Moroccan Coconut Macaroons - Coconut Ghriba (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Yes, we also have macaroons in Morocco! Moroccan macaroons are prepared slightly differently but taste just as nice as the ‘regular’ ones. Actually, they taste even better!

In Morocco we use orange blossom water and citrus zest to flavour our macaroons. I choose to make a dairy and gluten free version, because why not make a recipe that can suit more of us?!

The recipe is very straightforward and quick, but if you can, take an extra 15 minutes to decorate your macaroons with anything that makes you happy.  Decoration is always my favourite part, well and taking pictures, and eating, of course! I choose dark chocolate, white chocolate (non dairy free), dried raspberries and lime zest to decorate my macaroons. Now I am thinking dried apricots and chopped almonds would have been great too.

These macaroons look amazing and taste even better than they look. They have a very balanced citrusy, sweet and aromatic taste, but they are also super chewy on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. Enjoy!

MOROCCAN COCONUT MACAROONS - COCONUT GHRIBA (GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE)

INGREDIENTS

Makes about 18 4 cm (1,5 inch) macaroons

  • 250 gr desiccated coconut
  • 130 gr icing sugar
  • 100 gr ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Melted chocolate, dried berries, lime zest for decoration (optional)

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).

• In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients (desiccated coconut, icing sugar, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and lemon zest).

• Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and place the egg whites in a large bowl. 

• In medium size bowl place the egg yolks, orange blossom water and olive oil. Stir with a fork until smooth.

• Use an electric whisk to beat the egg whites until stiff.

• Pour the egg yolks, orange blossom water and olive oil mixture in the dry ingredients mixture bowl and mix well until all the dry ingredients are wet. They won’t be very moist, at this stage your macaroon mixture will look like breadcrumbs. 

• Using a large metal spoon (or your hands), gently and slowly insert the stiffed egg whites into the macaroon mixture.

• Line a baking tray with baking paper.  

• Using your hands shape the macaroons in the desired shape and size. I made small pyramids. 

• Place in the oven and bake for 17 to 20 min, until the macaroons have slightly cracked and are golden. Leave to cool down before removing the macaroons from the baking paper. 

• Decorate with melted chocolate, dried fruits and citrus zest. 

Notes

• When placing the macaroons on the baking tray, don’t forget to leave some space between each macaroon as they will become slightly bigger while baking. 

• Directions to melt chocolate: chop the chocolate. Place the chocolate and a few drops of water in a microwave-safe bowl stopping and stirring at 15 second intervals until smooth and creamy.

• Directions to dip the macaroons in chocolate: using your hands, place each baked macaroon in melted chocolate and place the macaroon on a greaseproof paper lined surface. Leave until the chocolate is firm (30 min). 

• Directions to make chocolate splatters: melt the chocolate and drizzle it on top of the macaroons using a fork.