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chocolate + chai macaroons with chia seeds


I’m really, really happy I made these. A little while ago, I watched this charming little video and knew that I needed some macaroons in my life relatively soon. Inspired and excited, I hit the kitchen in a huge way. A huge, raw and dehydrated kind of way (I’ve included instructions for making them in the oven too). I worked from a favourite recipe of mine, incorporated some chia seeds and almond meal just to boost up the satiety factor and some chai spices to warm me up all cozy. They’re perfectly crisp on the outside and almost fudgy on the inside

I love them with tea or when I want a bit of something chocolatey but! Aside from the maple syrup, none of these ingredients are exactly local. I do love raw desserts. I think they’re amazing little feats of deliciousness, but I get this little guilt thing happening when I start to enjoy them more often. The really good ones depend heavily on exotic, imported ingredients. I guess most locally-focused coffee enthusiasts have to contemplate this issue sooner or later. I’ve gotten so used to their constant availability that to think about life without chocolate, vanilla beans or coffee is well… heavy. Other than discussing the virtues of moderation, I’m not sure what else I can say about this topic… Food for thought I guess. Fudgy, sweet, spicy and chewy food at that.


chocolate chai macaroons with chia seeds
adapted from Raw Food Real World
serves: makes about 30
notes: If you decide to bake them in the oven, they will be more cookie-like and smooth on the outside and less fudgy. Also, if you’re a raw purist, go for agave instead of maple syrup.

3 cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup cocoa powder (I used raw cacao, but any type would be fine)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
tiniest pinch of ground cloves
couple twists of black pepper
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil, lightly warmed to liquify
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F if using an oven.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut, chia seeds, cocoa powder, almond meal, sea salt, spices and water. Stir to combine thoroughly. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract and stir again until fully combined and no dry cocoa powder/almond meal remains.

Cover and place dough/mixture into the fridge for about 15 minutes. The chia seeds do their thing and really bind the mix, making it much easier and less messy to scoop.

For the oven: drop heaped tablespoonfuls of mixture onto a parchment lined sheet. No need to space them out too much. Place them in the oven and bake for about 2 hours or until firm and dry on the outside.

For the dehydrator: drop heaped tablespoonfuls onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees F for 6-8 hours if you want them fudgy and longer if you want some chewiness. Also, I have a really budget dehydrator by Nesco. I just dropped the mix onto its grated layers and went with it. Maybe if you have a high roller type like an Excalibur you need to line the sheets with something? No idea.

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Ashlae29/09/2011 - 6:16 pm

Holy. Yum. These look delicious – and I just so happen to have everything in my kitchen to make them.

Charissa29/09/2011 - 9:30 pm

I love, love, love homemade macaroons…at home, we’re making these a lot! It’s something we all can eat (some of have allergies, or try to avoid sugar, wheat) so it’s perfect!!!

I like the chai twist to it!

anna30/09/2011 - 12:50 am

I love how the coconut taste stays in your mouth, and the chia seeds are a bonus too! Lovely dessert!

Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit30/09/2011 - 7:53 am

I love that you warmed them up by adding cinnamon and ginger. I love ginger and chocolate but have never thought to add the two in my macaroons

Laura30/09/2011 - 11:31 am

My favourite cookie of all time is a gingery chocolate crinkle rolled in cinnamon sugar. Such a perfect combination, especially in the cooler months.

Laura30/09/2011 - 11:32 am

It’s definitely the allergen/sensitivity friendly dessert of choice around here… except for people who don’t like coconut. But those people are crazy anyway ;)

Ashley01/10/2011 - 8:31 pm

Wow, these look amazing and so easy to make. Can’t wait to make them. When r u writing a cookbook?!

Isobelle02/10/2011 - 12:40 am

These look wonderful! I will have to try these out.

Amanda02/10/2011 - 11:14 pm

The spices in these macaroons sound delish! I’m sensing these in my future!

Jo03/10/2011 - 2:33 am

These look great! Just wondering if you would be able to substitute a different kind of oil for the coconut oil, or do you need to have an oil that is solid at room temperature?

Laura03/10/2011 - 8:16 am

In terms of structure and everything, I think any oil would work really. But the extra virgin coconut imparts a lot of rich, coconut-y flavour. Perhaps another nut oil? Or are you allergic to nuts? Extra virgin olive might be neat. I’ve always loved it paired with chocolate…

Cookie and Kate10/10/2011 - 12:15 am

I’m so intrigued by your macaroons! Cardamom, chia seeds, black pepper… I never would have thought to combine the three!

Laura10/10/2011 - 7:51 am

The first batch was waaay too spicy! Went a little crazy with the chai thing and everyone was kind of… wincing when they tried them. Oops. These are a perfectly restrained and balanced version promise!

ana19/11/2011 - 4:11 am

Looks delicious!
One question: I don’t have a dehydrator so I’ll try to do it with my oven….on what temperature should I dry them?

Thanks,
a.

Laura19/11/2011 - 8:26 am

200 degrees Farenheit! They will be more cookie-ish if I remember right.

joanne17/09/2012 - 2:33 am

I’m trying eat healthier sweets, and was wondering if yacon syrup could be substituted for maple syrup?

Laura18/09/2012 - 12:36 pm

Hi Joanne,
I haven’t worked with yacon too much, but I gather it’s the same level of sweetness as maple syrup. I think a 1:1 substitution would work out fine. Might have more of a molasses kind of taste, but that could be quite delicious too :)
-L

[…] (makes about 30 macaroons, adapted from The First Mess) […]

Heather29/04/2014 - 8:14 am

Hi Laura!
First off, I have to say I love your blog! I grew up close to St. Catharine’s (now living in Toronto) and it’s so nice to have a food blogger to follow who lives so close by!
I love these cookies and have made them several times already. I’ve somewhat recently made the switch to a plant based diet and I’m trying to cut out sugar (which has been really hard for me!) so it’s nice to have something easy to make and snack on. But just one question. Do you think I could substitute the maple syrup for rice malt syrup? I know someone asked about yacon but I’m not sure if this would be the same?
Again, thank you so much for the lovely recipes and blog. I can’t get enough of it!
Heather

Laura Wright30/04/2014 - 7:10 pm

Hi Heather! Thanks for your kind words and for connecting with this fellow Ontario-ite. Love it when some somewhat local peeps reach out. And in answer to your question, I’m not even sure! I’ve never used rice malt syrup before. Assuming it’s as sweet and relatively the same consistency as maple, I’d say go for it :)
-L

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