Cost: $-$$ depending on how much you already have in your pantry
Prep time: about 40 minutes all together
I’m currently in the last month of graduate school, and I am definitely feeling some pressure. For me, baking is a great stress reliever. I always know when I’m avoiding the studio if there is a sudden increase of baked goods in my fridge.
I feel very lucky to live in an area where alternative ingredients are fairly readily available, so a restricted diet hasn’t really impacted my baking habit. I just had to learn a few different tricks and accept that it’s best not to aim for 100% imitations of “normal” food.
The no sugar thing is tricky, though.
Coconut has been great to bake with. It’s naturally somewhat sweet, or at least doesn’t necessarily need to be sweetened too much. Combining coconut with cinnamon and vanilla is a great alternative for sugary recipes (and it also makes a mean pie crust…maybe I’ll make that for a later post!).
So, since I’ve been feeling a lot of stress because of school lately, I wanted to make something comforting this week. Cinnamon Coconut and Chocolate Coconut Macaroons hit the spot. My mom made them every once and a while, and the recipe is deceptively simple. I’ve had this recipe for a long time, and mess around with it every once in a while. Sometimes I add a little bit of almond or pecan meal, sometimes I add a drizzle of dark chocolate; it’s very flexible. And, if you’re working with candida restrictions, cinnamon and coconut are great for your gut!
- 3 cups of shredded, unsweetened coconut (I like Bob’s Red Mill, but I usually buy it in bulk at my co-op)
- 1/4 cup plus a few teaspoons of warm water
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 eggs*
- 1 t non-alcoholic, no sugar vanilla flavoring
- 1 – 2 t cinnamon (depending on your preference)
- 1/3 c cocoa powder (the “purest” option you can find)
- a handful of cacao nibs (these I usually find at TJ Maxx/Home Goods, although I’m sure grocery stores have them, too)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix the coconut, water, and coconut oil until the coconut feels a little damp and covered with the oil.
- Mix in the eggs*
- Add the vanilla and cinnamon, mix well, and then separate the dough into two bowls.
- Add 1/3 cup of cocoa powder and cacao nibs to half of the dough. Mix well.
- Form small peaks either with your hands or with spoons. I like them to look like little mountains, so I usually form them by hand.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are golden and fragrant (you’ll have to depend on the aroma for the chocolate ones)
*For a vegan option, you can use 9 tablespoons of aquafaba (the liquid that canned chickpeas are in), but make sure it’s not salted!