Passover is coming up soon and there are a few desserts that are ubiquitous for this holiday. Coconut macaroons, “fruit slices” and caramel covered matzo are my favorites. All of them can be found wrapped tight in the “kosher” section of the grocery stores, usually sealed to sit there for months, if not years. When you peal the plastic off you are left with overly sweet, dense and utterly flavorless versions of these wonderful treats. So I make my own! None of them are particularly complicated and after making them yourself you will be forever ruined to the Manischewitz versions.
In this post you will find my recipe for Coconut “Haystack” Macaroons, plus links to three different Fruit Jellies and
if you click on the picture above you will find the recipe for The Ultimate Caramel Covered Matzo!
Coconut “Haystack” Macaroons – inspired by my friend and Baking and Pastry instructor from the CIA Thomas Gumpel
makes 24 large haystacks
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups egg whites (about 5 large)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
4 cups tightly packed coconut flakes and/or shreds (I use a combination to give the haystacks a nicer look. I also use either sweetened and/or unsweetened, what ever I happen to have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (I like to chop them so that they are not too big, but this is admittedly an excessive step and you can leave them whole)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or apricots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In a large stainless steel bowl whisk together the sugar and egg whites. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a double boiler. Stir the sugar/egg mixture constantly until all of the sugar has dissolved. The only way to test this is to rub the mixture between you fingers, if it is at all grainy continue to cook. This takes about 5 minutes.
Remove the egg mixture from the stove and add the vanilla, salt, coconut, dried fruit and nuts. Stir well to incorporate. portion out the haystacks by using an ice cream scoop. Be sure that the batter is tightly packed in the scoop before putting it onto the Parchment Paper or Silpat Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat lined baking sheet.
If you are using a #40 2-Tablespoon Scoop you will get about 12 per sheet.
bake for 20 minutes. If you are baking more than one sheet at a time be sure to switch from the top to the bottom rack midway through the baking. you may also need to rotate the sheets front to back to make sure the cookies bake evenly.
Allow to cool and then dust with powdered sugar.
Last week I baked a Chicken Pot Pie in this Le Creuset Stoneware Heart Ramekin and did a giveaway in preparation for mother’s day! The winner of last weeks heart baking dish was Alyssa from Jampaloo & Tenzarelli. This week tell me what you will make your mom for dessert on mother’s day or what you would want someone to make for you. In other words give me some ideas for a mother’s day post!!! I will pick another winner at random next week for the second Le Creuset Heart Baking Dish Giveaway!
These Heart Shaped Ramekins can also be found locally at Cooks of Crocus Hill!