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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coconut Macaroons

Chag sameach ("happy holidays" in Hebrew) to all of my readers celebrating Passover! Growing up, Passover was a joyous holiday, even though it means sacrificing delicious things like pastries, pasta, and bread for eight days. 

Passover always starts with two nights of festive meals, filled with family and friends, as we recount the story of how the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, and how G-d rescued us from slavery. Though it is a serious holiday, the Passover Seder is also supposed to be engaging for all members of the family.

Being so far away from home this year, I am lucky to have the opportunity to attend three very different and unique Seders. One Seder with family in Maryland, one with new friends here in DC, and another Seder coming up this weekend with both my family and my boyfriend Zach's family. None of them are "traditional" per se, but they certainly made me feel at home for the holiday.

Every year during Passover, I rely on desserts that do not require any flour, like these coconut macaroons. Why bother with cakes and cookies made with potato starch instead of flour? These macaroons are so simple and easy to make--I can't believe I spent years buying them from the store! 

They are a perfect addition to your spring holiday table, whether you are celebrating Passover or Easter! 

Coconut Macaroons

From Ina Garten
Makes 20-24 cookies

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4-6 ounces of chocolate melted 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Combine the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. 

Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer) until they make medium-firm peaks. Medium firm peaks are just stiff enough to stand up firmly when the mixer is removed from the bowl, but they have a slight curl at the tips.

Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. You can check out these photos from my Chocolate Mousse to see how to fold. 

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using two teaspoons. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Once cooled, drizzle with the melted chocolate. 

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