Monday, November 7, 2011

Almond Macaroons

Cookies, cookies, cookies I love cookies and when they are Italian cookies I love them even more than you know. I think I mentioned before that as a kid my first job was at an Italian bakery. When you work at a bakery you find your favorites and those are what you seem to eat all the time. You also get to be part of the "test kitchen" when new cakes, treats and cookies are being made for the first time.

Since I love Italian cookies I ate a lot of them, butter cookies that have sprinkles (or as we call them in Boston Jimmies) around the edges are my favorite, and in the bakery we call them champagne cookies. And my second favorite cookie is an almond Macaroon. They are crunchy on the outside and chewy in the inside. Sometimes they are topped with candied cherries, slivered almonds, or pine nuts, but I prefer them just plain and simple.

The other night I took a batch to a party my Italian family was having and there were none left on the plate at the end of the evening. It was so nice to hear my aunt ask where the cookies were purchased, when I told her they were home-made. These cookies are super easy and always come out great.

This is how to make them ...
Almond Macaroons
8 oz. can of almond paste
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs, whites only, room temperature

options: red or green cherries, toasted almond slivers, toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer combine almond paste and sugar, beat until blended. add egg whites and beat until smooth.

Scoop up 1 teaspoon and roll into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet, put slivered almonds, cherries or pine nuts on.

Bake 15-17 minutes until cookies are browned.

I have made a version of these with one tablespoon of orange zest (using only the skin of the orange), to the batter to make Almond Orange Macaroons.

So Yummy and so easy to make!!!


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