Walnut Macaroons

I think of coconut macaroons as an adult cookie.  In my opinion they don’t possess the sophistication of a French macaron, but coconut really adds some maturity to a cookie.  As a child I disliked coconut, along with nearly everything else.  The chewiness did not agree with me, and the tropical sweetness wasn’t appealing to my young and ignorant palate.  I remember once while on vacation in the Bahamas my mother bought me a young coconut cracked open with a long straw sticking straight out at me.  “It’s refreshing coconut water”, said the vendor.  I tried it, and “no, I don’t like it” burst from my lips.  “You better drink it” replied my mom, but I just couldn’t.  It tasted like dirty water, and was far from refreshing.  Refreshing was a cold Sprite with no ice, or sweet iced tea; this coconut water was just plain nasty!
From that one experience, I made up my mind that I hated coconut, in every form.

Age brings maturity.  I now delight in coconut water, but only when it is flavored, otherwise it does taste like dirty water. I love shredded coconut, I can eat it by the handfuls.  The only coconut product I didn’t shy away from is coconut milk, and now I’ve got an even greater appreciation for it.  Oh, and coconut oil!
So you see, if I had been handed a coconut macaroon as a child I would have gagged, and this is perhaps the reason I see this flavor packed and aromatic cookie as an adult pleasure.

I found the recipe for these Walnut Macaroons in The Artful Vegan cookbook.  The book is the second cookbook from San Francisco’s famed Millennium Restaurant.  I have read it front to back, back to front multiple times, and each time something new pops out.  This book is truly addictive!
On my second or third read, I found pastry chef Amy Pearce’s recipe for Walnut Macaroons.  I won’t go into how I used to hate walnuts, and, well, all nuts, as a child; but I will say it’s good to be a grown up open to almost all of the earth’s delicious non-meat offerings.  Walnuts give these healthy vegan macaroons substance and bite, while shredded coconut lends its delicate flavor and chew.  I love the tiny specks of sweet potato, and the brown sugary bottoms. The recipe calls for rice flour to hold them together, but I used arrowroot powder.  The arrowroot worked well, but my batter was very watery, perhaps because of the substitution.

My roommate loved these, and said they’re like Girl Scout cookies…she meant it in a great way : )
When you make these macaroons you’re in for a serious treat.  Equal parts crispy, crunchy, and chewy, these have got to be some of the most satisfying cookies I’ve ever made.

Walnut Macaroons
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
From the Millennium Restaurant cookbook, The Artful Vegan. Yes, they call for sweet potato, and no that isn't my special addition, they really use it at Millennium. My additions are in {}. Also, perhaps it's because I used arrowroot for rice flour, but I didn't need to use the whole ¼ cup of boiling water.  Pour in slowly as to not add too much. As you can see, mine are not flat, but apparently Millennium's are.
Serves: 12
  • (from the Millennium Restaurant cookbook, The Artful Vegan. Makes 12 little cookies
  • 2 tbsp peeled and shredded sweet potato
  • ½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup sucanat, or raw cane sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp rice flour, {or arrowroot flour}
  • ⅛ tsp egg replacer
  • ⅛ tsp dark molasses
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, {or aluminum foil shiny side down.}
  2. Place the sweet potato, coconut, nuts, sucanat, salt, rice flour {or arrowroot}, and egg replacer in a bowl.  Using your hands {or a fork}, toss well, making sure the potato does not lump up.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In the well, place the molasses, vanilla, and coconut oil.  Slowly add the boiling water to dissolve the molasses and soften the coconut oil.  Still using your hands, mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Using a spoon, drop about 2 tablespoons {I did 1 tablespoon} of the batter onto the baking sheet for each macaroon. Lightly press them down with the palm of your hand to flatten.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown. Let cool on the baking sheet, and then serve.  Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
This cookbook offers the nutritional information for all of their recipes!
PER COOKIE: 76 Calories (55% from fat), 1.6 g protein, 7.4 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 0 mg cholestoral, 1 mg sodium, 0.8 g fiber.
And download one of my delicious, healthy, and nourishing vegan meal plans with recipes for free!
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03010919115341203405 Natalie @ Perrys’ Plate

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. What a beautiful and multi-talented woman you are! Best of luck to you in your many endeavors. :)

  • http://www.thesweetsensations.com/ Sandra

    Wow a macaroon with sweet potatoes, that’s preyy cool.

  • http://comowater.com/ Tiffany

    These look great! Crunchy, chewy, and sweet –> the perfect combination! (And I LOVE coconut water! Especially after a hard workout!!!) :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12789862971326167986 Natalie

    wow i am in AWE of this recipe! it looks soo amazing, and it’s so original/creative! i LOVE millennium – one of my favorite restaurants for sure. my parents just took me there in december for my birthday dinner – sooo good! i need to pick up that cookbook! sounds like you really recommend it!

  • http://dreamsofcakes.wordpress.com/ dreamsofcakes

    Interesting recipe. I think I will give it try. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04498026844891171126 Steph

    What a great story! I think coconut water taste funky too! These cookies have my name all over them though!!

  • http://beyondthepeel.blogspot.com/ France@beyondthepeel

    I love that these macaroons have sweet potato in them. Genius. They look outstanding even if your batter was a little runny.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08402921195094964887 Andrea

    These look amazing! I actually love even unflavored coconut water, but maybe that’s because I’m always craving electrolytes or something. I just tried coconut oil for the first time recently, and it was great, you’re right. I’m glad you’re an adventurous eater now and can share your adventures with us!

  • http://www.getrealchris.blogspot.com/ chris@getrealchris

    These look great. I love the use of coconut oil and sucanat.I would love to try this using real egg (I’m guessing just the white?) instead of egg replacer.

  • http://whatsonmyplate.net/ Tonya – What’s On My Plate

    These sound fab! I’m a HUGE fan of coconut everything. I recently discovered the So Delicious Coconut Milk (think soy milk but coconut) and LOVE LOVE that stuff. Also I’ve been using coconut oil all over my hair and skin. These macaroons are on my to try list.

  • http://www.medifasthealth.org/ Medifast Diet

    A great change up using walnuts instead of coconut. I love coconut so really not an issue when it comes to macaroons, but these sure look nice. And the rich flavor of the walnut will be lovely.
    Thanks for your recipe to try.

  • http://www.veggienumnum.com/ Trudy ~ veggie num num

    Mmm loving all the ingredients here, a tasty combination, especially with the sweet potato, coconut and walnuts, YUM!

  • http://www.pergolakaffee.com/romanticdinner.aspx Romantic Dinner Bruges

    Lovely and colorful its recipe …i like that its my lovely recipe. Great idea and really very nice its post