Jake Cohen makes Coconut Macaroon Brownies

Super-rich, fudgy brownies meet chewy, sweet macaroons in this gorgeous mash-up of two crowd-pleasing desserts.

Video Transcript


JAKE COHEN: Hi, I'm Jake Cohen and I'm here today to show you my recipe for coconut macaroon brownies. It's from my new cookbook "Jew-ish" and it's going to be, like, your new favorite Passover dessert. Fudgy layer of brownie all set with coconut flour and then topped with a chewy, airy coconut macaroon layer. Nothing like those canned ones that you would typically find at your Seder. This recipe's kosher for Passover, gluten free. You're going to be making it all year round. It's so delicious. I'm going to show you how to make it.


So to get started with our brownie batter we're going to make a really rich, decadent ganache. Ganache, mixture of chocolate and fat. Today we're going to be using 70% dark chocolate. And for our fat we're going to be using two sticks, or one cup, of unsalted butter. So I'm just going to combine the two. Boop. So I'm going to pop this on my double boiler. I'll show you exactly what it looks like in the sense of, like, what we're looking for. Just melted.

We're going to be baking this today in a 9 by 13 baking dish. The main thing is we want to line it with parchment paper, just to make sure nothing sticks, it'll all come out, like, totally clean. This is, like, the easiest trick when you're making it. You just take off your sheet of parchment and crumble it into a ball. Then when you unravel it it's super easy to just crush in.

So while our chocolate and butter melt, we're going to get going on the rest of the batter. Really simple. So first up, we have sugars. I'm doing mostly white sugar with a bit of brown sugar. To our sugars we're going to throw in four eggs. This is, like, the magic number for me of just, like, what it takes to bind the brownie together, have it be nice and fudgy and dense, but not taste eggy.

Then for our flavorings. The flavorings are so important and there's, like, a method to my madness. But I have 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. We're using dark chocolate. Then we have some instant espresso and kosher salt. The Instant espresso, it's chocolate's best friend. Slight bitterness but just real, deep flavor. So I'm going to add that in. I add a full tablespoon of vanilla. Whenever I'm making a dessert that's, like, chocolate heavy, I'm adding in a ton of vanilla. So I'm just going to whisk this up until it's nice and smooth. So you don't need to go crazy with the whisking. We just want everything to come together. I want to incorporate a little bit of air. I want this nice and fudgy and dense but a little bit of air just really helps the whole mixture bake evenly.


So we still have a few little chunks of butter. All you want to do is make sure that every little piece is melted. And once that happens, you are good to go. Looking at our chocolate it is nice and melted, incorporated. You have melted butter, melted chocolate. It's all combined and super luscious. It should be glossy. Honestly, it should look like you want to, like, rub it all over your face. But don't do that. We're saving them for the brownies. So I'm going to just pour this in to the mixture. The key part is adding a little, whisk it up. You don't want to scramble your eggs. Always temper them, add them slowly, incorporate just to make sure it's not a little shock. I'm just going to scrape out the rest. Don't waste any chocolate.

Now I really want to give it a good whisk. It's going to thicken up because the heat from this ganache is going to start to really, like, get the eggs nice and custardy and that's the real texture you're looking for. And now that it's nice and incorporated we're going to lose the whisk and switch to a rubber spatula. We're using a cup of coconut flour to this recipe. The reason being that it is a beautiful, gluten-free alternative that also happens to just be exactly what we're adding on top. We're using the shredded coconut for the macaroon layer, so I thought it would just be really nice to have the two work together.

So I'm going to just add this in. And I just fold it together. You don't want to overwork it. You just don't want it to get gluey. You just want to make sure that there are no streaks. Beautiful. This looks great. Chocolate. We've added in dark chocolate for our ganache. We added in cocoa powder. But we're not done yet. Milk chocolate chips. I started adding in milk chocolate chips because once the brownies set it adds a little bit of texture and a little crunch from the chip.

I'm just going to fold them in very gently. And we're done. You could totally use, like-- say you wanted to play with white chocolate chips. Or let's say you don't like milk chocolate and you wanted this just even more intense do dark chocolate chips. So we're just going to pour the batter right into our parchment-lined 9 by 13 dish. And then we're going to get this into the fridge.

While our brownie layer chills we're going to make the macaroon layer. I'm preheating my oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, as soon as it's all assembled, we can pop it in and bake them. We're going to need four egg whites. We're going to separate the whites from the yolks here. It's very easy, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. I'm going to break the white right into the bowl of my stand mixer and then I'm just going to rotate it back and forth to catch the yolk. Then I'll pop it into a little side bowl. We don't want to waste anything. We are no ways kitchen.

An important thing is you really can't get any yolk into your mixture. Egg yolks have fat. Fat is the enemy of meringue. You will not be able to get it nice, fluffy meringue if there's any fat in it. I'm going to throw the whisk attachment on and we're just going to get this motion going. I want to get the egg whites nice and frothy, get some bubbles working. Every time you make meringue it's going to be a little bit different because of the fact that it's so dependent on the weather, the humidity, where you are in the country. So many factors. So visual cues are your best friends.

So as you can see it's nice and bubbly, foamy. You're not getting a meringue yet but this is exactly when we're going to start streaming in our sugar. For the fluffiest meringue, add your sugar gradually. I'm going to throw in some vanilla extract and, again, kosher salt. Sweet, salty, need that balance. Throw them in while we're mixing and then we'll just let this go and go and go until it's nice and fluffy.

All right, I think we're there. Let's give it a good old look. Beautiful. You should be able to pull up your little whisk. It should hold its peaks. That's how you know we have a really nice meringue and it's time to add in the coconut. Going to do this on low. Just want to incorporate that coconut. Don't want to make a mess. You don't want to overwork it because you'll deflate that meringue just so hard to make. Just grab a rubber spatula and continue to hold it in by hand. Want it just nice and combined.

So the brownie batter has been in the fridge for an hour. It's nice and firm. Let's get this beautiful macaroon layer on top. So, so gorgeous. The stunning contrast of, like, the dark brown batter and the white macaroon later. Stunning. And we're done. We're ready to bake.

So we're going to pop this into our preheated oven for 30 minutes, just enough time to get the top layer nice and golden and the brownie layer set.


Oh. Look how gorgeous. Now that they have cooled a bit I'm going to pop them onto a cutting board and let's see how we did. That's why we line with the parchment. Comes out so beautifully. Transfers over. Let's take a little peek at the corner piece. Oh my God.

It's so easy. So, so easy. Brownie part's easy, macaroon part is easy. This is, like, visually stunning, delicious. What better Passover dessert can you think of? As a kid I adored the canned coconut macaroons. And, like, I love them more than anyone should love anything coming out of a can. This recipe is like that perfect nod to that memory while still bringing it into like 2021. Last but at least, let's see how we did.


This is it. This is the Passover dessert of the year. You get that beautiful richness from the dark chocolate. I got a little bite of the milk chocolate chip which added that beautiful creaminess. The macaroon layer is chewy. The floral sweetness from the vanilla mixed with the coconut. And the whole thing is gluten free. I-- like, this is it. This is the sweetness that you need on your Seder dessert table.

However, you choose to celebrate, I hope you bake them until. You could drop them off for your friends and family. They also ship beautifully. However you choose, have a great Passover I'll see you next time.