I love coconut macaroons. Those little sugary coconut-y balls of goodness are just so melt-in-your mouth delicious. I could eat a hundred of them. It’s not until 10th one that I think to myself in passing,
“Maybe the coconut in these doesn’t actually make up for all the butter and sugar like I’ve been telling myself…Oh well, it’s Christmas.”
“Oh well, it’s Christmas.”. I really do mean that. While I try to cook and eat healthy, I have no problem occasionally baking and eating plain old-fashioned bad-for-you cookies and treats, especially at Christmas time. The only thing is that, as the years go by, more and more people have more and more dietary restrictions. That’s by no means a judgment on them (as if I’m one to talk); it’s just the new reality.
And it’s that reality that means my yearly tradition of giving baked goods as gifts requires more and more creativity each year. It’s a good thing, then, that I love trying new recipes.
So this year, I thought of my favourite the coconut macaroons a little differently. With their focus on coconut and simple recipe, they could easily be made grain/gluten-free. So, I started looking around and found a recipe that offered paleo coconut macaroons. I will admit that my first attempt with those cookies left something to be desired. After I made a few minor adjustments, including adding chocolate drizzle and upping the sweetener, I am happy to report that these new grain-free coconut macaroons taste almost exactly the same as the real thing. Not only that, but they also happen to be outrageously easy. I’m sure they will be a welcome Christmas treat for your grain-free/gluten-free friends out there!
Grain-Free Coconut Macaroons
These easy and delicious coconut macaroons are gluten-free and low in refined sugar. They can easily be adapted to suit paleo and dairy-free diets (see notes)
- 3 tbsp creamed coconut (or up to 2 tbsp more if you prefer a creamer macaroon)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium sauce pan, on medium-high heat, melt creamed coconut into water, stirring constantly.
Turn heat down to medium-low, add the rest of the macaroon ingredients and cook until all the liquid is absorbed (and the macaroons could be easily formed into balls). This should take about 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat. Once macaroons are cool enough to handle, scoop out about 1 tbsp of macaroon batter and place on cookie sheet. Make sure that your macaroon balls are well packed together at this stage. You may need to form the macaroon balls with you hands rather than simply dropping on to cookie sheet.
Bake macaroons for 15-20 minutes or until macaroons are golden brown on tips.
Once macaroons are baked, let cool on cookie sheet for at least an hour. Do not skip this step. If the cookies are too warm, they are harder to dip in the chocolate drizzle (and will break off in the chocolate)
In a small bowl, melt chocolate and coconut oil in microwave on high until liquid and smooth. Make sure to do this in 15 second increments and stir after each 15 seconds so you do not burn the chocolate.
Gently dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate and place back on cookie sheet.
Use the remaining chocolate to drizzle over the tops of the macaroons. Let dry for a few hours (or overnight) until the chocolate solidifies.
You may use 1/2 cup coconut milk instead of cream of coconut + water combination.
PALEO OPTION: Omit chocolate, substitute honey for maple syrup or honey/maple syrup combination for date paste
VEGAN OPTION: substitute honey for maple syrup or honey/maple syrup combination for date paste
Recipe adapted from Crunchy Paleo Macaroons of PaleoHacks
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