Mt. Hood Macaroons

It’s an impressive sight to view Mt. Hood from sea level when it emerges from behind the clouds in all its glory.

Yet, when I was living in Oregon, a fond memory was viewing Mt. Hood from a plane on a clear, moonlit night while on a westward descent into Portland International Airport.  There was something magical about seeing this volcanic peak, under these perfect conditions, totally bathed in moonlight as we went soaring by at eye level.

When I was looking for a cookie recipe a number of years ago on I had this image of this snowcapped volcanic sentinel in mind. Not the popular smooth French-style macaron that come in a gorgeous rainbow of colors, but the wonderfully traditional American coconut macaroon version.

Here’s my modified macaroon recipe, with a Northwest “volcanic” twist. 😊

Portland Oregon skyline with Mt. Hood in the background. Wikipedia Photos


  • 3 egg whites, separated and at room temperature
  • 14 ounces organic and unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. of your favorite dipping chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet or use parchment paper.
  1. Beat together the egg whites in a small bowl until it forms soft peaks- no pun intended!
  1. Add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Continue to beat until glossy.
  1. Add the salt and vanilla extract to the coconut and mix well.
  1. Fold the coconut into the meringue.
  1. Drop mixture by the teaspoonful onto the prepared sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Pinche the top of the mounds to shape them into a volcanic peak.
  1. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes.

Now comes the fun part. While the cookies are baking, melt your chocolate of choice in the microwave in 10-15 second increments. Be sure to stir between each heating until the chocolate is velvety smooth.

I chose to use E. Guittard’s L’Etoile du Nord” 64% Blended Dark Chocolate Wafers. I absolutely love the taste of Guittard’s “North Star,” which was apparent as I ate about as many wafers (discs) as I melted for the recipe! This chocolate is not too sweet, yet has warm, rich chocolate and spice notes which lend itself beautifully to baked desserts and confections. Here’s my favorite place to purchase chocolate online.

Dip each cookie, after they have completely cooled, into the melted chocolate while holding the tip of the “peak”. BE sure to get a firm grip. True, there may be a few “casualties” until you get the hang of it. Yet I believe the crunchy chocolate covered edges of “mountain base” makes this technique well worth the extra effort.

My first batch was dipped in pure melted chocolate. In the second batch I added one to two teaspoon of canola oil to make it the melted chocolate less viscous. The latter batch revealed the “terrain” of the slopes better and the individual cookies were easier to lift off the dish after they cooled in the fridge.

Maybe this will inspire you to create some of these macaroon mountain morsels for yourself. Or at least go out and buy some already made ready to be dipped into the chocolate of your choosing. Either way, have a “peak” experience and enjoy your choco-creations!

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