When I decided I wanted to make a nest-like dessert with coconut flakes, I did some research and found some recipes to learn from (precedent studies, if you will–all of a sudden, I am reminded of school, haha). I particularly loved Oh She Glow’s chia jam thumbprint macaroons and Radiant Rachels’ coconut macaroon nests. They inspired me to create my own version of coconut macaroon nests with what I had in my kitchen!
“Hmm…delicious. Heavenly.” These were the words of approval from my little sister, Anna, whose tastebuds are consulted by everyone in my family. I guess that’s all you really need to know!
(makes 2 dozen bite-sized macaroons)
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup + 2 T sliced almonds
- 1 T tapioca starch
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
- fresh blueberries, and additional unsweetened coconut flakes/sliced almonds, for aesthetic
- Place all the dry ingredients (except blueberries) into a food processor. Pulse until course and crumbly.
- In a medium saucepan, on low-medium heat, whisk together the maple syrup, coconut yogurt, and coconut oil. Add the coconut-almond-tapioca mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Let the mixture cook on low-medium heat for about five minutes (stir so it doesn’t burn!).
- Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let it cool for a few minutes, until it’s handleable. It should be sticky and moist, but not too fluid. If there is too much liquid, stir in some more coconut flakes and sliced almonds (pulsed or crushed). I also stirred in a small handful of extra whole sliced almonds and coconut flakes for a more interesting texture.
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. I actually used my toaster oven for these! Pack some macaroon mixture into a tablespoon and drop it on a tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat until the mixture is gone. Since the macaroons won’t spread, you don’t have to leave much room in between each one. I considered using this mini cupcake tin method, but I didn’t want to wash more dishes. I found another way to create the nest shape I was looking for.
- Bake at 275 degrees F for 10 minutes, then take the macaroons out, let them cool for a couple minutes, and make an indention in each one with a small spoon (I think I used a 1/2 teaspoon or smaller). I also used my hands to shape the macaroons to be more nest-like. You’ll notice they are very fragile at this stage, but don’t lose hope–they will turn out just fine!
- Return the macaroons to the oven to bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Take the macaroons out of the oven and let them cool on the tray for at least 7-10 minutes. They will still be fragile, so let them cool and harden for at least 7-10 minutes before handling.
- Remove the macaroons from the baking tray and place on a plate for serving. Place blueberries in the indentions and serve immediately–these are so good slightly warm!
If you have leftovers, store them in cupcake liners in a closed-lid container. I put mine in the fridge and they were good for at least 4 days after. I recommend re-toasting them a little in the toaster oven. They are also delicious eaten cold with a dollop of dark chocolate caramel ice cream!
I imagine that these would be delicious with a small dollop of creamy filling or ganache, topped with some sliced fresh fruit (or any small berry, like blueberries). The Unconventional Baker has a delightful looking lemon curd recipe on her blog! I just ran across it today–otherwise I probably would have liked to incorporate it into my nest macaroons. There’s an idea for the next time around!
Of course, I had to run outside and take tons of pictures of the nests against a tree background! 🙂
Whether you’re celebrating Passover, Easter (or neither) this weekend, I hope you are having a beautiful start to the spring season. Have a gorgeous weekend, and thanks for reading!