Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Valentine treat

We have many delicious baked goods at my work, which have been looking extra delicious since I gave up sugar, but my absolute favorite are the made-from-scratch chocolate & coconut macaroons. It has been getting pretty hard to resist them, so I've been keeping my eye out for a good recipe. I was flipping through this month's issue of Real Simple and saw they had a really simple (pun intended) coconut macaroon recipe. Unfortunately, it called for quite a bit of table sugar, so I started looking around online for a sugar-less version. In the spirit of Valentine's day, I settled on a strawberry coconut macaroon recipe. They are the perfect little, pink treats to hand out to friends or give to your sweetheart. (Or stash in your lunch to enjoy at work...)

The original recipe with more thorough instructions can be found here, but here's a quick how-to on how I made the ones pictured above. I just couldn't help myself and added a few tasty toppings. The chocolate drizzle creates the perfect trio once combined with the tartness of the strawberries and the smoothness of the coconut. I can't believe there's no (white) sugar in these! This is by far my favorite recipe I've posted so far. (Hmm. Except maybe for these...)

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
14 ounces unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon agave nectar(omit if you're using sweetened coconut)
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced in half

::Using a food processor (or blender, I suppose), blend the coconut for 1 minute. Add in the agave nectar and blend for another 30 seconds.

::Add the egg whites and sea salt and blend for another minute.

::Pulse in the strawberries until they are mostly mixed in. Leaving them partially unmixed results in a pretty swirl of creamy white and pink once the cookies are baked. (I couldn't help myself and mixed them completely.)

::Using a melon ball scooper or round tablespoon, scoop batter into 1" mounds on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

::Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees. Keep an eye on them and pull them out once they are slightly browned on top. I checked on mine a little too frequently, so they didn't rise very well. This worked out okay since I convinced myself I could eat a couple extra (five) since they "weren't that big"...

::Allow them to cool completely (about 30 minutes) before pulling them off the paper. They will get a delicious crunch on the outside, but be soft and chewy on the inside and go perfectly with a cup of coffee!

These are great on their own, but I decided to add a little somethin'-somethin' to them. Chocolate and strawberries go hand-in-hand, right?

Chocolate coconut drizzle:

1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil

::Using either a double boiler or a small saucepan inside a larger saucepan filled with boiling water, melt down the chocolate chips and coconut oil together until the sauce is quite thin.

::To get a good drizzle, use a small, oval shaped spoon, scoop up some sauce and drizzle off to the side of the macaroon (on the parchment paper) until the stream of chocolate is really thin, then drizzle over the macaroon.

Coconut chip covered macaroon:

::Follow the instructions above, but about half-way through the baking time, sprinkle on a tablespoon or so of crunched up Trader Joe's coconut chips. (These have a small amount of sugar in them but I've been dying to find an excuse to use them.)

Enjoy these (mostly) guilt-free Valentine's treats!

1 comment:

  1. Yum!!! I need to get back in the kitchen and bake up some sweet treats! Thanks for the recipe. Definitely giving these a try :)