Matzo ball soup. Brisket. Four huge glasses of wine. Macaroons. Which of these things is not like the rest?
I don’t trust any food that can survive a year in a little tin canister without molding. We left Egypt! Our food should expire, stale, lose flavor or, at least, evaporate. We deserve as much.
It feels like everywhere I look these days, people are updating the seder. The haggadot are endlessly accommodating, educational and simplified, and our grandmothers wouldn’t even recognize the recipes on today’s seder plate. People really are willing to leave what doesn’t work in Egypt, and I think this is right. But as I write this, I can hear Tevia in my head, curling his wrists and exclaiming, “Truh-dish-un… TRADITION! Dum DUM!”
These aren’t traditional macaroons. And THANK GOD. These coconut macaroons are crispy around the edges and chewy in the center. They are extraordinarily moist with a fresh and bright orange scent. The chocolate shavings are, well, there because it’s not really dessert without chocolate. And they’re shavings, so they look fancy. Even if you’ve already had your seder, I hope you’ll be able to enjoy these macaroons throughout the week, or even just for non-Jewish culinary pleasure. Enjoy!
Makes about 12 large macaroons
Inspired by this recipe!
What You Need:
3 egg whites
2 c sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 c white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp orange zest
dark chocolate shavings to garnish (just use a peeler to shave the chocolate)
How To Do It:
Line a pan with parchment paper. Combine all of the ingredients (except the orange zest and chocolate) in a large heatproof mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel because the mixture will heat faster than in glass. Set the bowl directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water (if your bowl bobs in the water, simply pour some out). Stir the mixture with a silicone spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, until the mixture is very hot to the touch and the egg whites have thickened slightly and turned from translucent to opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to let the coconut absorb more of the goop. Add the orange zest to the mixture and fully incorporate.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using 2 tblsp of batter, make attractive, pointed heaps 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. (You can also make these smaller and bake for less time, in 1-tablespoon heaps.) Sprinkle the chocolate on the tips. Bake for about 5 minutes — just until the visible coconut tips begin to color — and then lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are a beautiful cream color with golden and brown edges. Set the pan or just the liners on racks to cool. Let cool completely before gently peeling the parchment away from each cookie. If you are impatient, I removed mine from the parchment early and they were fine. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Note: the macaroons may seem slightly soft when they come out of the oven, but they will firm up if you just give them 5-10 mins outside the oven.