Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday afternoon

...with almond macaroons, via the always delectable Alice Medrich:

Compared to making macarons, with the aged egg whites, and touchy touchy process for folding the batter, these are both much easier, and at least as delicious.

Begin by grinding 7 ounces of blanched almonds (whole, slivered, or sliced) together with 1-1/2 cups of sugar into a fine powder. If you have a food processor, the almonds and sugar will begin to collect on the sides in a thick paste. At least that's what Ms. Medrich claims. If, like me, all you have is a blender, you will probably have to process the almonds and sugar in batches, and guess a bit as to when it looks done.

Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract, and then gradually process in 3-4 egg whites until the mixture is the texture of thick mashed potatos. Again, with the blender, this was a little tricky, but, with occasional pauses to stir up the ground nuts that were stuck at the bottom, the job got done.

Drop rounded teaspoons (two teaspoons, total) of the batter onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Let sit for 30 minutes to age. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges begin to color just slightly. Rotate trays midway through the baking time, both top to bottom and from front to back. Drizzle with chocolate, if desired.

These will store well, frozen or refrigerated for several days.

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