Vegan Dessert | Coconut Macaroon Nests

Looking for something fun, but simple, to make for dessert for Easter? Do you love coconut? Enjoy desserts that are rich, but not too sweet? Then this is the perfect dessert for you!

Coconut Macaroons are a delicious cookie made with shredded coconut, whipped egg whites and sugar. The recipe I adapted from Minimalist Baker uses maple syrup instead of sugar and aquafaba instead of egg whites. Aquafaba is the liquid that you usually drain out of canned chickpeas. Like egg whites, you can whip aquafaba into stiff white peaks, making it a wonderful replacement for egg whites in many vegan recipes. (Amazing, right??)

Unless you want a major arm work-out, I recommend using a hand or standing mixer to beat the aquafaba. Cream of tartar will help whip the aquafaba into stiff peaks.

Unlike normal macaroons, these macaroons are shaped like nests – perfect to fill with little chocolate eggs or jelly beans. You can use any vegan egg-shaped candies. I chose to use these Trader Joe’s Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds. These chocolates are decadent, rich and salty with a unique texture. The chocolate, almonds and sea salt pair wonderfully with the coconut macaroons.

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Coconut Macaroon Nests

Takes , Serves 6

Adapted from Minimalist Baker. Click here for original recipe with photos and tips!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups packed shredded unsweetened coconut (I used Trader Joe’s coconut)
  • ½ cup aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas – about one can’s worth)
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (to help the aquafaba stiffen)
  • 7 Tbsp maple syrup, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • Vegan chocolate eggs or jelly beans for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spread coconut on a baking sheet. Toast for 5 minutes or until just slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  2. Transfer coconut to a food processor (or a mixing bowl) and add 3 Tbsp maple syrup. Pulse a few times (or stir) to combine, being careful not to overmix. This will slightly moisten and sweeten the coconut. Set aside.
  3. To a large mixing bowl, add aquafaba and cream of tartar (optional), and whip with a hand or stand mixer.
  4. Once fluffy and semi-stiff peaks have formed, add remaining 4 Tbsp maple syrup, vanilla, and salt and whip again to combine. Lastly, pour in melted coconut oil and whip again to combine. At this point, taste your aquafaba and see if it needs any more sweetness. But don’t go overboard with the maple syrup or it may deflate your aquafaba. (I added a couple tablespoons of coconut sugar.)
  5. Start with adding 3/4 of your coconut to the aquafaba and fold/stir to combine. If it looks too wet, add more coconut flakes a little at a time until you get a very moist “dough”. If the dough is too wet, they won't rise in the oven. If it's too dry, they will be crumbly. So be sure to add a little at a time until the proper texture is achieved. If you add all of the coconut and it still appears too wet, it's fine to add a little untoasted coconut!
  6. In 3 Tbsp amounts, scoop mixture into muffin tin lined with cupcake liners. Gently form into small “nests” by pushing in the middles of each macaroon and pushing the outsides along the edges.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Then increase heat to 350 degrees and bake for 5-7 min more or until golden brown and semi-firm to the touch.
  8. Let cool. Serve with chocolate eggs or jelly beans inside. Enjoy!