Almond Macaroons

Jan 4th

You might be saying – really? cookies? and me on this new years diet plan? But the thing is, I couldn’t possibly be more excited to share this recipe with you, and I don’t even care if you make them NEXT December – just hold onto the recipe and make them at some point! Or maybe you’ve been on a sugar binge like I have, and these cookies could help you descend slowly and smoothly back into routine.

I’ve become a total snob when it comes to “homemade” – really just with desserts. I find that the store bought dessert that makes me swoon is few and far between. That being said, I could eat about a thousand almond macaroons from Carlino’s. I’ve never tried making them at home because a) I have no self-control around these babies, and b) the ingredients are really expensive. But THEN, my mom gave me a tube of almond paste that she didn’t have time to use.

Now, when I say expensive, I mean like 7 dollars (so in the scheme of life when it seems like every time you get your car inspected you have to spend 600 dollars, almond paste is no biggie). If you’re making these cookies yourself vs. buying them at the store, you’re saving cash – so go ahead and spring for the almond paste. It comes in a tube (Odense brand) or a can (solo brand). Marzipan a higher ratio of sugar to almonds, so that wouldn’t substitute well in this recipe. Anyways – since I was making these fairly expensive cookies, you better believe I wasn’t going to waste the goods on a faulty recipe. America’s Test Kitchen  – boo ya.

These unassuming looking cookies were my FAVE over the holiday. I sort of liked the fact that they’d sometimes be skipped over on the cookie tray, as people went for something chocolate dipped or with sprinkles – it just meant more for me! By the end of the holiday I had turned into an almond macaroon (and I don’t even care, it was so so worth it).

Almond Macaroons

Makes 24-30 cookies

America’s Test Kitchen

6 oz. blanched almonds (which means the skin is off)

1 1/2 c. sugar

7 oz. almond paste

3 egg whites (from large eggs)

1 tsp. almond extract

1. Set oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In food processor, grind almonds with sugar until powdery and finely ground.

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3. Crumble paste into processor and pulse until pulverized (20 pulses).

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4. Add whites and extract and process until it comes together in a ball (will be wet).

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5. Using a tablespoon, scoop batter out (in about 1 tbsp. amounts) and plop onto parchment, spacing about 2 inches apart. Don’t worry if the batter seems less smooth that you’d ideally like – they will even out and behave very well in the oven.

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6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until set  (golden brown around the edges).

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7. Let cool on paper. Remove and store, levels of cookies separated by waxed paper,  in airtight container at room temp.

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