Like most of our family gatherings, Passover in my house is all about the food. No one misses bread when you’ve got steaming bowls of matzo ball soup, homemade gefilte fish (never the slimy kind from a jar), fork-tender brisket and half a dozen sides. But come dessert time, I used to wish for the flour and leavening agents that are forbidden on Passover.
My grandmother was an excellent baker throughout the rest of the year, but her annual spread of kosher-for-Passover cakes and cookies left something (okay, a lot) to be desired. And for some reason, back when she and my grandfather hosted the Seder, the macaroons always came from a can.
This was a travesty. The flourless coconut macaroon is a staple of Passover — it might as well be on the Seder plate next to the horseradish and shank bone. But those canned cookies always smelled weird and had an odd, waxy texture. I grew up thinking I didn’t really like macaroons and left them untouched. French-style macarons — yes, please. Jewish-style coconut macaroons — no thanks.
Now my sister and I help with the desserts. Instead of omitting flour and baking powder to create leaden versions of favorite pastries, we go with sweets that are naturally K-for-P like flourless chocolate cake, meringues, my famous “matzo crack” and these macaroons. If you’re used to the ones from a Manischewitz can, these super-easy, five-ingredient cookies are a revelation. Adapted years ago by my sister from a Weight Watchers recipe, they’re even relatively healthy (two points each, I believe).
In our family, these have transcended the Passover Seder to become a year-round treat.
Chocolate-Dipped Passover Macaroons
Makes two dozen
6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
3 cups shredded coconut
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
With an electric mixer, beat together egg whites and sugar to form meringue (soft peaks).
Add vanilla and coconut and stir together with a spatula.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Form tablespoon-sized balls of the coconut mixture with your hands. Space them about an inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
Let macaroons cool for 30 minutes before dipping.
Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler. Dip tops of cooled macaroons into the chocolate.
Place the macaroons in the refrigerator for an hour until chocolate hardens.
Need more last-minute Passover inspiration? We’ve got dozens of recipe ideas for your Seder feast.