My first foray into Passover baking came during my second year of law school.  My wonderful Seder hosts asked me to bring a dessert.  Knowing the somewhat crippling restraints on Passover baking (and there are really only so many flourless chocolate tortes one can choke down in one lifetime), they were kind enough to suggest that a few cans of Manischewitz macaroons would be fine – “so long as they are plain or chocolate flavor and not something gross like tutti-frutti.”  I wasn’t really interested in bringing macaroons from a can, so I embarked on what proved to be a horrifyingly fraught adventure in Learning How to Make Sponge Cakes the Hard Way.  The next time I feel like making that particular Passover sponge cake again, I’ll show you and I’ll detail the ways around my prior missteps.  It may be shortly after I cure cancer, so don’t hold your breath.

Tutti-frutti grossness notwithstanding, macaroons are a mainstay of Passover dessertdom.  There are two families of macaroons – coconut and almond.  If you aren’t particularly rigid in your definitions of chometz, my Mandelhoernchen could also work (the powdered sugar in the almond paste will pose a problem for many, as it contains cornstarch).  This year, I decided to try my hand at simple, straight-up, no frills coconut macaroons.  Ideally, they should be little orbs of golden coconut; crisped exteriors with chewy, creamy centers.  Some people extrude them from a star-tipped pastry bag, but I prefer to shape them by hand.

I’m somewhat sorry to say I didn’t get around to making these until the very tail end of Passover, and ended up finishing them after it was over.  I won’t make the same mistake next year.  Though not as addictive as matzoh toffee, they are profoundly good when you want something simple and tooth-achingly sweet.