My family lovingly refers to me as the "Macaroon Queen." Every holiday event is complete with a variety of soft, sinful macaroons. I will put the entire pantry into my macaroons; some flavor combinations are more successful than others. This by far is one of my best. By simply reducing the unsweetened pomegranate juice the flavor escalates. Pairing it with rich, bittersweet chocolate chips sends these macaroons to the head of the class. Try making a large batch, freezing them and eating them frozen.
For the pomegranate reduction: In a small saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice, peeled orange zest, cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves. Set over medium heat, bring to a low simmer and reduce to 1/2 cup. This will take 10 to 15 minutes; keep pouring the liquid into a measuring cup to check the amount. Discard the orange peel and spices and allow the liquid to cool to room temperature; set aside.
For the macaroons: Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease two sheet pans with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the reduced pomegranate juice with the coconut, sugar, egg whites, chocolate chips, flour, grated orange zest, vanilla paste and salt. Mix with your hands, squeezing the mixture to completely combine.
Shape the mixture into 16 large pyramids, pressing the mixture tightly together. Bake on the prepared sheet pans until the edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove immediately from the sheet pans and let cool to room temperature.
Store the macaroons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.