Macaroons are traditional at Passover because they can be made without any leavening or flour. A cookie that is gluten-free, contains no butter, oil or other added fat, and is Passover–friendly. What more could a person want out of a tiny morsel at this time of year? Good taste, that’s what.
When I was a kid, we used to get macaroons out of a canister. Their chewy consistency and size were fine. But even though they came in 3 flavors (almond, coconut and chocolate coconut), all the varieties tasted virtually the same – or rather they were all so sweet that any other taste was drowned out.
I was determined to improve on those macaroons. My dream was a cross between a macaroon and a meringue, light but flavorful. After a few false starts, I got it right and my daughter named them Meringuroons. You could add a bit of chopped chocolate or even dip them in melted chocolate once they have cooled, but I preferred to keep them delicate and tasting only – and most definitely – of coconut and almonds.
As with spices, roasting or toasting an ingredient like nuts or coconut intensifies the ingredient’s smell and taste. (See my post on roasting cumin seeds.) The aroma and taste difference (between the raw and roasted or toasted version) is striking, especially when those flavors shine through, as they do in these macaroons. If you can’t imagine what I mean, try a test before you do this recipe. Smell and taste a bit of the raw chopped almonds and coconut, then toast a bit more of those ingredients – you smell and taste the difference, don't you?