Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate, Pistachio, and Orange Blossom

This recipe takes the rich Passover classic and gives it a Middle Eastern twist. The orange blossom water creates an interesting flavor dimension, but be careful not to overdo it – less is more when it comes to orange blossom water! Scroll all the way down for a variation: the same ingredients (plus a nice chunk of unsalted butter) and base recipe can be used to make a latke-macaroon variation.

Makes about 15 to 20 macaroons
Total Time: About 35 minutes
Active Work: About 15 minutes

whites from 2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
a couple generous pinches of sea salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
14 ounce bag of sweetened coconut flakes
heaping half cup roasted and chopped pistachios
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon orange blossom water 

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Crack two eggs, separating the whites from the yolks and adding them to the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl. If using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment, or use a whisk if mixing by hand. Whisk on medium speed until the whites have expanded a bit, turning foamy and white. 

Add in the condensed milk, salt, and vanilla, stirring to combine. Next, add the coconut, stirring with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until everything is well-combined and coated, about 1 minute.

Portion the macaroons by taking a golfball-size portion and rolling it around between your palms into a uniform ball. Take care not to compress the ball too much – the goal is to make something that is uniform and will stick together, without becoming compressed and dense. It’s a delicate balance. Place the macaroons on a parchment-lined baking sheet, keeping them at least an inch apart from one another. 

Place the baking sheet on the center oven rack and bake for about 14 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway through the bake. You’ll know that they’re done when there are brown spots appearing at the edges, with a dark ring around the bottom. The goal is to bake them until they are cooked enough to hold together, while remaining very moist at the center. 

Once the macaroons are out of the oven, transfer them to a wire rack to cool. While you wait, chop the pistachios. 

Next, melt the chocolate. This step can be completed using a double boiler, or by simply using a microwave, which yields the same end result and is much easier. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl, stir, and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir again, and the chocolate should be ready to use. 

Add about 1 or 2 drops of the orange blossom water to each of the macaroons. Next, drizzle a spoonful or the melted chocolate over the top of each macaroon, followed by a spoonful of the pistachios. 

Let them sit till the chocolate hardens a bit, about 1 hour. Serve the same day or place in a sealed container to maintain freshness. I don’t know how long these can keep since I always eat them right away. 

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