June 17, 2024
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We buy them in cans; we make them in our ovens. But why do we eat macaroons on Passover?

The name macaroon comes from the Italian maccarone or maccherone, meaning paste. In the 8th or 9th century, monks in an Italian monastery created them, but when they came to France in the 16th century, pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry II, started to make them. Italian Jews later developed them because they contained no flour or leavening for Passover and introduced them to other European Jews. Recipes appeared in an 18th century English language cookbook. They are typically made from ground almond, coconut, sugar and sometimes flavorings.

Classic Coconut Macaroons

Makes 30

This came from a classic Israeli cook and cookbook author, Ruth Sirkis, now in her 80s.

  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2½ cups coconut

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet with oil and line with oiled wax paper.

2. Place whites in a bowl and whip until they start to hold shape. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, whipping 2 minutes after each addition. Whip 5 minutes more.

3. Add lemon juice and fold in coconut gently.

4. Form mounds on the cookie sheet with a spoon. Bake in preheated 300 degree F. oven 20 minutes. Open oven door and let sit 20 minutes more before removing.

Three Ingredient Macaroons

Makes 24

This recipe, by Henny Shor, a kitchen coach, appeared in the Jerusalem Post, March 24, 2023.

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups ground almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. In a bowl, mix egg yolks and sugar with a spoon or spatula. Add almonds and mix well.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

4. Roll out balls 1½-2 inches in diameter and place on baking sheet. Do not flatten. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely.

Festive Macaroons

Makes 20

This recipe comes from “No Cholesterol Passover Recipes.”

  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 4 mashed ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine coconut, bananas, cocoa and walnuts.

3. Form pyramids on a cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 20 minutes.


Sybil Kaplan is a Jerusalem-based journalist, author and compiler/editor of 9 kosher cookbooks. She is a food writer for North American Jewish publications, and she leads walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English.

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