Even after 6 years since becoming celiac I sometimes find myself focusing more on the particular foods that I’m not able to eat rather than the foods that I can fully enjoy. Having celiac disease has its advantages as well as its disadvantages. On the bight side, it forces us to eat more real and wholesome food to make up for the lack of gluten in our diets. Out with the traditional store bought bread, pastries, and crackers and in with the sweet potato chips, portabello mushroom “buns” and cauliflower pizza crust.
One of the first desserts I fell in love with after being diagnosed was the coconut macaroon. Naturally gluten free, macaroons are the easiest and in my opinion, most flavorful, and simple cookie out there. Some of us celiac’s don’t need a ton of different grain flours as a replacement for wheat in our baked goods when it’s already hard for us to digest well, anything. With the simple ingredients found in macaroons, we get to enjoy an amazing treat filled with coconutty flavor all while being easy on our tummies!
I chose to flavor these macaroons with lemon juice and zest, which lightens them up for an ideal spring indulgence! The little dollop of blackberry jam on top is the icing on the cake in my opinion! If you don’t have blackberry jam, you could always use raspberry jam, lemon curd, a blueberry preserve would even work well here….or chocolate. You know, just a suggestion. 😉 I’d probably leave out the lemon if using chocolate, though. Maybe give them a tiny sprinkle of sea salt after baking instead. These macaroons are so incredibly versatile. Don’t be afraid to experiment with any combination of flavors you’d like, and let me know what you decide try and how you like it!
Blackberry Lemon Macaroon Thumbprints
2 egg whites at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
10 teaspoons blackberry jam, I use crofters
Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. In a medium mixing bowl whisk egg whites, honey, lemon juice, and salt until frothy, about 30 seconds or so. Add in lemon zest and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add in coconut and stir well using a rubber spatula to ensure all egg white mixture is incorporated into the coconut. Using a 1 inch cookie scoop, tightly pack in the coconut mixture and drop onto baking sheet. They will be delicate so make sure you pack them tight into the cookie scoop before releasing. Using wet fingers, make a small well in each macaroon to create a space for the blackberry jam. It doesn’t need to be large.
Bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan in the oven, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove pan and place 1 teaspoon of blackberry jam onto each macaroon. Place back in oven for an additional 5 minutes. Allow them to cool completely on the pan before removing.
*note: I recommend enjoying these immediately because the longer they sit out, the more fragile and breakable they become. If you want to make theses ahead of time, store them in an airtight container, and carefully bake them again at 375 for 5-7 minutes before serving to make them firm again.