Thursday, 3 May 2012

Scottish Macaroon Bars - These Might Surprise You....

If you have never eaten Scottish Macaroon bars before, these could surprise you. It's not a cookie or patisserie type thing unlike macaroons or macarons. It's a confectionery item / candy you'll find in sweet counters and something I grew up with as a kid.

I think it's quite unique to Scotland. The Scottish have a bit of a reputation for on one hand for having a sweet tooth and on the other, deep frying everything from pizza (no joke - dipped in batter and deep fried !) to mars bars.

This is a very traditional recipe and so easy to make. It's tasty, will send your blood sugar stupidly high and rot your teeth. It will also make you want more. Don't say I didn't warn you !!!

It's a very easy recipe. I managed to keep some on my desk in a tupperware box as I hadn't got round to photographing it. Three weeks later (non refrigerated) it tasted as good as it was fresh and colleagues were more than happy to scoff it.

I seem to have had a chocolate / coconut thing going on this last month. If coconut is not your thing, I promise that this is the last coconut one for a little while.

Note that ingredient's list is VERY loose as to quantities. It's not something you can strictly follow

You'll need  :

A 1kg box of powdered sugar / icing sugar. - expect to use around 600g at least
200g milk chocolate ( I actually used about 125g milk, 75g dark to make it a little less sweet if that's even possible !)
some dessicated coconut, toasted until golden
approx 150g of smooth, mashed potato. Yup - you DID read right ! 

Please note - you want to mash the potato until smooth but DO NOT add milk or butter to it. You want just one medium sized, floury potato which has been mashed.

Add sieved powdered sugar and knead together until you obtain a stiff dough - not dissimilar to making peppermint creams I suppose. Pinch off a little piece and taste it. You shouldn't "taste" potato. If you do, add a tiny amount of water and more icing sugar, then taste again. This can be repeated as requried.

Roll it out and cut into bars. This is VERY sweet. I cut it into 2" / 5cm square pieces and about 1cm thick, which is plenty big enough This now has to sit to dry out. I had to leave mine overnight, turn it and then leave another day.

As soon as it is set and fairly firm / dry to touch, dip in melted chocolate and then roll in toasted dessicated coconut. Place on a silicone baking sheet until set.

That's all there is to it !

I've been so behind in Blogging that I'd better do a quite update on April.

Oliver got a new training / balance bike. These have no pedals so promote balance. He can zip about on that thing SO quickly and his feet were off the ground going down slopes within about 15 mins of first getting on it.   The idea is that kids never have the need for stabilisers, but move right on to a pedal bike.

We also decided he was big enough to move out the cotbed. We've been decorating his room and Oliver now has a big boy cabin bed. There was a lot of excitement building it with Daddy !

Desperate to go to bed even before we get covers on it !

Didn't take long at all for the toys to move in underneath. I THOUGHT it would tidy up my living room, but they are constantly carted downstairs.... Room isn't quite finished yet. Steve is painting space ships / aliens / planets on the walls.

Oliver scoffing one of Tim Kinnaird's macarons at Wymondham Farmer's Market. 

I was told immediately after that we had to bake more macarons. They're requested on a regular basis.

Sarah-Jane Nash, May 2012


  1. This sounds strange yet interestingly delicious! I've always liked to dip my fries in soft vanilla ice cream and people call me weird. This sounds intriguing! I really need to try it and I believe I could like it too :D

  2. They sound strange but look delicious - especially with the toasted coconut!

  3. They do look like they would be very rich, but no doubt delicious. They may be commonplace in Scotland, but I have never seen them in the US. Nice to stop in and find a new and tasty candy recipe. Also, your husband did a great job on the bed, no doubt Oliver was delighted!

  4. These do sound good, I don't think I've ever heard of them here in the U.S. I love Oliver and his bike, so cute. Don't worry my dear your aren't the only one hopelessly behind. Hope you have a great weekend. I will have to save this recipe.

  5. Im scottish, and I regulary buy these from the shop. Might give it a go myself now..was quite shocked at the mashed potato haha x

  6. thought the macaroon / macarons and chocolate / coconut variations may appeal to some.

    I dont know if the factory producted macaroon bars have potato in it - but certainly, this is how it was produced in homes and is a very old recipe. Easy too and tastes great ! Don't forget, if you can taste potato in the dough. add more icing sugar.

    Ping - I dont fancy chips and ice cream ! lol

    Hannah - it is a bit odd and you are unlikely to have heard of it unless you lived in Scotland. It's rarely made in homes now but factory produced there in a big way. National favourite along with tablet (which you'll find in an earlier blog post)

    Tina - thanks - Oliver is pleased. Steve was painting an alien above the door frame last night and a 6ft high rocket is planned for today. Personally - I kinda liked the walls plain blue :-P

    Gina - I've been working far too much. I'm exhausted. Probably about 6 blog posts behind (not to mention the ones I forgot to write down ingredients etc for as I went along....)

    Helen - these are so cheap to make for the volume it produced. I had no idea how well they would keep with the mashed potato as traditionally used. Can confirm though that they were perfectly ok after 3 weeks - and had not been refrigerated either. Was rather surprised they lasted that long ! It made a large tupperware box full...

  7. These look amazing - anything that boosts blood sugar and rots teeth is ok with me!

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  9. Made these for my children's class mates to celebrate St Andrews day. We asked the children to guess the secret ingrident. Nobody ever gets it :)

  10. I tried the macaroon recipe but couldn't get the fondant to freezer enough to cut or roll it. Ended up with a bit of a mess, Left it overnight in the freezer but still no good. Any ideas?

  11. sounds like your potato may have been a little too wet. It wants to be firm, but no lumps. Don't use instant mash either....


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