My lovely friend Sue bought me The Happy Pear cookery book and both of us instantly identified the healthy Coconut Macaroons as a ‘must bake’. Made with just a few ingredients, without processed sugar, gluten or dairy, they store well and are a perfect little pick me up in mid afternoon. They have helped me to avoid the all too readily available workplace sweets.
The Happy Pear is a gorgeous cafe in Greystones (also, a shop and farm with many expanding opportunities) that Sue and I had lunched in together after a beautiful walk across Bray Head. It’s a quirky friendly little place that emphasises the delicious options that vegetables offer, in healthy, nutritious and delectable dishes. The Happy Pear Cookbook has lots and lots of great ideas. I have already made two of the soups (yummy!) and a veggie chili. The recipes are all very doable and it’s helping me to have a healthier November before the inevitable excesses of December.
Two friends also made these macaroons and; while happy with the taste, ran into same difficulty as me with shaping the mix. The mixture was easy to make, however, shaping them into beautiful balls as pictured in the book proved difficult. Had I struggled alone, I might not have thought to write this post, but seeing as I was not alone, I have tweaked the recipe a little to make it easier to shape.
I modified the quantities slightly, increasing the nuts and decreasing the syrup made it a bit firmer. I also did this as I preferred them to be a touch less sweet. I found that letting the mixture cool down made them easier to shape. Now, maybe everyone else except me has a melon baller, but I don’t! I used a measuring spoon (a tablespoon size) instead which means that mine were more like flying saucers than balls….but they still tasted good! I also bake mine at a slightly higher temperature. For me, the dark chocolate is crucial to balance the sweetness and makes them oh so moreish.
So here it is, my version of an already great recipe.
130 grams of unsweetened desiccated coconut
60 grams of ground almonds
50ml of maple syrup (Honey or agave works too)
55 grams of coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 grams dark chocolate (I use about 80% cocoa solids)
- Melt the coconut oil and and mix in the syrup and vanilla extract.
- Mix the almonds and coconut together. Mix with the oil and syrup.
- Pop the oven on to preheat to 160 degrees celcius while you let the mixture cool. It is easier to shape when it is cool.
- Line baking tray with parchment paper or use a mini cupcake tray and line with muffin liners.
- Use a measuring spoon (or melon baller if you have it) to really compact and shape the mixture. Dip the utensil in warm water between each macaroon as it means that they don’t stick as much
- I found I had to sharply tap the utensil against the tray to get it out cleanly. I got about 12 from the mix.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow to cool on the tray for at least 10 minutes as they will fall apart easily while they are warm.
- Melt the chocolate and drizzle on top using a teaspoon. Allow the chocolate to set and store in an air tight container in the fridge. They keep for up to two weeks.
Enjoy your healthy tasty treat!