These coconut macaroons remind me of the snow I haven’t been seeing in LA! Not complaining. If I’m seeing snow, I better be strapped to a snowboard.

Trade refined sugar for a more natural sweetener, dates, which also helps maintain the moisture and chewiness essential to cookies! You’ll actually cut total sugar by about 75% since standard macaroon recipes use both sweetened condensed milk, sweetened coconut and additional table sugar!

5 pitted dates
14oz coconut milk (not low fat version)
½ 8oz bag Let’s Do Organic Unsweetened Reduced Fat Coconut (both sold at Whole Foods!)
8oz bag Let’s Do Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
2 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Paste
¼ cup dark chocolate, finely chopped – 72% (or higher) cocoa content
½ cup pecans, finely chopped

Heat oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Add coconut milk and dates to medium saucepan with heat on medium. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 minutes uncovered to soften dates and reduce water in coconut milk. Turn off heat. Puree softened dates using hand blender. Add both reduced fat and regular shredded coconut and set aside to let coconut hydrate and soften.

In separate medium bowl, whisk egg whites, salt and vanilla for 2-3 minutes or until frothy. Thoroughly mix in coconut milk/date/coconut mixture. Gently fold in chopped dark chocolate and pecans.

Using a teaspoon and fingers, form macaroons into 1 1/2-inch mounds about 1 inch apart. Bake until macaroons are golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.