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Author Notes: I make meringue cookies (see Forgotten Cookies) that are so well-loved that I can walk into the house of someone I haven’t seen in ages, and the first thing they’ll ask me is: did you bring the white cookies? My nephew, who lived in Paris, tells me that they remind him of macarons (without the feet). I had egg whites in the refrigerator (after making zabaglione) and was researching macaron recipes when Merrill and Amanda announced this week’s theme. As much as I would love to learn to make real macarons, what I learned from my research is that they are finicky. Unlike my “white cookies,” which practically make themselves. So I wondered: Could I make almond macaroons that have that crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside consistency? I used the same basic recipe, but followed some of the guidelines I read for macarons: I used my oldest egg whites (Some people suggest letting egg whites sit uncovered at room temperature for a day before using them. I didn't do that.), insulated cookie sheets (You may want to double yours up if they're thin.) and I let the batter rest before putting it into the oven. —drbabs
- 2 egg whites
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 generous pinch of kosher salt
- 2/3 cup almond meal
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli are my favorite.)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, toasted if desired; optional)
- Line 2 heavy cooking sheets with parchment.
- In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt till stiff peaks form.
- Beat in sugar till mixture is white, shiny and stiff, but not dry.
- Gently fold in almond meal and vanilla extract. (You can do this in the stand mixer--just slow it down to stir.)
- Remove bowl from stand mixer and gently fold in chocolate chips and nuts (if using).
- Use 2 teaspoons to drop dough onto cookie sheets. Scoop with one spoon and scrape off with the other. Place them about 1-1 1/2 inches apart. They will spread a little, but they will mostly puff up in the oven.
- Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about 30 minutes.
- Arrange 2 oven racks so that the oven is divided into thirds. Preheat oven to 350.
- Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and keep cookies in the oven for 10 more minutes. The cookies should be fragrant and starting to brown slightly.
- Cool cookies on wire racks. Gently remove the cookies from the parchment.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Almond Macaroons