Today is the 2nd day of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) and as you may be aware, Jews do not eat anything with leavening during this time.
Coconut macaroons are a delicious dessert found on many Pesach tables – I’ve upped the gourmet ante by adding a touch of Frangelico, a delicious hazelnut and herb liqueur from Italy that I am inordinately fond of.
You can optionally dip half of the macaroon in chocolate – either way, my macaroons are sweet, slightly nutty and simply delicious! You can also leave out the Frangelico to make a classic style of macaroon, if you prefer.
I wish a very happy Pesach to my Jewish readers!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
One 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut
7/8 cup (a scant cup) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 ½ tablespoons Frangelico (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs whites
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, best quality such as Guittard, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Set oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together the shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk, Frangelico (if using) and vanilla extract. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Using two spoons, form heaping tablespoons of the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and the bottoms and edges are deeply golden.
If dipping the macaroons in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at medium power, stopping and stirring at 30 second intervals, until just smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water.)
Dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, and return to the lined baking sheets. Place the macaroons in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.