Sunday, January 22, 2012
Coconut and Lime Macaroons (Vegan with Gluten-free Alternative)
It's been a cold and rainy weekend and I'm not liking it too much. There was a little break of sunshine today but the clouds rolled back in by the end of the day. Tomorrow's forecast is even more rain. This kind of weather just makes me want to stay in bed all day and dream about some tropical island somewhere. Wouldn't it be nice to just relax on a large hammock under some coconut trees near a white sand beach? Aaaaaaaaaah...that sounds so perfect right now. Instead I'm sitting in front of the computer with a space heater directed at me. Brrrrrrrrrrr
I guess that explains why I've been so obsessed with coconuts lately. From drinking coconut juice to cooking with coconut milk, I'm surprised I haven't turned into a coconut! What I love about them is that they seem to be synonymous with warm tropical getaways. With this cold and dreary weather lately, I kinda want to be transported there, even if it's only within the confines of my own kitchen.
In the midst of this coconut obsession, I've given a tropical twist to a few of my favorite desserts by adding coconut to them. I added shredded coconut and a pinch of ground ginger to some palmiers I made for a family gathering. The toasted coconut inside layers of sweet flaky puff pastry were to-die-for! They were devoured immediately. I also made some rice krispie treats but replaced the butter with coconut oil and mixed in some sweetened flaked coconut. Oh my goodness! The sweet aroma of the coconut oil was simply intoxicating with each crispy, marshmallowy bite. Next time I'm gonna try adding chopped dried pineapple. I can just imagine how incredible that's gonna taste.
But my ultimate, most favorite creation this month are these coconut and lime macaroons. A few years ago, I figured out a way to make egg-free coconut macaroons by replacing the egg whites with sweetened condensed milk and all-purpose flour. They tasted absolutely amazing! This time around, I decided to make them dairy-free as well as egg-free. I replaced the sweetened condensed milk with coconut milk and powdered sugar. I also added a bit of lime zest and lime juice for a hint of citrus flavor.
These macaroons are insanely addicting! Just as soon as I finish eating one, I'm back in the kitchen grabbing another. They're so crunchy on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside. I love seeing the tiny green flecks of lime zest and tasting the lime flavor with each bite. It really adds some brightness to the macaroon and probably makes them even more irresistible (at least I think so). I better share these before I eat them all.
By the way, Art of Dessert reached 500,000 visitors earlier this month! Woohoo! Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for your liking my blog! I'm so grateful that my passion for making desserts is bringing a bit of happiness to so many of you. I truly appreciate your support :-)
Coconut Lime Macaroons (Vegan with Gluten-free Alternative)
Makes about 3 dozen macaroons
Allergy Note: contains wheat ingredients*
14 oz. bag shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (aka confectioner's sugar)
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp. lime juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
*for a gluten-free alternative, replace 3/4 cup all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour or Mochiko sweet rice flour (this will result in a macaroon that is still crunchy on the outside by chewier on the inside)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In a large bowl, combine shredded coconut, powdered sugar, coconut milk, lime zest and lime juice. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together until blended. Using a cookie scoop, place on prepared baking sheets two inches apart. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool completely before serving.