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Coconut macaroons – not to be confused with macarons, the bright-colored French meringue cookies that make you think of raised pinkies at tea time — are the adorable little lumps of coconut with a golden crispy bottom.
There’s debate over their origin, with some writing that they’ve been around since the 8th or 9th century, while others claim it was the Middle Ages. But one thing culinary historians can all agree on is that they most definitely hail from Italy (just like their slightly more pretentious, similarly-named cousin). Whenever macaroons did hit the mainstream recipe circuit, they were quickly adopted by the European Jewish community as a popular Passover dessert, thanks to the fact that they’re unleavened. Before coconut flakes were the hero ingredient in macaroons, it was almond paste. In fact, that’s where macaroons got their name. “Macaroon” derives from “ammaccare” in Italian, which means “to crush.”
This recipe for coconut macaroons gets a punchy, bright element courtesy of fresh-squeezed orange juice and zest. The touch of citrus balances the richness of coconut and chocolate perfectly.
But seriously, these macaroons are so simple to make you might want to double up on the ingredients to make a freezer batch. They’ll last in the fridge for a week but much longer in your freezer, so you can breathe easy knowing you have a back-up supply
Chocolate-Dipped Orange Macaroons
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer (fitted with the whisk attachment) until soft peaks form. Stir in the coconut, honey, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Roll the mixture into balls and place on the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through, until lightly brown and set. Cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the macaroons in the melted chocolate. (You can dip the tops, the bottoms, the sides at an angle—any way you’d like. Don’t coat the entire macaroon in chocolate though.) Refrigerate for 25-30 minutes or until the chocolate sets. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer
Recipe courtesy of Paleo Mag