Think Beyond Carrot Cake: Gluten-Free Carrot-Coconut Macaroons

November  9, 2015

These dainty, moist, and slightly chewy little sweets are made of finely shredded carrots, with coconut and almonds (no flour involved). They play nicely with a variety of spices and aromatics and they invite experimentation.  

The first time I made them I was headed for the cinnamon when a neglected jar of garam masala caught my eye. The aroma and flavor made me think “exotic pumpkin pie spice." So of course I tried that, too.

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You can use either, or choose cinnamon instead. I’ve been meaning to try a combination of cinnamon and cardamom or clove. I’ve also been thinking about using hazelnuts or walnuts in place of almonds).

And orange zest instead of lemon? Or parsnips instead of carrots? Yams? Zucchini? There's a lot to have fun with.

Spice Drawer Carrot and Coconut Macaroons

Adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-You-Mouth Cookies (Aristan 2010)

Makes about thirty-six 1 1/2-inch cookies

3/4 cup (105 grams) whole almond, with or without skins
A small lemon, preferable unsprayed or organic
2 large egg whites
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon ground garam masala, pumpkin pie spice, or ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cups (160 grams) lightly packed finely to medium finely shredded carrot
1 1/3 cup (65 grams) unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

1 Comment

AntoniaJames November 9, 2015
The combination of parsnips + cardamom + nutmeg + orange zest is calling my name. I can't wait to have some fun with these. Thank you, as always, for this interesting, helpful piece. ;o)