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North Hills Monthly

Almond Joy Macaroons

Nov 30, 2015 06:16PM ● By Alexa Peduzzi
My name is Alexa Peduzzi, and I’m a 20-something Pittsburgher who runs, a food blog dedicated to classic recipes made healthy. Whole foods are my passion, as I believe that I simply operate better when I am fueling my body with natural foods that come straight from the source—the earth! While I am not a nutritionist or doctor, it doesn't take a licensed, registered dietitian to be able to feel the powerful difference that whole foods can make in one's diet.

Ahh, the holidays. There really isn’t anything quite like them. Between the family get-togethers, the cozy outfits, and the fuzzy blankets, it’s a little difficult for me to pinpoint my absolute favorite part about this most wonderful time of the year.

However, me being a food blogger and all, I’d be completely lying if I didn’t admit that the food almost always takes precedence. Can you blame me? Between the ridiculously addictive comfort food and the holiday-themed sweets, there isn’t a better time of the year for food.

I tend to gravitate toward the dessert table as soon as Thanksgiving is over; I don’t have too many desserts throughout the year, so, for me, Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to indulge and delight in my favorite sweet treats. There are so many goodies to choose from this time of year, but I always gravitate toward the coconutty, chocolate-dipped mounds of joy, otherwise known as macaroons.

Oh, macaroons. I love these simple cookies. They make the best use of one of my favorite ingredients (coconut) and, when executed correctly, are ridiculously soft and chewy. I know the chocolate-dipped varieties always tempt me at the dessert table right outside Penn Mac in the Strip.

When I started to turn my diet in a whole foods direction, I thought it was the end of the road for my beloved coconut macaroons. However, after enlisting some of my favorite healthy ingredients, I soon discovered that making healthier macaroons that are just as addictive as the original can be a reality this holiday season!

My Almond Joy Macaroons are perfect for your holiday cookie table. Not only are they gluten-free, vegan, and totally refined sugar-free, they are also serious crowd-pleasers, no-bake, and so perfectly delicious! How could you argue with that?

These simple Almond Joy Macaroons start off with some coconut oil and almond butter. By using these two healthy fats, our end result will be ultra-rich and addictive.  They also are the base of that classic Almond Joy flavor we all know and love. We’ll be using pure maple syrup as our refined sugar-free sweetener, and its stickiness is crucial to the integrity of your final macaroon.

We’ll definitely need some unsweetened shredded coconut in the mix. I love buying the unsweetened shredded variety from Bob’s Red Mill because it’s always fresh and readily available at most mega-marts. Coconut flour gives stability to the cookies and also reinforces that perfect coconut flavor! I find mine at Trader Joe’s for cheap!

For the chocolate, you may certainly melt chocolate chips and call it a day; however, if you want your treats to be truly refined sugar-free, try out my nifty three-ingredient homemade chocolate sauce. You’ll just need some coconut oil, maple syrup, and cocoa powder to give you a perfectly smooth chocolaty creation.

I hope that you all have a wonderfully magical holiday season! I know I will, because mine will be full of these delicious little Almond Joy Macaroons!

Almond Joy Macaroons

Yield: 4 macaroons


1 and ½ Tbsp. coconut oil, divided

2 Tbsp. natural, drippy almond butter

1 and ½ Tbsp. pure maple syrup, divided

splash pure vanilla extract

4 Tbsp. unsweetened, shredded coconut

1 Tbsp. coconut flour

2 Tbsp. sifted cocoa powder



Make the Almond Joy Macaroons: Melt ½ Tbsp. coconut oil in a small bowl. Add almond butter, 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and mix until combined. Add shredded coconut and coconut flour and mix until combined.

Using a tablespoon measure, measure out four macaroons and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Place macaroons in the fridge to set for one hour.

Make the chocolate dip: When the macaroons are set, melt remaining 1 Tbsp. coconut oil in a small bowl. Add cocoa powder, a splash of vanilla extract, and remaining ½ Tbsp. maple syrup, and mix until combined.

Dip Almond Joy Macaroons into the chocolate. Allow excess to drip off, then place back on parchment paper. Place in the fridge for the chocolate to set. Once set, remove macaroons from the fridge and dip again. Store macaroons in the fridge. Recipe is easily doubled, tripled, etc.!