Over the past year and a half, my culinary lifestyle has changed….. dramatically! I used to be the girl that was always getting voted “most likely to open up a French bakery” or some similar kind of title, and oh the things I could make: From dainty little petite fours, cream puffs and fancy cupcakes, to full sized, towering and ornate wedding cakes. Baking was my greatest joy! Up until, that is, the point that I became suddenly and severely allergic to nearly every ingredient involved! These allergies didn’t just make me feel badly, they affected every area of my life….even down to my ability to walk!
But I’m not going to tell you that story today. It’s a long, laborious one and honestly, who wants to hear all that depressing stuff anyway? Instead, I’d rather focus on my most current obsession which involves, that’s right…. BAKING! Yes, you read that right: I’m still obsessed with baking. Sure, life did throw me a bit of a curve ball and for about a second I thought my baking days were over, but as Winston Churchill says….
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
So in this case I chose to be the optimist, which really isn’t that like me at all, but boy am I glad that I did. There was definitely an adjustment period to all the different baking mediums that I had to work with, but on the other side of it our home was once again filled with wonderful baked delicacies such as . . . cinnamon rolls, raw carrot cake balls, donuts, oatmeal crème pie cookies, fluffy pancakes, lemon tarts, marshmallows, cup cakes and more. All free of grain, dairy, refined sugars and added starches. I even got to make a fancy little “smash” birthday cake for a friend’s darling little girl! It has been quite the challenge, and admittedly it took a while, but eventually the ‘old me’ began emerging again, only now it was a better, more settled and VIBRANT me!
The recipe that I picked for you today is a favorite in our house. It harks back to the days when I couldn’t yet have eggs (which REALLY made the baking thing more insurmountable), but even without eggs, these little macaroons definitely hit the spot! I think you’ll enjoy them as much as we did…. (And still do!)
- ¾ cup very fine ground blanched almond flour (like Honeyville, or homemade)
- 1½ cup dried, shredded unsweetened coconut (I like "Let's Do Organic")
- ¼ cup plus 1-2 tablespoons raw honey (the lighter the mellower, orange honey is my favorite here)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (where to buy coconut oil)
- 2 teaspoons GF vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean pod scraped (optional)
- Pinch of unrefined sea salt (where to buy salt)
- In a bowl, combine the almond flour and coconut.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the honey, coconut oil, vanilla, vanilla bean seeds and salt until well blended.
- Add the honey mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined (I like to use my hands for this as it helps to get the vanilla bean seeds distributed throughout the "dough")
- Using a rounded "measuring" tablespoon, gently press the macaroon dough into the spoon, then turn the spoon upside down and tap the cookie out into your hand. Gently place on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Bake in a 195-200F (90-93C) oven for about 45-50 minutes. The outside should be dried out a bit and the inside should be soft and chewy. For raw macaroons, place in your dehydrator until they are slightly dry on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Times will vary depending on the dehydrator and temp used.
- Allow the macaroons to sit for at least 15 minute before transferring. They will be quite delicate while still warm but very sturdy once cooled. We LOVE our macaroons chilled.