Coconut Macaroons and Live Chat With Gluten-free Expert Ricki Heller
Ricki and I had so much fun last night chatting with you and making one of my favorite recipes of hers live on air. Her new cookbook, Naturally Sweet and Gluten-free, is stunning and a total game changer for allergy aware cookbooks. Ricki Heller is an expert when it comes to sweet treats made allergen-free AND sugar-free! She answers your questions and talks about the special ingredients you’ll find in her book during our chat! Take a look!
The 5 star reviews are pouring in on Amazon for Ricki’s new book! For those who have suffered allergies or dealt with candida Ricki’s blog, previously known as Diet, Desserts, and Dogs, has been a savior for people vegan or not. And for someone like me who isn’t gluten-intolerant I love her recipes because I prefer to not eat refined sugar and eating baked treats without gluten make me feel better. And they don’t feel so naughty!!
I hope you will enjoy this recipe we made together. I was really happy with how they turned out! I used brown rice syrup in place of the coconut nectar and they were just sweet enough for me. As Ricki says in the video if you use the finely shredded coconut you’ll need to add more sweetener or reduce the coconut by about 1/3 cup. She used the medium strips of dried coconut rather than the shredded that I used for this recipe so adjust as needed. The “dough” should stick together well when pinch between your fingers. If it’s not sticking together add a bit more agave.
Printed with permission from Sellers Publishing
One of the most requested cookies when I had my bakery, Bake It Healthy, these sweet treats combine both ground almonds and coconut for an ultra chewy base. Tahini is a terrific source of calcium, yet the flavor isn’t prominent here.
3/4 cup (135 g) natural raw almonds, with skin
2 Tbsp (15 g) finely ground flax seeds
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
2 cups (135 g) shredded unsweetened coconut (medium shred)
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut nectar (I used brown rice syrup)
1/4 cup (60 ml) light agave nectar
20-25 drops plain or vanilla liquid stevia, to your taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini (sesame paste)
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) coconut extract (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
In the bowl of a food processor, whirl the almonds, flax and salt together until they resemble a coarse meal, about the texture of cornmeal. The mixture should be very finely ground, without any identifiable pieces of almond visible. Add the coconut and pulse once or twice to combine.
Pour the coconut nectar, agave nectar, stevia, tahini, vanilla and coconut extract over the dry ingredients. Process again until everything is incorporated and the mixture forms a sticky ball (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl once or twice). Stop as soon as the mixture holds together to avoid grinding the coconut too fine.
Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon (15 ml), drop small mounds of the mixture onto the cookie sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Wet your palms (or use a silicon spatula) and flatten the cookies slightly.
Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets about halfway through, until the cookies are deep golden brown on top. Cool completely before removing to a cooling rack (the cookies will firm up as they cool).
Makes 14-16 cookies. May be frozen.