This recipe is for Teri, who had the brilliant idea that Macaroons would be an excellent Passover dessert because they don't use leavening. They do use almond powder in place of flour, and I know some families stay away from nuts on Passover. It also makes a great gluten free dessert too. If you are planning a huge dinner party DO NOT try these for the first time tomorrow and expect perfection. Instead, play around with it when you have time and put it on the menu for next year. Happy Passover!
5 1/4 cups of ground almonds (poudre d'amands)
5 cups of confectioners sugar
1 1/4 cups of egg whites
1 T granulated sugar
1. Sift almond flour and powdered sugar separately. Don't skip this step. You can make almond powder by grinding up skinless almonds, but it is much better to buy the commercial type.
2. Mix almond flour and powdered sugar together with a whisk in a mixing bowl.
3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add granulated sugar and continue to beat until they are stiff.
4. Pour half of almond/sugar mixture over eggs whites and fold in.
5. Fold in the rest of the almond/sugar mixture with added color of choice (see below for options & use powdered colors if available). Do over mix/fold until batter is shiny.
6. Paper a cookie sheet with parchment
7. Put cookie batter in a pastry bag with a 8-10mm pastry tip.
8. Pipe circles to desired size. Somewhere between 1"-4".
9. Tap baking sheet and let cookies rest until a skin forms over the top of the macaroons. For the crackled look let them rest up to two hours. If you touch one and your finger comes away clean, then they are ready to bake.
10. Bake at 350˚ for 10 minutes.
11. Let rest in the oven with the door open and heat off for another 2-3 minutes.
12. Take two cookies and spread a thin layer of easy butter cream or filling of choice and sandwich together. (real buttercream frosting is not necessary because it is just a little bit for added flavor)
Variations for flavors
Vanilla: Scrape the seed of two vanilla beans and add to almond/sugar mixture or use 3 pinches of vanilla powder. Fill cookies with softened butter mixed with sugar and vanilla extract.
Coffee: add 1T coffee extract or powder to egg whites. Fill cookies with coffee ganache or mix a little butter with sugar and coffee powder.
Chocolate: add cocoa powder with the almond/ sugar mixture. Fill cookies with chocolate ganache. To make choclate ganache scald 1/2 cup of cream and pour over 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Whisk in one place until ganache forms, then make bigger whisk circles
Pistachio: add green and yellow food coloring to the egg whites. Fill cookies by mixing almond paste with pistachio paste and butter
Raspberry: add red food coloring to the egg whites. Use raspberry jam for filling.
Lemon: add yellow food coloring to egg whites. Fill cookies by mixing softened butter with a little lemon juice and lemon peel
Note: even the best pastry makers will tell you that sometimes these turn out and sometimes they don't. They really are not easy even though the ingredients look simple. However, once you get down the general idea then you can get creative and make your own flavors. If you have a scale and want the metric measurements, let me know.