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Scottish Macaroon Bars

These Scottish macaroon bars are a great traditional treat! A soft, fondant centre covered in dark chocolate and coated with desiccated coconut, with no baking required!

two Scottish macaroons stacked on top of one another

You won’t believe me when I tell you what the main ingredient for this recipe is!

Are you ready…?

It’s mashed potato!

Weird, right?

A lot of the time, Scottish macaroons tend to get confused with Italian macaroons and/or French macarons. But I can assure you that they are 3 very different things- they just have very similar names. So confusing!

I have no idea which Scottish person came up with idea of making candy bars out of potatoes back in the day. But I’m going to go ahead and assume they were a complete genius.

And I’m 99% sure it was a beautiful accident… because the best recipes always are!

The potato makes a perfect texture for the fondant in the centre but the flavour is so subtle that you can’t taste it.

Want More Scottish Dessert Recipes? Try These:

I had originally planned to make these bars in time for Burns Night (which was on the 25th January) to include in a “vegan Scottish desserts” post. But classic me… I didn’t get them done in time.

Obviously though, you can enjoy these babies on any day of the year, not just on Burns Night… LOL. I’ve been snacking on macaroon bars for the last 3 days.

They are seriously addictive!

There are just 4 main ingredients for this recipe: potatoes, icing sugar, chocolate and desiccated coconut. You can also add a little vanilla if you’re feeling fancy!

Easily adaptable

The great thing about macaroon bars is that they’re naturally gluten-free and SO easy to veganise.

By using dark chocolate (or any other kind of dairy-free chocolate), these become completely vegan!

This is great because it’s SO sad to see “milk” listed on the ingredients list of every single pre-packaged macaroon bar in the stores!

I’m also pretty sure they use eggs instead of mashed potato now to enhance the shelf life, so they’re not really the “classic” bars anyway.

macaroon bars piled on a plate

I brought some for my colleagues to taste and they said that the dark chocolate was actually a great contrast to the super sweet centre.

Be warned that this dessert is NOT meant to be eaten in large quantities.

You just can’t- it’s too sweet and rich! And that’s coming from the sugar QUEEN herself!

I did originally shape mine into large bars, but they ended up being way too bulky, so I cut them up into bite-sized pieces after they were completely set.

It works much better this way and saves you from eating too much at once! Plus, they look super cute in smaller portions!

How to make Scottish macaroon bars

Step 1:

First off, you’ll need some white potato (or potatoes, depending on the size of them). I had small potatoes, so I used 2. I weighed them at 140 grams (or 5 ounces) before washing or peeling.

Now give the potatoes a good wash and boil them with the skin on (in unsalted water) until they are soft and tender.

Drain and rinse them and leave them to cool.

Step 2:

Once the potatoes have cooled down, peel them using a potato peeler. You should also be able to just use your fingers if you like because the skin will come off super easily.

Mash the potatoes well until there are little to no lumps left. I used a fork for this step but you can also use a food processor if you want to make sure they’re extra smooth.

Note that my potatoes weren’t COMPLETELY lump free but this didn’t affect the taste or texture of the finished product. Just try to get them as smooth as you possibly can but don’t stress about micro lumps.

Step 3:

Measure out 480 grams (4 cups) of icing/powdered sugar.

Add around ¼ of it into the potato mixture and give it a good stir. At this point, the mixture will become soft and runny.

icing sugar and mashed potato mixed together to make a runny mixture

Step 4:

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (if you’re using it) and mix in well.

Now add the rest of the icing sugar, a quarter at a time and continue to stir. Once all the icing sugar is added, the mixture should’ve gone from runny to super stiff.

stiff fondant mixture in the bowl

Step 5:

Transfer the stiff fondant mixture into a freezer-proof dish lined with baking paper and spread it out evenly as best as you can.

Place in the freezer for 2 hours.

Step 6:

Remove the fondant from the freezer and from the dish, peeling off the baking paper gently.

Cut it into small bite-sized squares or shape bars using your hands. Alternatively, you can shape them into small balls. You should get around 20 bite-sized bars out of the mixture.

Place the bars onto a lined baking tray, spread them out evenly and freeze for another 1 hour.

*Note that the fondant will still be a bit sticky so try to work as quickly as you can.

cutting the frozen fondant mixture into bars
Cut the fondant mixture into bars

Step 7:

In the meantime, measure out 180 grams (2 cups) of unsweetened desiccated coconut.

Place half of it into a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat and stir continuously until it turns golden brown. It’s important that you keep stirring otherwise the coconut will burn.

You can also place it on a lined baking tray and bake it in the oven at 160°C / 320°F. This will take around 12 minutes and you’ll need to stir it a few times in between to keep it evenly brown.

Step 8:

Mix the toasted coconut together with the untoasted coconut and set aside for now.

two types of coconut in a bowl

Step 9:

After the hour is up, melt 250 grams of chocolate (around 9oz). You can do this in the microwave like I did or over the stove top- whatever you prefer.

I like to use a 60% or above dark chocolate (this one is my fave) because I find it’s much easier to work with and lasts longer before it starts setting again. There are so many delicious options out there now!

melted chocolate in a bowl

Step 10:

When the chocolate is melted, remove the bars or balls from the freezer. Dip each one into the chocolate then roll it in the coconut.

This part gets VERY messy so you’ll need to wash your hands in between each one.

dipping the bar into the melted chocolate
rolling the chocolate-dipped bars in the desiccated coconut mix

Step 11:

Place the coated bars onto a cooling rack with a lined baking tray underneath and put them in the fridge for 1-2 hours, or until until the chocolate is completely hard.

2 macaroon bars resting on a wire rack with a lined baking tray underneath

Now you can enjoy them!

*Note that they become softer at room temperature, so it’s best to store them in the fridge in an airtight container. They’ll last for at least 1 week this way.

close up of a pile of Scottish macaroon bars. One is cut in half to show the fondant center

I hope you enjoy this recipe! What do you think about using mashed potatoes in a dessert? Make sure to leave a comment and/or review if you make them yourself- I’d love to hear from you!

xo

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5 from 3 votes
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Scottish Macaroons

A traditional Scottish chocolate bar made with mashed potatoes!

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword scottish macaroon bars
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chill time 4 hours
Servings 20 bars
Calories 200 kcal

Ingredients

  • 140 g White potatoes (5 oz)
  • 480 g Icing/powdered sugar (4 cups)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract (optional)
  • 250 g Chocolate of choice (9 oz)
  • 180 g Desiccated coconut (2 cups)

Instructions

  1. Wash the potato and boil (unpeeled) until it's soft enough to cut through with a fork. Leave to cool completely.

  2. Peel the potato and mash it in a large bowl until there are little to no lumps left.

  3. Add around ¼ of the icing sugar and mix well. At this point, you should have a soft and runny mixture.

  4. If you're using vanilla, add it in now and stir.

  5. Continue adding in the powdered sugar, mixing a little at a time, until it's all used up. The mixture should go from runny to stiff.

  6. Transfer the mixture into a freezer-proof dish lined with baking paper and smooth out to the sides. Freeze for 2 hours.

  7. After 2 hours is up, remove the mixture from the dish and peel off the baking paper. It will still be sticky but firm enough to shape.

  8. Cut the mixture into small bars or shape rectangles using your hands. This mixture will be enough for around 20 bite-sized bars. (I did originally make larger bars but found them too be too much to eat at once as they are super sweet.)

  9. Place the bars onto a lined baking tray and return them to the freezer for 1 more hour.

  10. In the meantime, place half of the desiccated coconut into a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Stir continuously until it becomes golden brown.*

  11. Mix the toasted coconut in with the untoasted coconut.

  12. Just before the bars are ready to come out of the freezer, melt the chocolate in a bowl.

  13. Dip each of the bars into the melted chocolate and immediately roll it in the coconut. Place it to set on a wire rack (with a lined baking tray underneath to catch any mess). Note that the bars will still be a bit soft but will firm up once the chocolate sets.

  14. Once all the bars are coated, put them in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until the chocolate is completely firm.

Recipe Notes

  • *Alternatively, place the coconut onto a lined baking tray and bake for 12 minutes at 160°C/325°F, stirring a few times in between.
  • Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 1 week.
Nutrition Facts
Scottish Macaroons
Amount Per Serving (1 bar)
Calories 200 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Sodium 8mg0%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 2g4%
* All values are an estimate only and will vary depending on the food brands used.
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Recipe Rating




John

Sunday 11th of October 2020

The Macaroon Bar in Scotland was originally manufactured in Glasgow by Lee's in 1931 and they still make them today.

Chloe

Monday 12th of October 2020

Good to know, thanks John! :)

Gillian McGill

Tuesday 9th of June 2020

Definitely making them remembers me of my childhood

Chloe

Tuesday 9th of June 2020

Hope you enjoy :)

sheena

Friday 24th of April 2020

I made this recipe many years ago for my grand children being shut indoors noo wanting to do some stuff from back then my friend didn't believe me when I said it was potatoes so going to prove it and they are delicious

Chloe

Sunday 26th of April 2020

Thanks Sheena! Hope you enjoyed the recipe :)

Kelly

Thursday 6th of February 2020

I never would have guessed you can make fondant out of potatoes lol! I have never been to Scotland but I must try this recipe at some point to see what I'm missing! :-)

Chloe

Friday 7th of February 2020

It's so strange, isn't it!? But it works! Let me know how you get on if you try it :)

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