I've seen a lot of posts recently about macarons. The quintessential French cookie, these are often flavored, colored and sandwiched. Combined with others, the displays of these cookies can be dazzling.
This version is the lazy man's macaron - and compared to how long it takes to make classic macarons, you'll be happy for the shortcut! This is the basic almond macaroon, with no color and no flavor aside from almond. Sandwiched together with a filling, these make a very sophisticated tea time addition, but on their own, they're light and chewy and very satisfying.
A few notes about this recipe:
- I ran out of blanched almonds so I used toasted sliced almonds to make up about 2.5 oz. I didn't notice a texture or flavor change.
- To blanch your own almonds, look at these steps.
- 4 large egg whites did the trick for me.
- Rather than spoon the dough, it was loose enough that I could use a piping bag to pipe dough onto the parchment. Make sure you give the dough at least 2". The 30 minute rest before baking allows the dough to spread to the macaroon shape.This cookie does not have the classic macaron 'foot.'
7 oz blanched almonds (1+1/3 c whole or 1+2/3 c slivered)
1+1/2 c sugar
1+1/2 tsp almond extract
3 to 4 large egg whites
2 cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper
- In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the almonds and sugar.
- Process until the almonds are very fine and the mixture is beginning to pack together around the sides of the bowl, at least 3 minutes.
- Add the almond extract.
- With the processor on, gradually add only enough of the egg white to form a ball of dough around the blade.
- With the processor still running, add only enough additional egg white so that the dough has the consistency of very thick, sticky mashed potatoes and no longer forms a ball.
- Drop rounded teaspoons (equivalent to 2 level teaspoons) 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
- Smooth the top of each cookie with a moistened pastry brush or your fingertips.
- Let the cookies stand for 30 minutes before baking them.
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Bake the cookies for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies barely begin to color.
- Rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom about halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
- Slide the parchment onto racks. Cool the cookies completely before detaching them from the parchment.
Makes 55 2-inch cookies
May be stored, airtight, for 2 to 3 days at room temperature
This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.