When I think back to Pesach/Passover as an adolescent, many memories come to mind. 14 hour roads trips from Indiana (where I grew up) are recollections not easily forgotten. Suffering with severe motion sickness means I get carsick easily. The thought of peeled oranges, white squares of chocolate and macaroons from those tall paper wrapped tins being passed to me in the backseat still make me shudder. It's probably the coconut in the macaroons that doesn't agree with me. Add it the growing list of foods I dislike, along with bananas and peanut butter.
Nonetheless, as a food blogger I feel it is my duty to attempt cooking adventures that involve all sort of foods, even those that are under the category of "gag worthy" to me. Have I mentioned my love for the oh so popular macaroni and cheese? I could eat it for dinner every night. That wouldn't make a very interesting food blog though, would it? Very often I surprise myself and actually love that very thing I've baked with said ingredient I so passionately detest. This was one of those situations! Most of the makeup of these cookies is coconut. Don't leave yet, even if it's not your favorite. I too thought these would get eaten by everyone but me, turns out I may have had 1 or two....ok like 5. While cruising through a Food Network magazine recently, I came across this idea and was so excited to play around with it and make it my own. If you make just one desert this holiday it should be this one, they were soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, just sweet enough and tasted hardly of coconut...to me.
I added pistachios to the top of these macaroons when I baked them before Pesach but any sort of nuts or dried fruit can be used inside and outside. Don't like cranberries? Add chocolate chips or any other item of choice. There are so many great variations to be done here, so play around with the recipe as you please.
Milk Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Macaroons:
Yields: About 25 Medium Macaroons
3 Egg Whites
1 Tsp. of Cinnamon Extract
1/2 Cup Sugar
5 Oz. Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 Cup Craisins
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/3 Cup *Osem Israeli Cake Meal or Matzoh Meal
4 Oz. Milk Chocolate or Non Dairy Semi Sweet Chocolate for Dipping
Chopped Nuts or Dried Fruit
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk the egg whites together until slightly frothy. Stir the cinnamon extract in with the egg whites and then add the sugar and mix in as well. Add the shredded coconut, craisins, salt and cake meal.
3. Once it has all come together to form a thick batter of sorts, start scooping out 2 tablespoonfuls at a time onto a prepared greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Once measured, roll into balls and form into macaroon shape. Make sure they are set apart by two inches or so, otherwise they may bake together and become one.
4. Put them in the oven for 25 minutes or until they are golden brown on all sides.
5. Once removed from the oven, allow them to cool for about 15 minutes before attempting to lift them and add their toppings.
6. Melt the baking chocolate in the microwave for about a minute or so. Then stir the chocolate to see that it has come to a thicker melted liquid.
7. Carefully dip each macaroon into the chocolate so that the top is covered in a nice layer. Sprinkle each one with pieces of chopped nuts and let them set for another 15 minutes before serving.
*Thank you Osem for sending me some really great products to cook and bake with. Want to see more of what Osem has to offer that is also Kosher For Passover? Head over to their Facebook page where they are also currently holding an awesome recipe contest!
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