The Absolute Best Coconut “Haystack” Macaroons (3 desserts for Passover!) – Giveaway OVER!

Coconut Macaroon Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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

Coconut Macaroon Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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.

Coconut Macaroon Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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.

Coconut Macaroon Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

If you are using a #40 2-Tablespoon Scoop you will get about 12 per sheet.

Coconut Macaroon Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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.

Coconut Macaroon Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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!

102 thoughts to “The Absolute Best Coconut “Haystack” Macaroons (3 desserts for Passover!) – Giveaway OVER!”

  1. Sadly my mom is not with us anymore (and boy do I miss her) but if she were here, I’d love to make her a batch of French Toast, one of her favorites.

  2. oooh! oooh! i want it this time please! oh i just came across a recipe that combined my mother’s two loves… lemon and ginger. and it was a little pudding cake that could even be made in the le creuset! i think i will have to make it in her honor since not for her. :O)

  3. Wish I could make those macaroons, but coconut makes me swell & itch 🙁

    When I see those Le Creusets, all I can think of is a pot of lentils & greens, with or w/o some sort of pork.

  4. I love Passover–the food is the absolute best, that is, the food is the best EXCEPT for the desserts. Popping open a can of macaroons just doesn’t satisfy my sweet craving. So, I can’t wait to make these heavenly looking macaroons, and of course, I love a great caramel and chocolate dipped matzoh!

  5. for mother’s day, id make my mom bread pudding with lemon sauce. its her favorite! a cute ramekin like that would be perfect for individual portions 🙂

  6. I want to make something special for Mom…perhaps Creme Brulee, or a strawberry tart. Or maybe stuffed French toast, too, since her birthday is on Mother’s Day!!!!

  7. For mothers day I will make my mom a Blueberry Pie, because she loves it! And hopefully I can make a heart-shaped one, using that wonderful pot from Le Creuset. Is beautiful!!
    Thanks for the giveaway, is really nice of you.

  8. For Mother’s Day, I would love for my son to bake me a tart homemade apple pie, which is my all time favourite comfort dessert. Perhaps he could make it in a heart shaped Le Creuset pot for next Mother’s Day?

  9. Wow – these Coconut Macaroons are my for my mother-in-law, she’ll be so happy! For my mom – i would love to make a creme brulee. My mom owns a bakery – and rarely gets to play with a stove top.

  10. My mom loves chocolate cake. I think this year I want to try making some of the cute cake balls that Bakerella makes on her blog to look like chocolate candies and put them into a cute box.

  11. My mom loves chocolate, hazelnut, and simple desserts. I am going to make her a Nutella mousse with fresh raspberries! As for passover, these macaroons look wonderful. I have found a use for those store bought macaroons though, and I’m curious if it would work with these too… I use the macaroons as a crust for a cheesecake. It turns out so delicious and is a fantastic change from “fruit slices”!

  12. My mom’s favorite dessert is Apple Crisp, and she’s been craving Dulce de Leche for a while now, so I’m thinking I’ll make a sinful Dulce de Leche Apple Crisp for her–which would look terrific if baked in this adorable heart-shaped dish!

  13. Mom isn’t living near us, but if she was I would make her the White Chocolate Lemon Pudding I made this week. I think she would really enjoy it.

  14. My mom loves anything lemon flavored so I need a good lemon idea!

    My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t care for lemony treats so I don’t make them very often. I guess I could make him the haystacks you posted here and he could eat them while we eat lemon dessert!

    I love those little ramekins! Wish I had one!

  15. my Mom was a big fan of anything lemon – I would consider a lemon mousse with fresh lemon curd (oh I could do that easily with all the lemon juice I have stored!) or a lemon chiffon cake. Both would be lovely for Mother’s Day.

  16. I would make Chocolate Chip Pie for my mom. It was a recipe that my Grandmother developed in her High School Home Ec class. We are lucky to still have this recipe in our family!

  17. I lost my mom a couple of years ago, but her favorite was strawberry shortcake with homemade buttermilk biscuits and fresh whipped cream. So I’ll ask for that, I think.

    Your macaroons look out of this world delicious!

  18. Last year I made my mom a white chocolate strawberry layer cake…and if I do say so, it was fantastic. 🙂 She remember my baking disasters from my teen years, and it was fun to talk about how far I’ve come (she’s a baker, too).

  19. I think mother’s day comes at at a time when strawberries (and rhubarb) are perfect. I would make some heart shaped almond cakes (made with almond paste) with a caramel whipped cream and strawberry/rhubarb compote. I look forward to your upcoming post with your choice.

  20. Oh gosh, that heart shaped ramekin is adorable! I wanted some of their tiny oval bakers at Christmas, but, well, the family presents came first. For Mother’s Day? Hummm, I love, love, love eclairs, and cherry or strawberry clafouti. Not sure the kids even know how to make them, but those would be my picks.

  21. I would make a raspberry white chocolate cheese tart for my mom. For myself I would love someone to make me something truly decadent for mothers day.

  22. I’m debating between chocoolate chunk orange cake and a key lime tart. She loves both flavors. I would want a Sinckerdoodle bundt cake!

    Your macaroons look wonderfully browned and chewy. I want one!

  23. Oh, but last year, I made chocolate ganache cupcakes with candied violets on top and packaged 6 per box and gave them to my mother and MIL. They loved them and they were so easy!

  24. My Mom absolutely loves fresh strawberry shortcake with lots and lots of real whipped cream (is there any other kind?!?). I’m sure that’s what I’ll make for her this year.

  25. My mom loves pineapple desserts so I’d probably make her a homemade pineapple milkshake or pineapple upside down cake (even though I think it’s gross)

  26. In my family, we usually celebrate with pie, not cake. All my life, I’ve thought cake was just a dry brownie masquarading as a dessert worth eating. And then, a few weekends ago, I made a cake from scratch for my in-laws’ birthdays. Wow. Finally, cake worth eating!
    That cake is the one I would make for my mom–four layers of buttery white cake filled with homemade lemon curd (the juice squeezed with love from an entire bag of tiny, hard-as-rocks lemons) and topped with glossy white icing and toasted sliced almonds. Perhaps I need to practice once more before Mother’s Day…

  27. My mom loves chocolate so I’d probably make her a flourless chocolate cake with a homemade coffee or caramel ice cream. Ohhh can’t wait:)

  28. The dessert i’ll be making for my Mom? Gingerbread with lemon sauce and whipped cream.
    A wonderful dessert that was served often when i was growing up.

  29. We always do brunch on mothers day – lots and lots of fresh fruit, belgian waffles, and a recent addition, maple pecan scones….mmmm

  30. May Canadians enter? I’ll be making my mom a fruit pie of some sort (I’m hoping we’ll have enough rhubarb by then).

  31. I’m of the older generation, much older, and my most favorite type of cake is a rich, buttery yeast cake like a Babka – it has to be the most satisfying accompaniament to a cup of hot black coffee. And I am a chocoholic.

  32. My mom loves coconut cream pie and I bet she’ll be head over heals for these macaroons. I’ll probably end up shipping her a box of these macaroons since a cream pie would never make it across the country in one piece. I would love it if someone made me the carrot cake that you posted a while ago on your blog.

  33. My mom would love to spend all day making cupcakes. I’d probably make them with her, rather than just for her. Mmmmm…caramel covered matzoh – looks good.

  34. My mom typically orders one of two types of desserts: some form of chocolate cake or some form of apple pie or tart.

    I’ve been trying to think of a way to combine the two, maybe caramel is the bridge to bring them together? A chocolate apple cake with caramel drizzle? An apple tart with a chocolate crust?

    Hmmm. I’m still working on it. You have any ideas?

  35. I’d make a simple yet scrumptious strawberry shortcake with fresh strawberries and real home made whipped cream

  36. something lemon, cake or somehow incorporate ABin% dough. My Mom absolutely loves the breads I bake from your book. She also loves lemon and blueberry so anything you can do with those, I am patiently waiting!

    Thanks for helping me make my Mom happy! She’s having health problems – just had the joints in her right hand replaced due to Rheumatory Arthritis so we are hoping she will be able to get back in the kitchen one of these days. Until then, I am her baking slave.

  37. I love macaroons but have never tried them with dried fruit. Sounds wonderful and will make them soon. First I want to make a Pot Pie and would love that little le creuset pot to test out. Pick me please!!!!

  38. We have a non-Mother’s Day policy in our family, because my mom thinks it’s a stupid idea! But she’s all in favor of my cooking her a good dinner on Easter, and a layer cake is traditional. I think this year I might make my favorite yellow cake with chocolate frosting–it’s very dense and moist.

  39. I wanted to make has my mére a cheeskeak has fruit of the paisson, but I live in France and my mére in brazil, then I fairai its cheeskeak and I will eat in front of the computer with her

    je voudrais faire un cheeskeak à la fruit de la passion, car je sais qui ma mère adore, mais j’habite en France et ma mère au Brésil, alors je vais faire et je mangerai devant l’ordinateur avec elle, car ce le seule moyen de passer son jour avec elle

  40. My mom is going to be (as far as I know) several states away for mother’s day. 🙁 If she were going to be in town I would make her sun tea and a beautiful seasonal fruit-filled pastry.

  41. My mother was a wonderful baker and she passed her passion to bake to my sister and me. If she were still with us today I would make her Frangipane Apricot Bars.

  42. If my Mom were still with us I would make her meringue shells with strawberries and whipped cream in them.
    Love all your receipes!

  43. great treats, zoe! your macaroons reminded me of the glorious impossible coconut pie that my mom loves, so that’s probably what i’d make for her. 🙂

  44. Don’t know what happened, but my macaroons did not turn out too well; the egg whites sort of seeped out of the mounds in the oven and the resulting stacks flattened out. Taste great, though.

  45. Hi James,

    You probably didn’t end up using enough coconut. If this happens again just add more coconut until all of the syrup is absorbed. If you let the mixture sit for about 15-20 minutes before baking this will allow time for the coconut to absorb the syrup.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Zoë

  46. Wow Zoe do those matzos look addictive! Then again so do the Macaroons! Can I come live at your house for a while? Hehe. Good stuff here, as always! Thank you!

  47. Yay for Kosher for Passover recipes! I’ll have to try and make one of these this year. I believe that I would make my mom something she remembers enjoying from her childhood. Maybe it’s something she can have regularly or not, but the purpose would be two fold. One she’d be eating something she enjoys and maybe be full of memories and Two, she wouldn’t have to make it herself or spend money somewhere else to have it!

  48. One of my favorite “celebration” desserts is one I learned to make from my mother, and very versatile, too: classic chiffon cake and its almost infinite variations. It also seems to say “spring” . . . perhaps because of its lightness and all the eggs!

  49. I think it’s genius to chop the raisins, and can’t believe I haven’t thought of that before. For any cookie recipe I use them in! For my mom for M’sD… it’s got to be chocolate. Chocolate cheesecake if it’s nice, if it’s cold- pudding/lava cake. I think flavored with framboise.

  50. I might make my mom some ensaimadas (snail shaped brioche). I’m thinking about making these instead though. She’s a big fan of coconut macaroons.

  51. I recently discovered a lovely recipe for ginger shortbread that I’d give anything to be able to make for my mom. But I can’t, because she died suddenly five years ago. For me, the light’s gone out of Mother’s Day.

  52. Perfect timing–I was just trying to find a good sweet recipe to make for Passover. That heart shape Le Creuset would be the perfect addition to my newly started collection!

  53. my mother is a wonderful cook–and lately she’s been making amazing things straight from her garden. (http://www.sustainablediet.blogspot.com/) so it’s very fitting for me to want to cook something for her–something decadent, as she never, ever, ever splurges on herself. but everything she makes is amazing, so i actually need a great idea from y’all… haha!

  54. I will make my mom a plum pie. It’s a family favorite but she says she is tired of making it. It’s my turn to carry the plum torch!

  55. I will probably make my mom an angel food cake, though I’d like a new option for a berry combination to put on the cake. Mom has dementia, so she doesn’t remember what her favorite dessert is, but she loves to get out in the garden and pick raspberries, so the angel food cake with raspberries might taste good to her.

  56. the macaroons you just posted. they look great. or cheesecake – that always seems to be a good fit for any occasion.

  57. maybe a warm vanilla cake with lindt white coconut chocolate, served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh sliced strawberries

  58. As a mom I would love to have anything made for me on mothers day morning. But one of my favourites is a light and fluffy waffle with a mixed berry syrup and whip cream. Then I go exercise!

  59. I will be at a scrapbook retreat with my mom the weekend of Mother’s Day, but for mother’s day I usually make a brunch or lunch. She is diabetic (diagnosed recently) and so desserts aren’t really her thing anymore (she loves them, but I don’t want to make her something she can no longer eat). So probably I will make her my waffle recipe. She loves my waffles and they are made with whole grains, coconut oil and no sugar, so they should be ok on her diet. With real whipped cream and maybe a bit of fruit.

  60. I just found your website today & have used half a pack of computer paper printing your recipes! I cant wait to discover more! My wonderful Mother passed away suddenly in’96 from pancreatic cancer. She left with me a love for cooking & I LOVE to cook for my family. I have 2 married daughters & 7 grandchildren & a 19 yr.old son. I plan to make a chocolate meringue cake for Mothers Day (it’s their fav!)It has 3 8″ disks of baked meringue,each layer drizzled with melted choc,fresh whipped cream, & sliced strawberries & bananas, & covered with fresh whipped cream& topped with choc covered strawberries. Heavenly,yummy!Anyway, Glad to have found you!

  61. I clicked through from the flourless chocolate lava cakes. YUM. These macaroons looks good, too – a little bit of a departure from the traditional ones. Just a question: do you have a special, kosher-for-Passover powdered sugar? Otherwise, it usually has cornstarch in it. I haven’t had much luck making my own in the blender, so I’d love a tip!

  62. I can’t wait to make the coconut haystacks tomorrow for my baby sister’s 50th b-day party! She and her hubby love coconut and everything else in this recipe. I would bake an oatmeal cookie in the heart dish, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with butterscotch sauce, then sprinkle a little sea salt for good health.

  63. For Mother’s day, I will honor my mom’s low-carb lifestyle/diet and bake her a delicious, savory dinner instead of dessert. I will bake her my homemade cauliflower “crust” pizza (cauliflower, mozzarella, egg, and yummy spices) topped with low-carb alfredo sauce, asparagus, olives, pepper jack cheese, and garlic. This is her favorite of my low-carb, gluten-free meals 🙂 I hope I still qualify!

  64. Just learned about your blog and fabulous baking ideas…everything looks amazingly beautiful and delicious!!! What a great find! I just got back from a wedding in Minneapolis…too bad I didn’t know about you then and the wonderful bakery you mentioned.

  65. Zoe, your recipe for haystacks is fantastic. I used to buy haystacks from a bakery that closed after 60 years in business. No other bakery in San Diego makes them. I made a batch of 24 using your recipe and they were outstanding. Tasted better than the bakery. I added some additional bits of fruit; chopped dates and figs. Had dried tart cherries, dried cranberry, raisins, walnut and pecan. Thank you so much for posting your recipes.

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