17 April 2011

Almond macaroons

I associate macaroons with Enid Blyton books and they're not something I've ever made before. But today I had two leftover egg whites and went hunting on the Internet for inspiration. David Lebovitz came to my rescue. I'm already a fan of his, thanks to his ice cream book The Perfect Scoop. He suggested macaroons as one way of using them up. I've always thought macaroons were made with desiccated coconut, which I don't much like, but a bit more hunting around brought up recipes for an almond variety, which sounded preferable.

There seem to be as many variations on the recipe online as there are recipes: oven temperature, method, quantities all seemed to be different in each version I read.

In the end I settled for an amalgam of several: as usual, opting for the most simple method and ingredients.


2 egg whites
1 cup ground almonds
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp almond extract (optional, I just happened to have some)

Whisk the egg whites to the soft peak stage. Gently fold in the almonds, sugar and almond extract (if using). Spoon the mixture into mounds onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 400°F/200°C for 15 minutes. This quantity made 12 macaroons.

My end result wasn't the classic smooth, domed macaroon you'd get if you piped the mixture. But the taste and chewy texture are wonderful. And you don't leave half the mixture behind in the piping bag.

My Internet browsing brought up the fact that macaroons have become a traditional Passover treat, which wasn't something I knew (and which I'm finding hard to reconcile with the Enid Blyton association I had before, if I'm honest). They're certainly very quick to make - so a perfect food for Passover (or any time - I'll definitely be making these again).

I'm glad the macaroons turned out well, because I used the yolks of the same eggs to make a hollandaise sauce. Which was a complete failure. Ho hum.


PapaCheong's 拿手好菜 said...



Goodies for a pleasant life said...

That sounds good. I think, I have to give it a try. lg Tina