Homemade Mounds Bars and Almond Joy Bars

Homemade Mounds Bars and Almond Joy Bars @ Common Sense Homesteading

I used to enjoy mounds and almond joy bars years ago, but either they’re making them sweeter and more bland, or my taste buds have changed (or both).  Enter this easy recipe set for homemade mounds bars and almond joy bars.  You get the rich, full taste of coconut and chocolate, without the cloying sweetness of commercial candy.  Make them with coconut and vanilla extracts for homemade mounds bars, or almond and vanilla extracts (and almonds! :-) ) for homemade almond joy bars.  There’s plenty of healthy coconut oil, and they’re sweetened only with honey. [Read more...]

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Review

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Review@ Common Sense Homesteading

I’ve heard friends raving about Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil for a while now.  When I saw in their newsletter that they are happy to host reviews and giveaways for bloggers, I decided to send them an email.  A couple days later and my sample arrived, and now I get to share with you this Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil review and giveaway. [Read more...]

Coconut Macaroons – Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Delicious!

coconut macaroons
Coconut Macaroons Sweetened with Maple Syrup

Healthier Holiday Treats :-)

Ever end up with leftover egg whites and need a good recipe for them?  Looking for a sweet treat that’s gluten free and refined sugar free?  Here’s one that my family enjoys and I hope you will, too.  It’s sweetened with maple syrup and thickened with arrowroot, and produces a light, crunchy cookie.  These take quite a while to bake, so keep that in mind before you start mixing.

Coconut Macaroons Sweetened with Maple Syrup Recipe

Adapted from the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Ingredients

4 egg whites
pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup maple syrup (grade B is great if you have it)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups commerical dried unsweetened coconut meat, finely cut

Directions

Line a baking sheet with butter parchment paper or reusable parchment paper. I prefer to use air bake pans for delicate cookies like this to avoid overbrowning or burning.

Beat egg whites with salt in a clean bowl until they form stiff peaks.   Don’t overmix or they will break and get runny.

stiff peak egg whites

Beat in the arrowroot and slowly beat in syrup and vanilla. Mixture will be smooth and glossy.

macaroon mixing 1

Gently fold in coconut. Remember, fold, don’t mix – you want to keep the egg whites nice and fluffy.

macaroon mixing 2

Drop by spoonfuls on parchment paper.  I trimmed my parchment paper to fit my standard cookie sheets, so I put some extra pieces on the edge.  This recipe will fill two pans.

pan of macaroons

Bake at 300 degrees for about 1/2 hour or until lightly browned.  Reduce oven to 200 degrees and bake another hour or so until macaroons are completely dry and crisp.  If you happen to have started baking too late at night and turn off the oven prematurely, hoping that the warm oven will be enough to finish the baking, and your cookies are tacky in the morning, you can pop them in the dehydrator to get them nice and crispy.

Let cool completely before removing from parchment paper.  Store in an airtight container.  (I like to use wide mouth mason jars.)

Do you have recipes for holiday treats that use less sugar or no refined sugar?  What about treats that are gluten free?  I’m looking for my recipes to add to my family’s baking traditions, so I’d love to hear your ideas.