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These easy vegan coconut macaroons are sweet and moist, chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Not only are they perfect for Passover, or as an alternative Easter treat, they’re easy enough to make at any time of the year. They’re gluten-free, too!
Coconut macaroons were one of my favourite weekend treats when I was a child. Every Saturday, while my grandfather pulled veggies from the garden, my grandmother and I would go to the shops to buy food for the weekend. As a treat, we’d call in at the local baker, and buy three cakes for elevenses when we got home. Gran always had a Sticky Willy (shush now!), Granddad a London Cheesecake, and I always chose to have a coconut macaroon.
What are macaroons?
Macaroons are airy, crispy cookies with a chewy centre, that are traditionally made with crushed almonds, sugar, and egg whites. Coconut macaroons, on the other hand, tend to be pyramid-shaped, dense, and moist, and made with condensed milk.
Although some claim that these delightful confections are French in origin, most historians agree that actually they are Italian, specifically, Venetian, and date from around the 7th century AD.
It didn’t take long for macaroons – from the Italian, ammaccare, which means to crush – to make it to France. There are written accounts of them being made in a convent in Commercy as early as 791 AD. What is almost certainly true is that macaroons were improved by French pastry chefs in the 16th century, and then again in the 18th century, when they evolved to become the delicate, pastel-coloured macaron we all know and love today! The 19th century saw the addition of coconut and condensed milk, particularly in the US.
Macaroons for Passover
It’s not certain when macaroons at Passover first became a thing but it’s believed to have been started by Italian Jews. Naturally, the fact that macaroons aren’t made with any leavening or flour, makes them an ideal Passover treat!
My coconut macaroons only contain four ingredients:
- unsweetened desiccated coconut
- vegan condensed milk
- a little salt
How to make vegan macaroons
Making coconut macaroons really couldn’t be easier; simply mix the coconut and condensed milk together, then whip the aquafaba with a little salt until it forms soft peaks. Just like making meringues.
Then all you have to do is gently fold the meringue into the coconut mixture, and drop or pipe mounds onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a moderate oven for 15 minutes or so, until golden brown, then leave to cool. Easy peasy!
- When folding the whisked aquafaba into the condensed milk and coconut mixture, it’s imperative to be gentle, and not over-mix. If you are too heavy-handed, the aquafaba will deflate, and the macaroons will flop and spread.
- If your kitchen is very warm, it might help to refrigerate the batter for 15 minutes, prior to baking.
- Don’t use tinfoil – unless you want the macaroons to stick, that it!
- Do not heat the baking trays – they need to be cold, or else you’ll get burned bottoms!
- If you don’t have an icing bag, simply drop a tablespoonful of batter onto the baking tray for each macaroon. Or use a cookie scoop.
- If you use sweetened desiccated coconut, use a couple of tablespoons less of condensed milk, otherwise the extra sugar (from the coconut) will make the batter runny.
- To make the macaroons more fancy, you could drizzle some melted dark chocolate over the top, and/or dip the bases in chocolate, too.
Why not check out some more vegan treats?!
You’ll love these coconut macaroons
- sweet and moist
- chewy on the inside
- crispy on the outside
- great for Passover
- really delicious
I’m sure you’re going to love these as much as I do – enjoy!