Archive for May 28th, 2009

Almond Macaroons

Our dear co-worker, John, was leaving us to pursue a graduate degree up north. For his farewell, a potluck lunch was organized. I asked him what baked good I could whip up for him and he replied with Almond Macaroons.

I didn’t know what those were, and I was desperately hoping he wasn’t referring to French macarons. I hadn’t quite mastered that art just yet.

I found two recipes: one from Martha Stewart and another from Cook’s Illustrated. The latter being the MUCH more popular one…I thought I’d document it first.

Place 6 oz of blanched slivered almonds in the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse until roughly chopped.

Add 1-1/4Ā cups of granulated sugar.

Pulse until finely ground.

Almond paste can be found in the baking aisle of some grocery stores (I got mine from Kroger’s). It looks like this and comes in a 7 oz package. Coincidentally, that’s exactly how much you’ll need for this recipe.

Crumble it into the food processor.

Again, pulse until you have a uniform mixture.

I transferred this into a large mixing bowl for the next steps because my food processor is impossibly tiny, but if you’ve got a full-sized one, please continue in there.

Add the egg whites, Amaretto, & extract. If you’re not using Amaretto, you don’t need to add anything to substitute for it!

I mixed this with an electric hand mixer (Yes, I know. I am ill-equipped for someone who loves to bake.) Mix until it forms a ball.

The recipe tells you to let this sit for 20 minutes, but my oven is hot and my apartment is small, so I’d wait for maybe 5 minutes and proceed. šŸ™‚

I used my small disher to scoop out level tablespoons of dough onto my parchment-lined baking sheets. Of course, you can just use spoons.

Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees. At the 10-minute mark, rotate your pans 180 degrees and then swap racks if you’re baking two sheets at a time to ensure an even golden color.

Promptly remove them from the oven once golden and let them cool on the parchment. I slid the entireĀ parchment onto the counter to make sure they didn’t continue to cook on the hot baking sheet.

They’ll be crisp on the outside and chewy in the center.

Farewell John!

Almond Macaroons

6 oz blanched almond, silvered
1-Ā¼ cups sugar, granulated
7 oz almond paste (NOT Marzipan!)
3 egg whites from 3 large eggs
1 tablespoons Amaretto (optional)
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. You can also use silicone baking mats.

Place almonds into the bowl of a food processor and process until roughly chopped. Add the sugar and continue to process until the almonds are finely ground. Crumble in the almond pasteĀ and continue to process until the paste is pulverized and you have a fairly uniform mixture.

Add the egg whites, extract, and Amaretto and continue to process until the dough is smooth and begins to form into a ball at the edge of the processor blades.

Remove from the food processor and allow mixture to stand for 20 minutes.

Drop level tablespoons of the mixture onto your prepared parchment paper leaving about 1-Ā½ inches of space between each cookie. You can also use a disher, ice cream scooper, or roll them a bit with your hands.

Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets top to bottom and 180 degrees during the baking process. The cookies should be golden all over, but not too dark.

Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool completely on the parchment paper. Makes 3 dozen cookies.


1.You must have a food processor to make thise recipe. It’s blades are sharp enough to cut through those almonds.Ā A blender would just make almond butter.

2. You could buy whole blanched almonds, but slivered is better so your food processor doesn’t have to do so much work.

3. DO NOT skip on the parchment paper or silicone baking mats. You will regret it if you do. The cookies will spread and/or stick and that would very very, very sad.

4. To make them extra fancy-schmancy,Ā a drizzle of dark chocolate would be sublime! (Because I can’t leave well enough alone!)


May 2009