Macaroons were originally described as a “small, sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds.” This definition just doesn’t get it quite right. They forgot the word “delicious.” The etymology of the name weaves its way back to the Italian word “maccarone which itself comes from ammaccare meaning to “crush.” I’m glad the Italians didn’t have a food processor back then because who knows what word they would have used instead. Macaroon is such a lovely name. I think pulsaroon or processessoroon wouldn’t have had the same effect. Macaroons have been a favorite treat of mine beginning back in the days when my mom would buy the store-brand flat coconut cookies. As an adult my tastes buds evolved and I upgraded to Dean and Deluca’s chocolate-covered macaroons. I will confess that even after choosing a vegan lifestyle, in the early days I would still imbibe in macaroons from Dean and Deluca’s when they were brought into the office. Can you really blame me? Macaroons are coconutty goodness with a crispy outer shell and soft, gooey insides. What’s not to love about Chocolate-Covered Vegan Macaroons?
I haven’t felt deprived about giving up most things for a vegan lifestyle, but macaroons were on the list. I definitely struggled to leave them behind.
That is until one day when a friend gave me the book “Raw Food: 100 Recipes to get the glow” by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis. I have to confess that my first thought was “Isn’t being vegan enough? Why do I even need to think about raw food?”
Over time I’ve really come to enjoy reading this book and trying some of its recipes…including one super delicious recipe in particular, macaroons. I was in heaven the first time I tried the recipe. Of course, like most every other recipe I try, I eventually came to alter it a bit, reducing the sweetness a tad to meet my tastes. My favorite tweak was when I decided to dip them in chocolate.
Visions of my long lost Dean and Deluca macaroon danced in my head. It was a lovely marriage of flavors and remains one of my favorite treats.
The original recipe calls for “baking” the cookies in a dehydrator. I don’t have one of those…so I don’t bake mine at all. I sometimes freeze them, but usually just put them in the fridge for an hour or so and they hold up quite well.
If I crave that crispy outer shell I sometimes will turn the oven on to about 200, let it heat up, turn the oven off, and then place the macaroons on a cookie sheet and let them sit in the cooling oven for an hour or so. After they cool off, they have just a bit of that crispy goodness.
And another couple items of note. Matthew Kenney recommends using dried, unsweetened coconut flakes and raw almonds. I recommend these too, but at the same time I realize these are not always readily available (or affordable).
If you want to make do with regular coconut, I usually pulse it in the food processor a few seconds so that the flakes are smaller. And I buy my almonds from Costco. I’m not certain what “raw” means when it comes to nuts because from what I’ve read it appears that all nuts in the US are required to go through some pasteurization process. What I guess we’re trying to avoid is roasted nuts. Personally, I love the flavor and texture of nuts like almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts that are not roasted.
I hope you enjoy these chocolate-covered vegan macaroons. You don’t have to be into raw food or even be vegan to enjoy them, but it never hurts!
- 1 ½ cups almond flour, (raw almonds ground in a food processor for 15 - 20 seconds)
- 3 cups coconut flakes, dried, unsweetened
- ½ cup agave nectar, (or maple syrup)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, (found in most health food sections)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips, dairy-free
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- First of all, do NOT preheat your oven. Isn't that nice for a change?
- Second, place the almonds in a food processor for several seconds until you're left with a fine consistency. Matthew recommends straining the mixture through a strainer to separate out the courser pieces, but I happen to like the course pieces in this recipe so I just use it all.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour and remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Use a small ice cream scoop or your hands, spoon out rounded balls of the coconut mixture onto a tray or plate. Place the plate in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
- Mix together one cup of dairy-free chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and warm over very low heat.
- Dip the refrigerated macaroons in the chocolate and set them out on waxed paper until the chocolate hardens. I speed up this process by putting the waxed paper on a tray and sticking the chocolate-dipped macaroons in the fridge.
- Once the chocolate is firm, place the macaroons in an air-tight container and keep in the fridge or freezer.
You might also enjoy these Easy Vegan Chocolate Covered Drumsticks
Or why not try your hand at this Chocolate Banana and Vegan Cheese Sandwich
And if you’re really in a mood to splurge, Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes will is a sure crowd-pleaser!
Whichever recipe you choose to make…Enjoy!