cacao nib, coconut macaroons (gluten +dairy free) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

something i've learned in the world of making coconut macaroons, it could possibly even be a rule: use coconut chips and not shredded coconut, especially if you're making egg-white based macaroons!  last year i made 3 variations of macaroons to take to my parents house for passover.  they were kind of meh, except for the chocolate-chocolate ones - those were bomb.  this year, i'm bringing over just these because they're super, and sweet and everything that i've ever wanted out of a macaroon - sweet, crunchy, toasty with a bit of chew in the center.  i found with this recipe the coconut chips provide a significant amount of structure and texture, where as last year's shredded coconut sadly didn't.  i thought about going the chocolate route - dunking, drizzling, chocolate chips - but i thought the cacao nibs would add a subtle chocolate-y-ness, without being too sweet (as these macaroons are a bit on the sweet side for me).  make them for passover, make them for easter, or make them just to eat and enjoy :)

*today is the last day to vote for your favorite food blog over at Saveur's Best Food Blog Awards, and if you haven't already, you can still vote for dolly and oatmeal, as well as many other blogs!  

cacao nib, coconut macaroons (gluten + dairy free)

| makes 24 macaroons |

macaroons are inherently versatile, feel free to add what you like, whether it's chocolate, jam, fruit or nuts. also, i halved the recipe here and also made the macaroons smaller than the original recipe - feel free to make them larger but just adjust the cook time if you do. 

recipe from Food 52: Alice Mendrich's New Classic Coconut Macaroons


  • 2 large free-range egg whites
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut chips
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • scant 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs


  • in a large heat proof bowl, combine all ingredients except the cacao nibs.  set the bowl directly onto a skillet with barely simmering water - if the bowl is buoyant then pour some water out, you want the bowl to touch the skillet.  stir macaroon mix with a spatula every few seconds to prevent the bottom from getting burned - 5-7 minutes, until the egg whites look thick and frothy, and the mixture is hot to the touch.  set aside for roughly 30 minutes to let the coconut absorb the liquid
  • preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment.  once the mixture has cooled, add the cacao nibs and stir to combine.  using a spoon, scoop about 1/2 tablespoon - 1 tablespoon worth of mix.  using your fingers, turn the mix clockwise until you get the shape you like (you could also just plop mounds too, but i thought this gave them a more defined shape).  gently slide the macaroons off the spoon onto the parchment keeping about 2-inches between each cookie
  • transfer macaroons to the oven (my oven is a bit funky, so i baked each sheet of cookies separately, but feel free to bake them together - just make sure they cook and brown evenly), bake for 5 minutes. turn oven temp down to 325° and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the macaroons are golden brown, rotating halfway through for even baking.  if your macaroons are browning too quickly, lower temp to 300°
  • let cookies cool on a cooling rack.  these are best eaten the day they are baked, but can be stored in an airtight container, at room temp for up to 3 days


valentine cakes w/ blood orange cream filling ❤ by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

for some reason valentine's day takes me back to the 80s, when i would wear scrunchy socks, neon colored clothing, acid-wash legging-jeans, and my favorite outfit was a shirt and matching skirt with big, red sponge-painted hearts.  i had pink rimmed glasses and almost everyday i wore a super side-swept ponytail.  i LOVED valentines' day because i knew i could wear my sponge-painted heart outfit with no shame in my game, but mostly because my school would have a huge bake sale. so, my mom and i would go to the grocery store, buy duncan hines white cake and chocolate cake mixes, white and chocolate frosting and goodies like conversation hearts to decorate.  my favorite part was mixing the red food coloring into the white frosting to make PINK frosting!  like, seriously, what was more thrilling than that? and as this recipe shows, i'm still thrilled by pink frosting even as an adult.  

these cupcakes are filled with a pink, cream cheese-y center, riddled with red pulp.  the chocolate shell is hard compared to the moist and fluffy cake, so when you bite in, it begins with a crack and crunch of the shell.  these are somewhat a play on the snack cakes of my childhood (ones my parents never let me eat!) but with more wholesome ingredients.  i made a similar recipe last year, and if you're looking for another valentine goody i can steer you in the direction of heart-shaped whoopie pies, also from last year!

***also, donations are still being accepted for the Feed South Africa campaign.  please follow the link and donate here

valentine cakes w/ blood orange cream filling

| gluten + dairy free |

makes 20 cupcakes



  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 blood orange, zested



blood orange cream filling

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) tofutti cream cheese 
  • 3-4 tablespoons raw honey 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh squeezed blood orange juice, and some pulp too! (more or less depending on how vibrant you want the color and taste) 

chocolate shell + pink piping

  • 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips (i use Enjoy Life)
  • 2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons almond milk


for the cakes

  • preheat the oven to 350° and grease/line 2 muffin tins
  • in a large bowl, whisk the first 6 ingredients.  in another large bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs until the sugar is dissolved - about 1 minute.  add the vanilla, oil and vinegar and mix to combine. add the hot water while whisking; add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly until combined, add the orange zest and mix once more
  • divide the batter between the tins (i used about 2 1/2 tablespoons worth of batter for each cake).  place in oven and bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating halfway through for even cooking.  remove from oven and let them cool completely

make the blood orange cream

  • in a medium sized bowl, combine the cream cheese, honey, vanilla, and blood orange juice with an electric mixer .  mix until smooth and creamy and taste to adjust sweetness - you may want to add more or less juice as well depending on what shade of pink/red you want
  • using a spatula, pour the filling into a pastry bag, let the filling rest in the refrigerator until you're ready to use

assemble the cakes

  • turn cakes upside down and using the filled pastry bag, fill each one with cream (you will notice that they will get heavier and more plump when they have enough filling, don't squeeze too much in or they will burst) wash pastry bag if you plan on using the same bag for the pink icing
  • melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water until melted and add the coconut oil. place cupcakes rightside up and either dip, or use a spoon to cover top with chocolate shell.  place cupcakes on a tray and refrigerate them until chocolate shell has hardened - about 15 minutes
  • combine the powdered sugar, blood orange juice and almond milk until it forms a malleable pink paste - you want it neither runny nor too stiff.  transfer to the pastry bag and decorate the tops of your cupcakes.  store at room temperature covered with parchment for up to 3 days

enjoy with the ones you love!