Holiday cookies: Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons #glutenfree

coconut macaroons Having had a Jewish father, I grew up eating wonderful cookies and cupcakes at the Jewish-style bakery my parents frequented by my dad’s office in Red Bank, New Jersey. If you lived in the area in the 1970s, it was the bakery by Red Bank Catholic High School and down Main Street from Norman’s Deli, if I remember correctly. I don’t think it’s there anymore.

I never realized that black and white, lace, and rainbow cookies were typical of Jewish treats until I read Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg. It’s a wonderful cookbook and would make a great Hanukkah or holiday gift.

I always thought of these treats as “back East cookies” that you could only find in New York City and Northern New Jersey. I never came across them in other parts of the country and only see them when I go back to New Jersey for someone’s bat or bar mitzvah.

My favorite Jewish cookies are the rainbow ones. I was hoping to experiment and come up with a gluten free version. (You can see a non-GF version of rainbow cookies here on the publisher’s website.) However, since they contain almond paste and almond extract – and I have a child who’s allergic to nuts – I didn’t think it was too smart to cook up a batch. Plus, I’d have to eat them all myself, which is a recipe for disaster especially with all the holiday treats out there this time of year.

Instead, I chose to make gluten free coconut macaroons. When my mother-in-law went gluten free over 11 years ago, there were very few premade gluten free products around. One exception was coconut macaroons that I’d find in the ethnic section of the supermarket during Passover. Here’s my healthed up, alternative sweetener version of Inside the Jewish Bakery’s recipe.

coconut macaroons

Featured at Jane Deere Blog Fusion Fridays.

coconut macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Based on the recipe from Inside the Jewish Bakery by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg © 2011 Camino Books. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons powdered stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (grapeseed, canola or coconut oil works well)
  • 3 to 4 large egg whites, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. If you’re using “natural” unsweetened coconut from the health food store, you may need to chop up the coconut into smaller pieces. You can do this in a food processor or a blender. Chop until the coconut is confetti-sized.
  3. Blend all ingredients except egg whites on the low speed of electric mixer.
  4. Increase speed to medium. Then add egg whites in a thin stream, mixing until smooth. Use only enough egg to get dough to the consistency of putty.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop, spoon mixture on to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. (I use the silicone making mats made by Wilton.)
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until the tops of the cookies turn light brown. Do not over bake.
  7. Allow to cool on parchment or silicon mat. (If the cookies stick to the parchment, turn paper over and wet it lightly so the macaroons will come off easily.)
  8. Carefully remove cookies with a cookie spatula and store in an airtight container.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: Makes 36 cookies
  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 34
  • Calories from Fat: 25
  • Total Fat: 2.8g
  • Saturated fat: 1.7g
  • Unsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Sodium: 37mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 2.2g
  • Sugar: 1.7g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

____________
Disclosure: I received a review copy of Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking to facilitate this review. All opinions and experiences are my own.

9 thoughts on “Holiday cookies: Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons #glutenfree

  1. Clara

    There’s a bakery on 161st street in the Bronx I got to when I visit NYC. Been going there since childhood. They have a certain treat I haven’t found anywhere else. Those macaroons look sooo moist.

    Reply
    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      Great question, Marlene! Agave Nectar is an all-natural sugar substitute made from the juice of the Blue Agave plant. It’s very similar to honey or maple syrup and comes in several forms like light, amber and raw. C&H is producing an organic version and you can find it at many grocery stores that sell C&H sugars. (Walmart is one of them – at least where I live.) Another manufacturer is Madhava out of Colorado. You can find their agave nectars online and in stores like Whole Foods.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>