Jake Cohen is a one-of-a-kind Birthright Israel alumnus and
For me, Birthright Israel was my first foray into my love affair with Israeli cuisine. It overlapped perfectly with my 10-day holiday break in culinary school, so I signed up immediately with my sister and best friend.
The result was a culinary experience that was unparalleled to anything I had ever had, even as a native New Yorker. I was introduced to ingredients, spices, and dishes entirely foreign to me. Not only did I become incredibly connected to my Jewish identity and Israel, but it ignited my love for Israeli (and honesty all diaspora) foods. I’m itching to get back as soon as I can!
Jake Cohen’s Coconut-Halva Macaroon Recipe
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes, plus cooling time
- One 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour or matzo meal
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup halva crumbles
- Preheat the oven to 325° and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the coconut, condensed milk, coconut flour, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the cinnamon, cardamom and the egg yolks until smooth.
- In a separate medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt to stiff peaks. Fold into the coconut mixture, followed by the halva.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons mounds of the mixture on the sheet pans, 2-inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven. With a small bowl of water, dip a 3-inch ring cutter in the water, then one at a time, roll around the edges to bring in the melted halva into a tighter mound.
- Return to the oven and continue to bake until golden brown, another 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and repeat rolling with the ring cutter to make a perfectly round macaroons. Let cool completely, the serve.