Thursday, November 13, 2014

Toasted Coconut Macaroons - Naturally Sweetened

I originally created this recipe for a story on healthy holiday cookies that will be in the December issue of Southern Indiana Fitness Source. They were so tasty and so easy to make that I had to share them on the blog. 

While shopping for ingredients for these macaroons, I was very excited to find unsweetened shredded coconut at Kroger. Usually I can only find unsweetened coconut at the health food store. I love that it is getting easier to find healthier options at the larger grocery stores. They are only going to carry these things if we as consumers show that there is a demand for it. We have to use our spending power to show them that we do want nutritious, organic and all-natural options for our families. Wow, I really wasn't planning on soap-boxing it right there, but I told you I was excited.

These macaroons have only FOUR ingredients, they are naturally sweetened with honey and they are perfectly poppable! Basically I am saying that if you find yourself in a room alone with them, they might disappear a little more quickly than you had planned. :)  I think they would be amazing dipped in a bit of melted dark chocolate, as well.

This is a pretty simple recipe, but I cannot emphasize enough that when you are preparing these macaroons, they need to be very tightly packed together when you scoop them onto the pan to be baked. The method I used was to scoop a heaping spoonful using a tablespoon, pack it down tightly until it the bottom was flat and then slide it out of the spoon onto the pan. These will fall apart if you do not pack them tightly. If you scoop one onto the pan and it looks a little loose, just scoop it back up and pack it a bit tighter. 

Other than that, these are very easy to make. I avoided trying a macaroon recipe for so long because I thought they would be difficult to put together. I am glad I got over my fear so I could enjoy these delectable little coconut treats!

Are there any healthy treats that look good to you, but you haven't made because they look intimidating to prepare?

Toasted Coconut Macaroons
Yield: 16 cookies
Time: 1 hour

2 large egg whites
1/4 cup honey
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, honey and sea salt.

Stir in coconut flakes until well coated and place bowl in fridge to chill for ½ hour.

Drop tightly-packed tablespoonfuls of the batter onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, about 1-inch apart.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until macaroons are golden brown.

Allow to cool for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.