/4 cup honey

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp cinnamon

2.5 cups shredded coconut

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mexican Chocolate Macaroons

2 egg whites

1/4 cup honey

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp chili powder

2.5 cups shredded coconut

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine the egg whites and honey. Beat slightly until the white have lightened a bit.

3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

4. Refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes.

5. Use a small scoop or spoon to portion out the macaroons. How small or large is really up to you. I used a 1.5 tbsp disher / scoop which yielded about 16 macaroons.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until just golden brown. Cool and enjoy!

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