Raw macaroons, sometimes known as no-bake macaroons, are unbaked cookies that are typically made with a base of shredded coconut that has been mixed with some type of sweetener and fat. In some recipes, nut flours, such as almond, are also used. While macaroons are typically made with egg whites, raw macaroons do not include this ingredient. Instead, they are made with some type of fat and typically liquid sweeteners, such as agave nectar or maple syrup, and then refrigerated or dehydrated for firmness. Other flavorings may be added during preparation.
People may choose to prepare and eat raw macaroons for a variety of reasons. Many people are interested in and have a preference for raw foods, as they believe them to be more natural and more nutritious. For these people, finding raw baked goods can be a challenge. As the ingredients in raw macaroons lend themselves well to raw preparation, recipes for many variations on this cookie can be found in cookbooks and other resources for those adhering to raw food diets. On a more practical level, many people also very much appreciate recipes for cookies that do not require baking in a hot oven, particularly during the summertime.
Shredded coconut is frequently the primary ingredient in raw macaroons. Coconut does not require cooking to be edible and has a pleasing, hearty texture that works well in cookies. It is also naturally sweet, reducing the need for additional sweeteners. One criticism that has been made of many recipes for raw macaroons is that they frequently include maple syrup, which is technically not a raw food. Those who prefer to not include the maple syrup can experiment with other liquid sweeteners or even add pureed fruit to their raw macaroons.
The fat often recommended for raw coconut macaroons is either coconut oil or coconut butter. Coconut oil is a rich, saturated fat that becomes solid at temperatures less than 76° Fahrenheit (25° Celsius). Coconut butter is coconut meat that has been processed into a thick, creamy spread. Either one may be used to make the raw macaroons. Refrigerator-style macaroons may be prepared with no other ingredients, while those that are prepared in a food dehydrator might also contain nut flour. Additional variations include the addition of other ingredients such as cinnamon, cocoa powder, or vanilla extract. Another option is to add chopped nuts or to dip the finished cookies in melted chocolate.