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Coconut-Almond Thumbprint Macaroons Recipe


Before I became a food blogger, the term “macaroons” meant only one thing:  craggy little balls of toasted coconut surrounding a sweet and chewy center.   And, while I’ve since become quite familiar with the delicate and ethereal French macarons that seem to be spun from almonds and air, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the former.   They’re what I grew up on, and evoke fond memories of years gone by.   To this day, if I close my eyes as I bite into a coconut macaroon, I’m five years-old again – holding my daddy’s hand as we stroll down Morris Park on a Sunday morning, toting our white bakery bag filled with goodies.   Good times…     


Coconut macaroons remind me of springtime. Their popularity seems to swell around Passover and Eastertime, both of which occur in the Spring.   Plus, they look like little bird’s nests – especially when made as thumbprints filled with tiny dollops of jam.   And, they’re so simple to make – much easier than their finicky French cousins.   


I adapted the recipe for these little gems from one of Alice Medrich’s in her book,  Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies [4] .   In her recipe, Medrich uses unsweetened coconut chips in place of flaked coconut for a chunkier, more toothsome cookie.  I tried them that way and they were great.  However, they totally fell apart when I tried to make the thumbprint indentations.  So, I tried again, using unsweetened shredded coconut this time.  The cookie batter held together much better – almost like a paste – and I was able to  press in my little jam pockets. 


Aside from being a cinch to make, these macaroons are also very versatile.  They’re already gluten and dairy free, but you can try different sweeteners, like honey or agave syrup, if you want to avoid refined sugars.  You can play around with different flavorings as well.  I added some almond extract to mine, but orange or lime would be lovely too.  You can dip them in chocolate or, as I did, top them with jam.   I love it when I can personalize a recipe exactly the way I want it!


I think that these macaroons are best served as soon as they’re cool enough to devour without burning your mouth.  They’re delightfully crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy – almost gooey – on the inside.  But, they will also keep well for several days in an airtight container.  I’ve even frozen them with success. 

So, if you’re looking for a Passover or Easter treat that’s quick, easy, scrumptious and customizable, look no further.    These sticky, gooey, creamy, chewy coconut macaroons are for you!