Next-Level Macaroons for Passover


Photo by: SCOTT SUCHMAN ©Photo by Scott Suchman

SCOTT SUCHMAN, Photo by Scott Suchman

Sorry, Francophiles, but in the macaron vs. macaroon debate, I must admit that I prefer the two-O variety. We’re talking the dense coconut kind that will be served at Passover Seders across the country this Friday night.

The delicate, jewel-boxed French sandwich cookies (one O) are pretty and all, but for me, the rugged, toasty coconut ones are the stuff of nostalgia. Inexplicably, my grandmother, who was an excellent baker, used to serve the bite-sized macaroons that came in Manischewitz cans. Who knows how many years they’d been in her pantry, but I loved them.

Today, there are few cookies I love more than a well-made macaroon, so it’s just a plus that they’re a Passover-friendly dessert. I devoured an amazing one recently at RareSweets, a charming bakery that opened in Washington, D.C., last fall. Caramelized and crunchy on the outside, moist and chewy within and not too sweet, it was exactly what I want in a macaroon, or any cookie, for that matter.

Lucky for us, the bakery’s pastry chef and owner, Meredith Tomason, shared the recipe with FN Dish. She incorporates many family recipes into her menu, and says this one was a staple at various holidays throughout the years.

Her classic coconut macaroon includes a secret ingredient: rum. “I enjoy using rum in unexpected places when I bake. I love the warmth and slight sweet spice it can add especially to cookies, fruit or caramels,” says Tomason, who was Tom Colicchio’s pastry chef at Craft in New York before opening RareSweets. “Coconut and rum go hand in hand, so adding [rum] to our coconut macaroon recipe was a no-brainer. It adds a little warmth and spice to this sometimes overly sweet cookie and gives a richer depth of flavor.”

Whip up a batch for your Seder crowd and they’ll be blown away — especially if they’re used to the kind from a can. They might even be swayed over to the two-O macaroon camp.

Get the Recipe: RareSweets’ Coconut Macaroons

Note: All of the ingredients in this recipe are technically kosher for Passover, but if your Seder guests or hosts are strictly observant, you’ll want to buy products with a P next to the Kosher symbol on the package.

Photo by Scott Suchman

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