Alisa Fleming ~ Typically, when I receive an enticing cookbook to review, I have trouble choosing the first recipe to trial. Making those small decisions has never been my strong suit. But the new cookbook, Vegan Desserts, made this task a little bit easier for me, by breaking down the recipes by season.
This irresistible labor of love is from the vegan baking queen herself, Hannah Kaminsky. Hannah’s first cookbook, My Sweet Vegan, was a top seller as the vegan diet hit its stride, and I expect no less for this equally appealing collection. In classic Hannah-style, every recipe is coupled with a full color photo and the book is arranged in a very specific fashion. So I have no reason to doubt that when Hannah places a recipe in the “Spring” chapter, then spring is when it should be made.
Last week, as I turned through (and drooled on) the pages of Vegan Desserts, I quickly narrowed my spring choices down to a few “must-try” recipes. From there, the decision was easy, since I had everything on hand for the Coco-nut Macaroons!
I followed Hannah’s ingredients closely, only making two substitutions and one addition. However, I kind of went off on my own with the process, style, and baking of these wonderfully tender gems. So while the recipe and concept is essentially hers, I rewrote the directions from scratch to stay true to the recipe that came from my kitchen.
Whether you try my version, or get a copy of Vegan Desserts to give the original recipe a go, I think you will agree that these chewy macaroons are just sweet enough, and perfect with afternoon tea or coffee …
Choc-oco-nut Thumbprint Macaroons
Recipe adapted from Vegan Desserts: Sumptuous Sweets for Every Season (spring section) by Hannah Kaminsky. Reprinted with permissions.
If you need a nut-free option, and seeds are okay, feel free to sub SunButter for the peanut butter. That stuff is pretty darn awesome. This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, and optionally Nut-Free.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line a couple of baking sheets with silicon mats (my choice) or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, blend the peanut butter, milk alternative, maple, sugar, vanlla, and salt until nice and smooth. Mix in the potato starch until smooth. Stir in the coconut by hand. It will get pretty darn thick.
Now, I used about a tablespoon and a half of dough per cookie by pressing the dough into a tablespoon measuring spoon in a billowing, rounded style …
As an alternative, you can roll the dough into ping-pong sized balls. Place the cookie dough scoops or balls on the prepared baking sheets, and using either the back of the measuring spoon (may want to lightly spray it with oil) or your thumb, press a well in the center of each cookie.
Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes (I bake one sheet at a time and rotate them, or simply bake one batch and freeze the rest). Remove from the oven and place about 6 chocolate chips in each well. If the wells have filled in, just give them another gentle push down.
Bake for another 2 to 6 minutes. Mine needed more time, but Hannah’s sounded as if they finished more quickly. Remove from the oven and swirl in a wee dollop of peanut butter with the chocolate chips (they should now be melted and swirlable (new word, per me)).
Let those cookies cool for at least 5 or 10 minutes before attacking.
Makes about 40 cookies
Article, recipe adaptation, and photos by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org, blogger at Alisa Cooks, and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.